Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (August 4-7 2009)

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (August 4-7 2009)
Short weeks following a long weekend almost always produce fewer home sales, and this week was no exception for the Saskatoon real estate market. Unit sales of single-family houses and condominiums slid to seventy-seven properties, down twenty-five sales from the previous week, and reaching their lowest level since the second week of June. On the other hand, this same week in 2008was one of the top-ten losers for the year with firm sales of just thirty-five properties, so seventy-seven sales actually looks pretty good.

New listings were another story altogether as local agents brought one hundred and one Saskatoon homesto the market, an increase of ten units over the previous week, and seventeen fewer homes than were added during the same period last year.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

In what’s starting to look like a near definite trend, the “active” inventory of Saskatoon MLS listings continued its downward trek falling to 1212 properties, slipping just nineteen homes from last week, but more than twenty percent lower than it was at this time last year when it sat at 1555. As of this morning, we have 723 houses, 395 condos, 25 semi-detached homes, 14 mobiles, 11 vacant lots, 32 duplexes, and 12 properties, which apparently, are best described as something “other” than those aforementioned housing types.

In 2008, the inventory of active listings continued to grow aggressively for another nine weeks to peak at 1756. In 2009, active listings peaked much earlier at 1528and have been trending lower since late May. Demand, and general interest in the Saskatoon housing market seems to remain remarkably strong, so agents are starting to hear more complaints from home buyers about a poor selection. Premium homes that are in good condition and realistically priced, can be expected to attract interest fairly quickly. While I continue to feel that the market is somewhat fragile, it has a reasonably good feeling of balance to it. Almost every transaction involves a negotiation, and neither buyers nor sellers are displaying an air of cockiness. It’s the kind of market that I enjoy working most. I hope that listings start to level off some and that we don’t return to a major imbalance of supply and demand in the other direction.

In pricing news, forty-eight adjustments were recorded throughout the week and nineteen of twenty-two canceled or withdrawn listings re-appeared as a new listing, most sporting a new, lower price.

Sale prices took a bit of a downturn as the average selling price of a Saskatoon home slid nine thousand dollars on a week-over-week basis to $281,400. Following six consecutive weeks of gains, the six-week average finally let up, sliding four thousand dollars from last week to $283,736, down from $296,934 for the same week in 2008. The four-week median came down just under a thousand bucks to $275,000, off thirteen thousand dollars from this same week in 2008.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid on properties that sold below the asking price took a pretty sharp drop, falling to just $9,173 from $13,550 the week before. That represents an average discount in the range of 3.2%, about 1.5% lower than what we’ve been seeing most weeks. Sixty-six percent of all sellers managed to strike a deal within ten thousand dollars of their asking price, and for the first time in a long while there wasn’t a single-sale that was discounted by twenty-five thousand dollars or more. Overbids were almost as rare with just two properties attracting offers above asking price, with an average overbid of just $1275.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

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Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

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