December home sales through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) totaled 164 in Saskatoon, 20 percent fewer than were sold in December of 2017. The region surrounding Saskatoon had 43 MLS® sales in December of 2018, down just one from the same period last year. The total number of residential sales for 2018 in Saskatoon was 3,329, a five percent decline compared to the previous year. 2018 is the fourth straight year of declining Saskatoon home sales. By comparison, there were 4,417 MLS® homes that traded hands in 2014, a peak sales year for Saskatoon. There was no change in the total annual sales for the surrounding region with 986 residential MLS® transactions recorded.
The total dollar volume for MLS® residential sales in Saskatoon in December was $55.6 million, down 20 percent from December of 2017. The total dollar volume for the entire year reached $1.108 billion, down eight percent from 2017. The combined dollar volume for Saskatoon and region last year was down four percent for the year at $1.524 billion.
Residential MLS® listing totals for the year were also lower than in previous years. 7,956 residential listings were recorded for Saskatoon in 2018. This is an 11 percent reduction from 2017’s total of 8,969. The five-year average for new listings in Saskatoon is 9,081 per year.
“Even though sales are down, having fewer new listings has helped,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR). Active listings fell to 1,487 by the end of the year. This is consistent with the five-year average of 1,480 available properties and well below peak listing numbers seen in July of 2017 when there were 2,210 homes for sale in the city of Saskatoon. “Available properties will vary depending on the neighbourhood, price range and style,” cautions Yochim. “Some price ranges still have a good supply to choose from while others do not.”
When it comes to home price trends, the best indicator of what is happening with home prices is the MLS® Home Price Index. The Home Price Index establishes attributes for a typical single-family home with a base value in 2005. From that starting point, changes in value are recorded over time to get a better sense of where prices may be trending. The value for the typical single-family home when the index began in January of 2005 was $140,400. This value reached its peak in May of 2015 at $329,500. At the end of December, it had slipped to $307,000, down from $310,900 a month earlier. December’s number is virtually unchanged from a year ago, however, it had been trending downward since the middle of 2018.
Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer – Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®