Saskatoon real estate market closes the year strong - December 2019: SRAR

The official Saskatoon real estate market numbers for the month of December have been released, again, ahead of the SRAR’s formal media release. Since it’s already January 10, I thought I’d get these results out to you now. 

On January 1 of this year the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR), the Association of Regina REALTORS® (ARR) and the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® (ASR) amalgamated into one new organization called the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA). The three aforementioned associations will soon cease to exist so it’s unclear to me at this point whether SRAR will actually deliver a media release this month. Should they do so, I will post it in the comments section of this post.

Sales post annual increase for the first year in five

December 2019 brought an exceptionally strong close to 2019 as local REALTORS® reported 203 residential sales to the multiple listing service® for a year-over-year increase of 24 percent. 

Across the year, Saskatoon real estate agents completed 3604 residential sales within the city of Saskatoon to end a four-year streak of declining unit sales. Overall, the number of Saskatoon homes that traded hands in 2019 increased by 8.4 percent for the year.

Single-family home sales led the way with a total of 2428 sales, up from 2279 the previous year but still well below the banner 2014 sales year when 2974 detached houses traded in Saskatoon. Condo sales grew to 1017 across 2019, to show an impressive gain over 2018 when 918 units sold. 

Saskatoon home sales by month and category for December 2019

The number of Saskatoon homes for sale reaches its lowest point in nearly six years

During December, local agents produced 302 MLS listings, down 311 from December of last year.

At the close of 2019, a total of 7745 residential listings had been processed for the year, for an annual decline of three percent. 

Active listing inventory sat at just 1222 as the calendar turned and a new decade began. That amounts to an 18 percent drop from last year at this time. It’s the smallest number of active listings for the close of any month since February of 2014.

While it’s anyone’s guess as to what might occur this year, you can see from the chart, there is a clear trend of declining active listings inventory. Using the SWAG method (statistical wild-ass guess) of market evaluation, I expect this trend to continue through 2020. My guess is based almost entirely on the fact that employment conditions seem to favour an expansion of demand, and new home construction numbers (housing starts through 2019) will not lead to a huge number of new listings from that sector.

New and active Saskatoon real estate listings by month to December 2019

Prices show continued improvement and greater stability at the close of 2019

Saskatoon home prices continued to stabilize as the year closed. In December, the average sale price of a Saskatoon home was $333,857 which is down from $339,132 last December. 

As I’ve said before, looking at prices in December rarely provides a clear picture. Sales numbers are relatively small and just a couple of sales at the upper-end or lower-end of the market will have an impact on average prices that makes year-over-year comparisons difficult. For instance, the average price jumped more than $30,000 in September compared to the previous September. No reasonable analysis could conclude that the price of a Saskatoon home had actually increased ten percent. It was simply a reflection of more upper-end activity than the previous year.

The average price over the entire year is $331,592, down less than $1500 from 2018 when it was $333,055. The six-month rolling average price is now at $332,024. That’s down just $600 from where it was for the final six months of 2018.

The MLS® Home price index, which provides more of an apples to apples comparison indicates that the benchmark single-family home is down just one percent annually to $303,200. The benchmark price of an apartment condo is still down a substantial five percent to $169,500. Meanwhile, townhome prices show an annual increase of just over one percent as they rise to $218,500.

Saskatoon home prices by month and category to December 2019

For those who bought at the peak, there would certainly be some challenges to selling now, but it seems that we may have found the bottom.

Thank you for reading my updates. I’m always happy to answer your real estate questions. Feel free to reach out by voice or text at 306-241-6676 or email me at norm at teamfisher dot com.

Norm Fisher


Click the video below for a two-minute overview of Saskatoon MLS® activity for the month of November 2019. Our statistics graphs are also ready and posted here. I'll include the official media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS in the comments section once it has been received.

Saskatoon home sales grew 20 percent during the month of November on a year-over-year basis to produce the largest sales gains recorded for any month this year. The single-family homes category accounted for all of the gains as 181 detached houses traded, up from 137 in November of 2018.

Saskatoon residential sales by category for November 2019

The number of new listings added to the MLS® fell sharply lower to just 451. That is the smallest number of new listings for November in the seven years reflected on our charts.

Meanwhile, MLS® inventory fell to 1534, down from 1,716 a year ago, and at its lowest point for November since 2014.

New and active Saskatoon real estate listings for November 2019

The average sale price of a Saskatoon home remained lower on an annual basis by three percent. A closer look at the benchmark prices of the Home Price Index shows that single-family homes are down about 1.5% annually. Townhome prices slipped modestly by 0.7 percent. Apartments took some hard lumps losing roughly eight percent of their value in a year.

Saskatoon home prices by month and category to November 2019

I'm always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. My contact information is here.

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra


Saskatoon housing market stays warm despite chilly October 2019: SRAR

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® recently released the official MLS® statistics for October 2019. The media release that accompanied the stats follows a short video with my thoughts on market changes.

Saskatoon — As the weather cooled in October, residential sales in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and the Battlefords warmed over last year, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported today. In the city of Saskatoon, sales rose seven per cent to 306, up from last October’s 285, helping to drive the dollar volume up five per cent to $97.5 million from $92.6 million. Listings also rose marginally to 599, up one per cent from 591. The average selling price fell two per cent to $318,450, down from $325,016.

Saskatoon MLS homes sales by month to October 2019

Trevor Schmidt, interim CEO of SRAR, noted that the average five-year median sales price — $333,154 has not changed much over the past several years.

“This year, we’re tracking at the same level as the five-year average,” he said. “The market is neither high nor low; it has stabilized.”

Saskatoon home prices by month and category to October 2019

Another indication of stability in the Saskatoon market is the average length of time it takes to sell a home. Both in October and year-to-date, that average was 54 days.

“The five-year average is 55,” noted Schmidt. “Things have been quite stable considering what’s happened with the economy.”

“It shows the importance of using a REALTOR® to price properties according to what’s happening in the market, which helps foster a quicker sale.”

Year-to-date, 6,992 homes have been listed to the Multiple Listing Service® System (MLS®), down two per cent from 7,111 in 2018. Of those, 3,160 have sold, up seven per cent from 2,962, at an average price of $331,349 — statistically stable with last year’s $332,012. The dollar volume broke through the billion-dollar mark to $1.05 billion, up six per cent from $983.4 million last year.

Saskatoon home prices by month and category to October 2019

In Saskatoon and area, which includes such communities as Dalmeny, Warman and Martensville, sales rose five per cent to 414, up from 393, in October. Year-to-date sales are up three per cent to 4,213 from 4,072, and also up from 4,099 in 2017.

Unit listings in the city and region fell two per cent to 889 from 904 last month, and also dropped two per cent year-to-date, ending October at 10,710, down from 10,895 in 2018. While the dollar volume was down two per cent in October, to $129.2 million from $132.4 million, the year-to-date volume is up two per cent to $1.365 billion from $1.342 billion.

The region alone saw a six per cent drop in listings, to 208 from 222, in October, and a seven per cent hike in sales to 88, up from 82 last year. Dollar volume in the region fell 13 per cent to $24.7 million from $28.5 million. The average selling price came in at $281,534, down 19 per cent from $348,038.

Active listings ended October down four per cent to 3,442 in Saskatoon and area, from 3,584 in 2018 and also down from 3,725 at this time in 2017. In the city, 1,712 listings were available, down five per cent from 1,808, and 1,020 homes were on the market in the region, down seven per cent from last year’s 1,095.

As always, I'm happy to answer your real estate questions. Feel free to call or text me at 306-241-6676, or reach me by email at

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra


September 2019 Brings Increases in Saskatoon Home Sales, Listings and Prices Saskatoon: SRAR

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® has just released the official home sale statistics for September 2019 along with the release below. As always, the video and the charts that accompany this blog post were produced by TeamFisher to provide some visual context and additional information that was not present in the release.

The first month of autumn had spring in its step as Saskatoon’s residential housing market saw increases in listings, sales, and the average price, according to statistics from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR). 

Sales rose 14 per cent to 305, up from last September’s 267 and 260 the year before, while the average price was up 10 per cent to $351,741 from $319,534. 

Saskatoon residential sales by category for September 2019

Those factors contributed to a 26 per cent jump in the dollar volume of sales, which came in at $107.3 million — well up from $85.3 million last September and $89.5 million in 2017. 

More homeowners decided to put their properties on the market, as well, listing 717 homes, up 11 per cent from 647 last year. 

New and active Saskatoon real estate listings for September 2019

“The market is really balanced right now,” said Trevor Schmidt, interim CEO of SRAR. “With the sales to listing ratio being at 43 per cent, it indicates both sellers and buyers are able to come together and get deals done. It’s a good situation for both seller and buyer. 

“If you go back six months, the market has been trending toward balance.” 

Year-to-date, sales in the city are up seven per cent to 2,855 from 2,677, while listings have fallen two per cent to 6,393 from 6,520. The average price of $332,762 is practically unchanged from last year’s $332,757. 

Saskatoon home prices by month and category to September 2019

In the region surrounding Saskatoon, including the cities of Warman and Martensville, sales were down 11 per cent to 76 from 85 in September while listings rose 14 per cent to 227 from 199. The average selling price, however, was up three per cent to $302,502. Dollar volume came in at $22.9 million, down eight per cent from last year’s $25 million. 

Regional year-to-date sales are down five per cent to 755 from 797, and listings are down one per cent to 2,422 from 2,454. The average price so far this year is down three per cent to $295,187 from $303,636, and dollar volume has fallen eight per cent to $222.8 million from $242 million. 

At the end of September, active residential listings in the city were down two per cent to 1,896 from last year’s 1,944. Listings in the region were also down two per cent to 1,143 from 1,161.

Trevor Schmidt, Interim Chief Executive Officer

Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®


Saskatoon home sales stable in July, 2019 but prices are still down: SRAR Stats

I’m not sure why but the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors® has not yet distributed their monthly media release for July 2019. Since we are well into August already, I thought I’d get some numbers in front of you and I will place their release in the comments below when it does come out.

July was the first month since February of this year that did not record year-over-year increases to unit sale numbers. Local REALTORS® sold 390 Saskatoon homes, precisely the number that sold last July. By month-end, 2,228 homes had traded hands this year leaving us ahead of sales at this time in 2018 sales by 7.2 percent.

Saskatoon condo sales continued to perform very well as 129 buyers scooped one up. That’s the highest number of sales in this category for any month since June of 2015.

Historical Saskatoon MLS home sales by month and category to July 2019

New listings were up annually for the first time since March. That’s occurred just twice this year. A total of 748 residential properties entered the MLS®, up from 709 last July. That brings total listings for the year to 4,952, down modestly from 5,116 at the close of July last year.

Active listing inventory continued to soften falling to 1932 by the end of the month. That’s down from 2048 a year earlier and at its lowest July close since 2014.

New and active Saskatoon real estate listings for July 2019

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home was $331,780 in July, down 1.7 percent from this time last year. 

The MLS® Home Price Index shows annual losses for all three major housing types. The benchmark single-family home price is down $2600 from a year aga to $308,700. Apartment prices have slipped $2000 from this time last year, with the indexes benchmark coming in at $175,800. Finally, townhomes saw the biggest year-over-year decline as the benchmark fell $14,000 to $220,000.

Saskatoon home prices by month and category to July 2019

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  Reach out by voice or text at 306-241-6676 or email me at norm at

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra


Improved Saskatoon spring housing market continues into June: SRAR

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors® released the official numbers for June 2019 yesterday, along with the following media release.

The stronger residential housing market that began in March continued into June, as Saskatoon Realtors® sold 372 homes for a dollar volume of just under $126 million, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported Friday. 

Sales were up six percent from last June’s 350, while the combined value rose nine percent from $116 million.  

Saskatoon home sales through the MLS for June 2019

Buyers also had fewer listings to choose from, as 784 units were added to the city’s market, down 10 percent from last year’s 871 and well down from the previous year’s 949. 

“Fewer listings and a renewed interest from first-time home buyers have helped support the Saskatoon market,” said SRAR CEO Jason Yochim. “We’re in a fairly balanced market, as demonstrated by a sales-to-listing ratio of 47 percent.” 

A buyer’s market is indicated by a ratio of under 40 percent, while a seller’s market ratio begins at 60 percent. 

