It was another soft week for Saskatoon real estate sales, as is to be expected at this time of the year. Sales typically cool with the weather and the closer we get to the holiday season, the tougher it gets for a seller to get a buyer through their home. This week, local agents reported just 55 house and condo sales to the Saskatoon multiple listing service®, eleven fewer than the previous week’s totals to finish below sales for the same week last yearby eight. Following a pretty good run that had production matching or beating the previous years sales, enough so to bring us about even year-to-date (a slow start to 2013 has had the Saskatoon real estate market lagging behind the previous year’s sales right up until the end of October which brought us about even), this was the second consecutive week in which sales failed to rise to last year’s levels.
New residential listingsfor the past week also fell lower when compared against the previous week. A total of 94 single-family homes and condominiums were offered up for sale on the MLS® for a weekly decline of 27 homes. Even at this sharply lower weekly number, the number of new listings that hit the market this week was up when compared to the total entered for the same period last year by 14. This has been the case during 15 of the past 16 weeks.
To be clear, the Saskatoon’s residential real estate market has shown great strength throughout this year. We can’t lose site of the fact that 2012 was the second strongest real estate sales year this city has even seen and there’s every reason to believe that 2013 will come very close to matching it, perhaps even closing the year with a small increase in home sales. That said, the steady increases to listings entering the market in recent months starts to add up bringing an interesting to twist to the MLS® inventory chart that you see below. At a time of year when you can pretty much bet on inventory declines, the total number of homes offered for sale on Saskatoon’s multiple listing service® actually grew by 15 homes compared against the close of the previous week to finish higher than it was at the same time last year 231 homes. Pretty strong gains can be seen in both of the major housing categories as the number of single-family homes offered for sale climbs to 792 from 632 a year ago and condo listings climb to 408, up from 343 at this time last year.
Now, prices are a whole other story. In fact, as sales decline all of the numbers in these weekly reports must be taken with a grain of salt, at least on a week to week basis. When you have just 55 sales in the mix, as we do this week, a small handful on executive home sales can skew averages greatly and that’s certainly the case this week as the average sale price of a Saskatoon home bolts through the roof to reach its highest level for the whole year at $389,794. The median sale price (the point at which half of all sales occurred above and half below) of a local home this week is far more stable gaining just fifty-four hundred dollars from last week to close at $337,900. The outliers are in the top half of the sales and include four homes, the total sales prices of which exceed three million dollars to skew the average way up as seen on the price chart. The longer term numbers are much more realistic. The six-week average price of a Saskatoon home was $356,874 this week, up just three thousand dollars from the previous week’s close and higher than it was at the close of the same week last year by 19K. The four-week median actually slipped lower dropping more than ten thousand dollars from last week to finish at $336,950 for an annual increase of roughly fifteen thousand dollars.
Overbid sales were pretty much a non-factor this week as only one seller found a buyer willing to pay more than asking price. That buyer offered up just $100 more than the seller was looking for to close the deal. Another 12 sellers managed to complete a contract at their full asking price. Meanwhile, 42 of the week’s 55 sales came to a close at the negotiating table where the buyer was able to grind their seller for a discount averaging $13,033. While this is one of the largest below list averages we’ve been seeing, similar principles are at play as seen in pricing with some upward skewing coming from the really big sales which averaged a discount of $50,000. When those four deals are removed from the mix, the average discount on the remaining sales actually comes in at one of its lower points in recent memory, around six thousand dollars.
Other notable MLS® activity this week included 25 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 15 expired listings and 38 price adjustments.
Highlights from the news this past week
Canadian home prices inch higher but tepid gain signals cooling market - Financial Post
Canada’s housing market ‘teeters precariously’ - Globe and Mail
How to predict the end of Canada’s housing boom - GlobeAdvisor.com
Urban dream looks promising - Star Phoenix
Canadian home sales drop most in a year as chances of rate hikes fade - Financial Post
Tips for making your relocation easier and less stressful - Star Phoenix
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Norm Fisher Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate