Saskatoon real estate market closes the year strong - December 2019: SRAR

The official Saskatoon real estate market numbers for the month of December have been released, again, ahead of the SRAR’s formal media release. Since it’s already January 10, I thought I’d get these results out to you now. 

On January 1 of this year the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR), the Association of Regina REALTORS® (ARR) and the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® (ASR) amalgamated into one new organization called the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA). The three aforementioned associations will soon cease to exist so it’s unclear to me at this point whether SRAR will actually deliver a media release this month. Should they do so, I will post it in the comments section of this post.

Sales post annual increase for the first year in five

December 2019 brought an exceptionally strong close to 2019 as local REALTORS® reported 203 residential sales to the multiple listing service® for a year-over-year increase of 24 percent. 

Across the year, Saskatoon real estate agents completed 3604 residential sales within the city of Saskatoon to end a four-year streak of declining unit sales. Overall, the number of Saskatoon homes that traded hands in 2019 increased by 8.4 percent for the year.

Single-family home sales led the way with a total of 2428 sales, up from 2279 the previous year but still well below the banner 2014 sales year when 2974 detached houses traded in Saskatoon. Condo sales grew to 1017 across 2019, to show an impressive gain over 2018 when 918 units sold. 

Saskatoon home sales by month and category for December 2019

The number of Saskatoon homes for sale reaches its lowest point in nearly six years

During December, local agents produced 302 MLS listings, down 311 from December of last year.

At the close of 2019, a total of 7745 residential listings had been processed for the year, for an annual decline of three percent. 

Active listing inventory sat at just 1222 as the calendar turned and a new decade began. That amounts to an 18 percent drop from last year at this time. It’s the smallest number of active listings for the close of any month since February of 2014.

While it’s anyone’s guess as to what might occur this year, you can see from the chart, there is a clear trend of declining active listings inventory. Using the SWAG method (statistical wild-ass guess) of market evaluation, I expect this trend to continue through 2020. My guess is based almost entirely on the fact that employment conditions seem to favour an expansion of demand, and new home construction numbers (housing starts through 2019) will not lead to a huge number of new listings from that sector.

New and active Saskatoon real estate listings by month to December 2019

Prices show continued improvement and greater stability at the close of 2019

Saskatoon home prices continued to stabilize as the year closed. In December, the average sale price of a Saskatoon home was $333,857 which is down from $339,132 last December. 

As I’ve said before, looking at prices in December rarely provides a clear picture. Sales numbers are relatively small and just a couple of sales at the upper-end or lower-end of the market will have an impact on average prices that makes year-over-year comparisons difficult. For instance, the average price jumped more than $30,000 in September compared to the previous September. No reasonable analysis could conclude that the price of a Saskatoon home had actually increased ten percent. It was simply a reflection of more upper-end activity than the previous year.

The average price over the entire year is $331,592, down less than $1500 from 2018 when it was $333,055. The six-month rolling average price is now at $332,024. That’s down just $600 from where it was for the final six months of 2018.

The MLS® Home price index, which provides more of an apples to apples comparison indicates that the benchmark single-family home is down just one percent annually to $303,200. The benchmark price of an apartment condo is still down a substantial five percent to $169,500. Meanwhile, townhome prices show an annual increase of just over one percent as they rise to $218,500.

Saskatoon home prices by month and category to December 2019

For those who bought at the peak, there would certainly be some challenges to selling now, but it seems that we may have found the bottom.

Thank you for reading my updates. I’m always happy to answer your real estate questions. Feel free to reach out by voice or text at 306-241-6676 or email me at norm at teamfisher dot com.

Norm Fisher

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Norm Fisher, TeamFisher

About Norm

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 750 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.Less...

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 750 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.

Norm is known for his passion for technology and can most often be found exploring and experimenting with the next big thing in real estate marketing. He was the first Saskatoon real estate agent to promote a home online and has been an early adopter of new technologies ever since. “Everything about this business has changed over the past 20 years, and it will happen again in the next ten. An open mind and a curious attitude are all that’s needed to continue to find new ways to serve our clients by delivering a faster, smoother, worry-free transaction,” says Norm.

In his spare time, Norm enjoys Crossfit and cycling, some years accumulating over 2,000 kilometres on the road. He’s a strong supporter of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and enjoys raising funds by joining fun, fitness-related initiatives like the Grouse Grind for Shelter. In 2015, he trekked the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. In 2017 he walked the southern highlands of Iceland across mountains, sand, snow, ice, lava fields and forest for seven days. Collectively those initiatives raised over a million dollars for Canadian women's shelters.

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