Year-to-date, local agents have listed 4,206 homes, down five percent from last year’s 4,407 and also down from 2017’s 5,004. In that time, 1,840 homes have sold, up nine percent from 2018’s 1,691. The dollar volume rose eight percent to $610 million from $564.7 million. 

Saskatoon MLS listing activity for June 2019

Similar numbers were posted in Saskatoon and region, which includes neighbouring towns and cities such as Warman, Martensville, and Dalmeny. Listings fell five percent to 1,232 in June from 1,291 in the same month of 2018, while sales were up three percent to 490 from 474. Dollar volume was up seven percent to $169.5 million from $157.8 million. 

Year-to-date, Saskatoon and region have seen 6,586 homes listed, down three percent from 6,765, and sales of 2,489, up eight percent from 2,310, for a value of $810 million. That number is up six percent from last year’s $768 million. 

In the region alone, 96 homes sold last month, down seven percent from the previous June’s 103, although year-to-date sales are up five percent to 517, up from 491. Dollar volume was down one percent to $31 million from $31.3 million. Listings were up 10 percent in June to 325 but were almost even year-to-date at 1,668. 

The average sales price rose six percent in Saskatoon and region to $323,291 in June, up from $304,449. However, the year-to-date average price remains down seven percent at $292,039. (Norm’s note: the average sale price of a Saskatoon home rose roughly five thousand dollars, year-over-year to reach $338,499. Meanwhile, prices for each of the three major categories of Saskatoon housing, as tracked on the MLS® Home Price Index remained lower on an annual basis in spite of a rally that drove prices higher over the second quarter).

Saskatoon home price for the month of June 2019

“I think we’re seeing a renewed confidence in the market, while prices are coming down in some categories,” Yochim said. “There may also be some pent-up demand. Prudent buyers are sensing that this is the time to buy in this market.” SRAR, which encompasses Prince Albert, the Battlefords and other north-central communities under its reporting umbrella, reported both lower sales and listings in those markets.

Jason Yochim, CEO

Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors®


May brings buyers to Saskatoon housing market: SRAR

Sales rise 16 percent over the same month of last year

A hot, dry May brought a warmer market for Saskatoon home sellers as sales rose 16 percent over the same month of 2018.

City sales came in at 422 units, up from 363 last May and 420 the year before, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported Monday. Sales are also up 10 percent year-to-date at 1,469, up from 1,342 last year.

“Sales have rebounded significantly this year, in large part due to an increase in condo sales,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR. “Condo sales are up almost 21 percent over

a year ago. Prices have been coming down, and they are very affordable compared to most housing types.”

Year-to-date, 449 condos have sold, as compared to 372 last year. Over the same period, single-family home sales rose six percent to 1,292, up from 1,215 last year. In May, single-family home sales were up 13 percent from last May.

Saskatoon MLS sales for May 2019

As sales rose, unit listings fell three percent to 911 in May, down from 942 in 2018 and 1,031 the previous year. Year-to-date listings are also down three percent; so far, 3,422 homes have been listed to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as compared to 3,536 last year and 4,055 in 2017.

As of the end of May, buyers had 3,164 listings to choose from in Saskatoon and area, unchanged from last year. Of those, 1,938 are in the city proper (down from 2,001 last May) and 1,126 are in surrounding towns and regions (down from last year’s 1,164). “We’re finally seeing some stabilization in the housing market, which has been in buyers’ market territory for some time due to oversupply and lower consumer confidence,”

“I suspect first-time home buyers have been very active this spring based on the condo sales,” Yochim said. “When lower-priced homes sell, it has a downward effect on the average price.”

The higher sales resulted in a 17 percent dollar volume increase over last May to $140.7 million, up from $120.5 million. That’s despite a two percent drop in the average selling price, which fell to $329,595 from $334,651.

Average Saskatoon home price in May 2019

In the Saskatoon and region, including communities such as Warman, Martensville, and Dalmeny, sales rose 14 percent in May to a three-year high of 561 units. Listings fell seven percent to 1,386, down from 1,485 and 1,553 in the previous two years. Dollar volume rose 12 percent to $181.3 million from $162.3 million last year. Yochim said, “The sales to listing ratio was 46 percent in May, which is approaching a balanced market.”

