Please note that the association’s comments often touch on “year-to-date” numbers, and some of their comments may touch on sales within the association’s full trading area. The charts that you see on these posts , as always, reflect data for activity within the city if Saskatoon on a month-to-month basis over the past five years.
Despite a predominately negative outlook in the media regarding the housing market in western Canada, it seems that buyer confidence is beginning to gain momentum as we enter the spring market in Saskatoon. In the first two months of 2015 unit sales were down 22 percent from the same period in 2014. In March, the 348 transactions in Saskatoon represented just a ten percent reduction from March of last year.
It appears that momentum has been gradually building in the past couple of weeks. "The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value of $313,700 for the Saskatoon market continued its upward trend that started in January," states Jason Yochim, CEO for the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. The HPI is the most accurate indicator of the direction that the housing market is trending. "Although the increase is slight it reverses a predominately downward trend in the latter half of 2014," adds Yochim.
In some neighbourhoods this market trend is sharper than others while in some areas the market is actually trending downward. "With this kind of differentiation of neighbourhood activity, the importance of the insight of a knowledgeable professional REALTOR® cannot be overstated," cautions Yochim. Currently there are 1,748 active residential properties in Saskatoon which is up 30 percent from the same time last year. This represents approximately five months of inventory which is down from eight months in January. Almost 1,100 of the homes for sale in Saskatoon are single family homes with approximately one third of these constructed in the past year.
Of interest to many is the sales to listing ratio (percentage of listings that actually sell) which is an indicator of whether the market favours buyers or sellers. A sales to listing ratio between 40 percent and 60 percent is considered balanced. This percentage is typically lower in the first quarter and currently sits at 39 percent which is just outside of "balanced territory" and 12 percentage points below the five year average of 51 percent for the first quarter of the year. "An increase in inventory acts as a control mechanism for housing prices to keep them in check and also provides greater selection for the home purchaser," comments Yochim. “Buyers get frustrated and complacent when there is little to choose from and when they sense the market is climbing out of reach. More selection is likely why there are more buyers in the market comfortable with making a purchase that fits their needs and budget. This also means that sellers need to be careful when pricing their home in a competitive market," he adds.
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