The Saskatoon home market is showing positive signs in a few of the key areas. “There are a few key statistics that we watch ever month to get a sense of where our market is at and where it may be headed,” says Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® .“We keep a close eye on the number of transactions, the inventory levels and the change in pricing," he adds.
In February, there were 229 residential sales recorded, up marginally from 226 for the same month in 2016. Year-to-date, Saskatoon home sales are up four percent compared to the same period in 2016 with 558 unit sales. This is comparable to the number of home sales in 2015. The total dollar volume of those sales was just over $186 million, representing a two percent increase over last year.
At the end of February, the inventory of available residential properties on the MLS® system in Saskatoon was 1,659 units, 5.4 percent lower than it was at the same time last year. The lower inventory levels are largely due to a significant drop in the number of new listings added to the MLS® system. So far this year, there have been 1,337 new listings added to the system compared to 1,410 last year. When comparing new listings for the last month, there were 15.7 percent fewer properties added to the market this February than there were last February.
A decline in new listings coupled with an increase in sales resulted in a sales-to-listing ratio (new listings/sales) of 37.4 percent in February. This is a significant improvement from last February when this ratio was 30.9 percent. A market with a sales-to-listing ratio below 40 percent is considered to be a solid buyers market but this indicates a positive move towards a more balanced market. “Although we are seeing these positive indicators quite early on, these statistics indicate a shift in the marketplace in a positive direction,” comments Yochim.
Home prices remain relatively unchanged year-to-date with the average price down a mere 0.7 percent to just under $340,000. The median price of $320,000 represents a slight drop of 1.6 percent, year-over-year. The Home Price Index (HPI) is considered to be the most accurate measure of home values and where the market prices are trending. The HPI composite price is an aggregate of various residential home types in a particular market and is a measurement of change in value over time. A composite value was established with a base year and has been indexed on a monthly basis. The composite value in February was $297,900 representing a 1.2 percent decrease from a year ago. This value had been on a downward trend since mid-2016, which is not surprising considering elevated inventory levels through the year and a buyer’s market.
The average number of days for a home to sell in Saskatoon was 54. This is only slightly longer than in February 2016 when the average was 52 days. Homes are selling at 97 percent of their asking price, which is consistent with last year.
“The best advice I can give a seller in any market is to get professional advice when dealing with your largest asset,” adds Yochim.
Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer – Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®