In the surrounding region excluding the city, dollar volume was down 13 percent to $31.5 million from $36.3 million. Listings fell 20 percent to 317, after two years at about 390, and sales rose eight percent to 113, up from 105 last May. The average selling price fell 19 percent, however, to $279,095, after posting $346,130 last May.

Year-to-date, the surrounding region has seen a three percent decrease in dollar volume at $120 million; a three percent drop in listings, to 1,344; and unit sales of 421, up by nine percent from last year.

Jason Yochin

CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®


Saskatoon region homes sales spike 18 percent in April 2019: SRAR

April housing demand in the Saskatoon region was the strongest in three years, as sales jumped 18 per cent over the same month of 2018.

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 513 sales on the MLS® system, up from 433 last April and 414 in 2017. Those sales generated a dollar volume of $169.6 million, up 12 per cent from last year’s $152 million and 14 per cent from $147 million in 2017. Year-to-date, sales are up seven per cent to 1,440, as compared to 1,342 in 2018 and 1,368 in 2017. Dollar volume is up three per cent to $460.2 million from last year’s $447.8 million.

The spring market usually brings an increase in listings, and April followed that tradition. Listings rose four per cent to 1,295, although year-to-date listings are down slightly to 3,971 from 3,989. Compared to the 4,475 properties posted in the first four months of 2017, however, listings are down significantly.

“People came out of hibernation and said, it’s time,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR. “We’re seeing the beginning of a spring market, which is nice.”

Other factors potentially influencing the market include stable interest rates and lower prices, he added. “There’s less inventory and people are buying what they’re finding on the market,” Yochim said. “It’s feeling more like it’s time to make that move.”

In the city of Saskatoon, the number of properties brought to market actually fell two per cent in April to 774, down from 787 last year and significantly down from the 842 listed in April 2017. Year-to-date, 2,511 homes have been listed, down three per cent from 2,594 in the same period of 2018. Listings in 2017 were considerably higher, at 3,024.

Active listings in Saskatoon as of April 30 were down three per cent to 1,778 from 1,834 last year, and up four per cent in the region, to 1,083.

New Saskatoon real estate listings added to MLS in April 2019

April sales in the city proper came in at 380, up 14 per cent from last year’s 333 and generating a 16 per cent increase in the dollar volume, to $130.4 million. That figure is up from both 2018 and 2017, when $112.7 million and $113.6 million in sales were recorded, respectively. So far this year, Saskatoon sales are up seven per cent to 1,047, up from 978 in 2018.

Saskatoon homes sales through the MLS for April 2019

The average selling price in the city increased one per cent to $343,121 in April, up from $338,438 last year. Year-to-date, the price remains down by two per cent at $327,995. The region surrounding Saskatoon, including towns and cities such as Warman, Martensville and Dalmeny, saw a whopping 25 per cent increase in dollar volume to $31 million on 105 sales, up 36 per cent from 77 last year. The average price was down eight per cent to $295,780.

Saskatoon home prices for April 2019

Stronger sales activity was reflected in Saskatoon’s sales to listing ratio, which at 49 per cent is considered a balanced market. “It’s an encouraging sign,” said Yochim. “A balanced market offers a good equilibrium, with a good balance of buyers and product from sellers. Depending on how long it lasts, it helps slow the decline in pricing.”

New housing starts are down considerably, which is also affecting the market. March, for example, saw a 33 per cent drop in single-family home starts and a 70 per cent fall in multiple units. It will take some time before the rising demand spurs more building because there is always a lag between an improvement in sales and starts,” Yochim said.

Prince Albert and region also recorded improved home sales, which rose 25 per cent to 60 units, up from 48 last year. Dollar volume jumped 26 per cent to $12.2 million from $9.7 million last April. Listings were up a marginal two per cent, to 168 from 165. In the city itself, sales were up 41 per cent to 38. “That’s encouraging for P.A. because the market was quite depressed for a number of months,” Yochim said.

Activity was less robust in the Battlefords region. Sales rose 17 per cent in April to 35, up from 30 last April, but dollar volume dropped 35 per cent to $5 million from $8 million. Listings, however, fell seven per cent to 138.

