January is not normally one of the biggest months for real estate. We’ve just been through the holiday season, blown a wad of cash and on top of all that, it’s damned cold. Normally, only the most motivated buyers manage to get out and look at homes. This January, they were out and the numbers indicate that most of them were motivated!
Sales statistics just pulled from the Saskatoon Real Estate Board’s MLS® system show a 60% increase in dollar volume for resale homes traded in January 2007 as compared to the same month last year. There were 219 homes which traded hands, up from 173 the year before. The average selling price of a Saskatoon home jumped 27% from $149,922 in January of 2006 to $190,037 this past month.
Total active residential listings stand at just 272 homes. That’s 46% fewer properties available now as compared to last year at this time. Look for more increases to come as buyers continue to fight for a place to live.
I’ll share a couple of real examples which I think give a pretty good indication of what occurred through the month of January.
Shorebird Watch is a condo complex that is being marketed in Lakeview. They offer 2 bedroom units of approximately 870 square feet. These units hot the market in May and were priced around $80,000 at that time. A series of small increases occurred throughout the coming months and they reached $90,000 by the end of the year. January brought two $5,000 increases to boost asking prices for these homes to just over $100,000.
Consider next, Pine Creek, a Jastek project in the Lakewood area offering townhomes of approximately 1,150 square feet. They’re very nice two-storey homes with open basements and the units which are selling today are scheduled to be completed in November. On January 13 these units were priced at $153,400 for a base model with no extras. On January 14 the prices rose to $158,400. Today, the same unit is selling for $169,400, an increase of over 10% during the month of January.
Of course, not all housing units will be affected to the same degree. Properties priced below the average selling price often go up quicker as entry-level buyers scramble to try to firm up a deal before they get priced out of the market.
Make no mistake, it’s a hot market! My advice to buyers? Be prepared to pay a little too much today at the risk of paying far too much tomorrow. You must be prepared to write an attractive offer if you have much hope of seeing it fly.
My advice to sellers? Make darned sure that if you sign an MLS® listing that the home actually makes it to the MLS® system.
I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.
Royal LePage Vidorra