Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (December 15-19 2008)

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (December 15-19 2008)

It was a far stronger week than I had expected. Perhaps Saskatoon real estate buyers were in the Christmas spirit. Overall, sellers had a better week than they did the previous week with stronger sales, higher prices and smaller underbids. Oddly, multiple offers were received on a number of properties. I am familiar with four instances where more than one buyer attempted to buy the same home. Two of the four sellers low-balled their asking price and tried the old “delayed presentation of offers” approach. Both of those properties found a number of willing bidders. One of the homes is firmly sold with a $13,000 overbid, while the other is under contract pending removal of conditions.

Through the course of the week 49 sellers in the residential category placed a sold sign on their property, up three from the week before, but down roughly 20% compared to the same week last year. Included in those unit sales were 31 single-family homes and 15 condominiums. Total residential unit sales to date in December finished the week at 131. Sales will almost certainly slow through the balance of December and there’s little doubt that we will finish the month below last year’s figure of 210 units, but it’s looking like we’ll close the month above the five-year average of 157 units, making December a far better month than we’ve seen in some time.

New listings also increased over the previous week. 62 residential properties were offered for sale on the Saskatoon MLS including 48 detached houses and 12 condominiums. Additionally, 13 of 28 properties that processed a cancellation came back as a new listing.  Total active listings continued to decline for the eighth week in a row finishing down by 50 units at 1,328 including 811 single-family homes and 435 condominiums. Active listings may well slip below 1,200 units by the first of January when, based on historical trends, we can expect to see the inventory begin to grow again.

In spite of the fact that condominium sales took a larger than typical share of the market (over 32%) once again, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home (houses and condos) bounced back more than $40,000 this week to finish at $290,715. The six-week average increased marginally from $275,914 last week to $279,240. Following a fairly significant slide last week, the four-week median inched down to $255,000 from $256,250 the week before.

Month to date, the average selling price in the entire residential category is $270,756, up nearly 6% from last December, but down roughly 3% from the final average of $278,495 in November. Perhaps more interesting, the average selling price of a Saskatoon house is sharply lower through the first two-thirds of December than it was in November sitting at just $279,057, down from $302,508. Condos are averaging $246,475 compared to just $222,834 last month. Certainly, condo prices are driven higher by a handful of luxury sales, but even if I remove four units at the high end and the low end we see a marginal increase in the average sale price. I suppose a lot could still change between now and the end of the month but I look forward to diving into these numbers a little deeper.

The average underbid was nearly 22% lower than last week moving from $19,717 to $15,455. Approximately 81% of all sales were wrapped up within $15,000 of the asking price compared to just 62% the week before. The most significant changes occur at the upper end of the underbids chart with the $10-15K category ballooning, the $15-20K category disappearing altogether, while the $20-25K and the plus $25 category both shrunk.

It’s also interesting to note that 6 of 46 house and condo sales were reported at, or above the asking price. Hardly indicative of a trend, but just the same, it’s the highest percentage we’ve seen since the week of September 22-26. As my family celebrates Christmas this will likely be my last post until next weekend. I’d like to wish you all the best of the holiday season. I hope it proves to be a happy time for you.

Thank you again for reading. 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.

Norm Fisher Royal LePage Vidorra

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