“Every market, including the strengthening Saskatoon market, comes with its own challenges for buyers and sellers,” noted Yochim.

Jason Yochim is the CEO of SRAR


An early spring for Saskatoon housing in March 2019: SRAR

After a fairly strong February, the city of Saskatoon’s March housing market had spring in its step as both new listings and sales rose over last year, by five and 11 per cent respectively.

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 702 listings were posted to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 668 last March, but significantly down from 850 in 2017.

Saskatoon real estate listings (new and active) via MLS for March 2019

Sales jumped 11 per cent to 258, up from 233 last year but down from 308 in March 2017.

Saskatoon real estate sales via MLS for March 2019

At the same time, the average selling price dropped four per cent to $316,445, down from just over $328,000 a year earlier, partly due to a higher proportion of entry-level home sales below $400,000. There was also a significant decrease in the number of sales recorded between $400,000 and $450,000. Even so, the dollar volume of homes sold increased seven per cent to just over $81.6 million, up from $76.5 million a year earlier.

Saskatooreal estate prices for homes sold via MLS in March 2119

“We’re coming into the spring market, and the degradation of prices over the last three year has made it a little more attractive out there. People do get a little bit more optimistic in the spring,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR.

“Some of that optimism may have sprung from the federal government’s recent policy announcement regarding changes to home buyers’ plan, which provides a five per cent interest-free loan on existing homes, and 10 per cent on new homes, to first-time buyers. Our industry has been lobbying for changes such as this for a long time.”

The Saskatoon Region, which includes smaller communities in the Census Metropolitan Area, saw a five per cent increase in listings, to 1,084 (up from 1,034 in 2017) and a four per cent increase in monthly sales, to 359 (up from 345). Listings generally begin to trend upward as March, and spring, approach.

Excluding Saskatoon, regional listings were flat with last March and sales fell nine per cent to 77, down from 85. The selling price dropped 12 per cent to $275,000. In 2019 so far, Saskatoon and region listings, taken together, are down two per cent to 2,675, 1,736 of those in the city proper. Sales are up two per cent to 929, up from 909 in 2018, and dollar volume has fallen one per cent to $213 million, down from $215.5 million. Active listings sat at 3,184 at the end of March, down one per cent, with 1,611 of those in Saskatoon, down four per cent.

While the 2019 market has been kinder to home sellers than in the last three years, it remains important to price properties appropriately to present conditions, said Yochim. The sales to listings ratio was 37 per cent in March, which still signifies a buyers’ market.

“Home sellers, not to mention buyers, can benefit from the knowledge a REALTOR® brings to a housing transaction. REALTORS® know how to help a seller arrive at a realistic price, and they are also professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics. They can guide sellers, and buyers, through the process, and help them make the best decisions.”


The spring market has had a slower start in Prince Albert and region, where listings rose four percent to 128 (from 123 last March) and sales fell 10 per cent to 38, down from 42. Dollar volume was down 29 per cent to $6.7 million, from $9.5 million in the same month of 2018. However, the statistics tend to appear more dramatic to the smaller size of the market.

It was a similar story in The Battlefords region, where listings rose five per cent to 120 units, up from 114 a year ago, and sales fell three per cent to 32. However, that was a drop of just one unit from last year’s 33 sales. Dollar volume fell 37 per cent to $4.5 million from just over $7 million. The region did, however, see an increase in the average price of four per cent to $188,000. Dollar volume was down 22 per cent to $4.5 million.

“The market is considerably more challenged in smaller cities. Saskatoon hasn’t been affected as much on sales activity because of our diversified economy.”

Jason Yochim, CEO, SRAR


Listings drop while home sales rise in Saskatoon region, February 2019: SRAR

Despite the very cold temperatures in February, Saskatoon and region home sellers found a little warmth as new listings dropped 7% and sales rose 6%.

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 731 homes were listed, down from 783 in the same month of last year, while sales rose to 296 from 280.

The dollar volume of homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) rose 4%, to $95.8 million from $92.4 million.

Year to date, listings dropped 7% to 1,591, sales were up 1% to 570, and the dollar volume was down a marginal 1% to $180.8 million.

