Saskatoon home sales fell lower annually in February, as they had during each of the preceding 13 months. Local REALTORS® reported a total of 253 homes sold to the multiple listing service®, up 51 units from January, but down by 65 when compared to sales for the same month last year.
Condos and single-family home sales were equally impacted, both falling roughly 22 percent on an annual basis. Home buyers scooped up 146 detached homes last month, (the lowest number of sales for February since 2018), down 42 from the previous year. Meanwhile, condominium sales fell to 88. That’s 24 fewer condos sold than in the same month last year.
New listing activity continues to move at a remarkably slow pace. While January numbers were close to even with the start of last year, 430 new listings were still way off of what we would expect as the new year begins. February saw new listing activity fall almost 17 percent annually to just 426 homes.
Active listing numbers came close to matching what was available at the same time last year. At the close of February Saskatoon home buyers could find 944 listings showing an active status, down just ten from a year earlier.
Like last year, our own experiences when attempting to arrange showings on many of these homes told us that a huge number of them were already under contract and in a conditional period. According to reports from listing agents, many homes are receiving multiple offers quickly, so it continues to be a grind for buyers.
That said, it’s easy to get swept up in these experiences, which can be frustrating.
Statistics show that conditions have improved modestly for buyers.
At the close of February 2022 there was a five-month supply of homes available (click here for an explanation of “months of supply”). On average, homes were selling in 45 days.
This February closed with a supply that is just shy of 6.5 months and the average number of days to sell is 49.
Technically, a 6.5-month supply puts us modestly into buyer’s market territory, but again, much of the existing inventory is already spoken for so it’s more challenging to gauge.
If the market follows its typical ups and downs, we would expect to see supply, relative to demand, start to decline rapidly through March and April as more buyers pursue their home ownership dream.
The Bank of Canada’s decision to hold rates steady for the first time in a year last week is somewhat encouraging, but there’s no question that the average household is feeling some financial pressure due to the impacts of inflation.
A near equivalent decline to both sales and listings kept prices at lofty levels even as the cost of carrying a typical mortgage ballooned.
While the average sale price of a Saskatoon home slipped a couple of thousand dollars when compared to the same month a year ago (falling from $358,671 to $356,597) the MLS® Home Price Index showed substantial increases in all three of the major property types it tracks.
This is likely an effect of higher interest rates. Most people who are financing their home (and that is almost everyone) have been forced to adjust their price point lower in order to qualify, so that is going to have an impact on average prices.
However, even while the average has slipped, we see the Benchmark prices from the index move higher. In other words, you’d expect to pay more for an 1100-square-foot bungalow with a single garage in Richmond Heights than you would have a year ago.
The benchmark price of a single-family home was up from $394,900 last February to $406,000 over the same period this year.
The benchmark price of a Saskatoon townhouse went from $305,200 to $326,500.
The benchmark price of an apartment rose from $209, 100 to $231,600.
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