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.
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.
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.
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.