Excluding the region, new Saskatoon listings were down 8.6% in February to 478 — the fewest since 2013 — while sales held steady with last year, rising by one to 211. Months of inventory dropped to 6.7 from 7.5 last February.

City homes listed to date in 2019, at 1,033, are at their lowest level in nine years. February statistics indicate a change in a market that has been declining for four years.

Saskatoon residential real estate sales by month from February 2019

“Sales have stabilized somewhat, and inventory levels are coming down,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR (Norm’s note: The inventory of active residential listing available to Saskatoon home buyers is at its lowest point in four years for the end of February). “As an optimist, I believe and hope it will continue. However, people have to be confident that the economy is improving before committing to the purchase of a home.”

Saskatoon real estate listings (new and active) by month from February 2019

He noted that while some sectors of the economy, such as potash mining, are doing well, others are less robust. “It’s not that people aren’t working; they are. But they won’t upgrade unless they have confidence in their situations.”

The average price in Saskatoon also recovered slightly to $338,268, up 2.3% from last February. Yochim cautioned that average prices can be misleading because the basket of sales in any given month can be very different from another.

For example, if two or three high-priced homes sell, that can significantly skew the average. A better gauge, said Yochim, is the Home Price Index (HPI), which tracks prices over time based on a benchmark determined 15 years ago. Saskatoon’s overall HPI, including apartment-style condos, was $282,600 last month, down 3% from last year. The most expensive category, two-storey single-family homes, was down 1% at $356,000.

Saskatoon residential sale prices by month from February 2019

Saskatoon remains a buyers’ market, with a sales-to-listing ratio of 44; but the ratio has risen from 34 in January, for a year-to-date ratio of 40. A ratio of 50 is a balanced market, while a ratio of 60 denotes a sellers’ market.

“Even in a buyers’ market, sellers can successfully sell their homes,” said Yochim. “The most important aspect to achieving a sale is pricing a specific property to match the current market conditions.

Jason Yochim, CEO, SRAR


Saskatoon home prices show annual declines in January 2019: SRAR

Average Saskatoon home sale prices were down 12 percent year-over-year in January to $302,412. By comparison, the average price in January of 2017 and 2018 was $341,260 and $344,720 respectively. The challenge with averages is that the numbers can be skewed in a given period and are therefore not a reliable reflection of pricing. For this reason, the Canadian Real Estate Association created the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) for major cities to give a more accurate reflection of pricing trends.

The HPI establishes attributes for a handful of typical housing styles; Single Family, One Storey, Two Storey, Townhouse, Apartment and a composite of all five. It then establishes a base value to each with the starting point of 2005. From that starting point, changes in value are recorded over time to get a better sense of what is happening to pricing and where prices may be trending. For example, the MLS® HPI value for a typical single-family home in January of 2005 was $140,400. This value reached its peak in May of 2015 at $329,500. At the end of January 2019, this value is at $304,300, down from $307,300 last January. This indicates a less drastic decline in year-over-year values than the average price of a sold Saskatoon home would suggest.

Saskatoon residential sale prices by month for homes sold through MLS in January 2019

The total MLS® dollar volume for sales in the Saskatoon Region for January was $84 million, down six percent from a year ago and comparable to 2017. In spite of this dollar volume decline, January home sales on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in Saskatoon declined by only one percent in January to 199 transactions. The region surrounding Saskatoon had 60 MLS® sales in January, only five fewer than last January and 18 percent more than in January 2017.

Saskatoon Residential sales through MLS for January 2019

Residential MLS® listing totals for January were the lowest in the past six years with 555 new listings introduced to the market, down ten percent from last January. For the market surrounding Saskatoon, the number of new MLS® listings was unchanged from a year ago with 216 units listed for sale. “New listings to the market are not always houses being introduced for the first time to the market,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR). “Many new listings are homes that did not sell in the initial listing attempt and are relisted, often at a revised price.” The total number of active listings as at the end of last month was 1,450 compared with 1,529 last year. “It’s positive to see the overall number of active listings decline to prepare the way for prices to recover,” adds Yochim. “Some price ranges still have a good supply to choose from while others do not.

Saskatoon MLS listings, new and active for January 2019

Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer – Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®

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