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Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (April 14-18 2008)

The inventory of Saskatoon real estate listings grew again for the sixth consecutive week moving from 619 last week to 668 by the close of business on Friday. 167 properties were offered for sale including 120 single-family homes (houses) and 41 condominiums. The total numbers of properties available in each of those categories sits at 423 and 188 respectively, significantly higher than last year but still a drop in the bucket compared to other Canadian markets.


Unit sales were definitely on the soft side for what should be a prime spring week. 70 homes (houses and condos) were reported sold, compared to 118 for the same week last year. There are an additional 85 residential properties on the Saskatoon Multiple Listing Service reported as “conditionally sold,” which is up about 30% from last week.


In spite of rising inventories, it seems that seller’s are still perceived to have the advantages, though not nearly as much as they had at this time last year. For the same week in 2007, nearly 70% of home sales were showing above list price sales to the tune of $23,000 on average. This past week, the percentage of homes going above the asking price was closer to 40% and the average overbid was shy of $16,000. Approximately 40% of all sales sold for less than the asking price and the average underbid was $8,818.


Average selling prices remained remarkably high at $318,584, the second strongest weekly price on record, topped just once before, the week of March 30-April 4.

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (April 14-18)

Nationally, the media took a sudden and sharp turn as the Globe and Mail reported that sales had “tumbled in all major cities this winter” and that listings had “surged” in Western Canada. With that, Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns declared Canada’s housing boom “officially over.” As a follow up, economists argued about whether or not Canadian real estate will suffer a similar fate to what’s being experienced in the US. One veteran real estate sales official from Vancouver wondered aloud if the “fat lady” is about to sing.


Meanwhile, Fraser Beach quotes the Toronto Real Estate Board reporting an improving market through the first half of April, reaching numbers just 5% below those recorded in the first half of April 2007. Sheldon and Sara in Edmonton report the strongest sales week in six months. In Calgary, price reductions seem to be the topic of discussion, but my friends in St. John report strong performance for unit sales and price gains through Q1.


Confused yet?


Real estate has always been subject to local economic conditions, and it likely always will be. While good news for Saskatchewan continues to capture attention nationwide, we should be aware that listings are trending up and sales numbers are starting to weaken some.


Saskatoon has outperformed almost every market in North America over the past 18 months, and we’re well ahead of the rest of Saskatchewan when it comes to price gains. Some would suggest that Saskatoon house prices have blasted ahead of the rest of our vibrant economy. I think it’s hard to disagree.

Regardless of where you stand, there should be little doubt that we have hit the affordability ceiling in Saskatoon and that the pressure should be coming off of real estate prices. Perhaps it could be worse, but it’s probably high time that buyers saw a little relief in the Saskatoon real estate market. I think that homes will continue to sell in the months ahead but sellers should be aware that the game is about to change. We’re not going the way of the U.S. but it might be time to break out your negotiating hat.


Keep in mind that I don’t have any special insights or crystal balls. These are my opinions, and I’ve missed the mark before, but that’s the way I see it today.


This post was edited for errors on 4/20/08 at 7:40 PM.


I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.


Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.


Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

Norm Fisher, Author of the TeamFisher Saskatoon Real Estate Blog

About Norm

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 650 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.Less...

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 650 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.

Norm is known for his passion for technology and can most often be found exploring and experimenting with the next big thing in real estate marketing. He was the first Saskatoon real estate agent to promote a home online and has been an early adopter of new technologies ever since. “Everything about this business has changed over the past 20 years, and it will happen again in the next ten. An open mind and a curious attitude are all that’s needed to continue to find new ways to serve our clients by delivering a faster, smoother, worry-free transaction,” says Norm.

In his spare time, Norm enjoys Crossfit and cycling, some years accumulating over 2,000 kilometres on the road. He’s a strong supporter of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and enjoys raising funds by joining fun, fitness-related initiatives like the Grouse Grind for Shelter. In 2015, he trekked the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. In 2017 he walked the southern highlands of Iceland across mountains, sand, snow, ice, lava fields and forest for seven days. Collectively those initiatives raised over a million dollars for Canadian women's shelters.
 

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