Saskatoon real estate week in review: December 26-30, 2011

Saskatoon real estate week in review: December 26-30, 2011
The final week of sales for the Saskatoon real estate market closed as it always does. That being, very quietly. The city’s agents reported a total of 36 single-family home and condo sales to the Saskatoon multiple listing service®, 26 fewer homes then were sold the previous week, for an annual gain of six when compared against trades recorded during the same week in 2010.I’m always surprised when anyone lists their home over the holiday week, but 21 homes did find their way to the MLS® system this week, precisely the number that went live during the same week a year ago, but nearly half the number that were offered for sale the previous week.
The total inventory of active residential listings on the Saskatoon Multiple Listing Service® slipped again, as expected, falling 41 units from the previous week to 912 properties to finish well above the number recorded at the end of the same week last year when inventory plunged to just 788. It’s also worth pointing out that the same week last year closed on the 31st of December, so a slew of month end expired listings had just fallen out of the inventory when we made our weekly report. Likewise, this year, there are about 100 listings that will expire as the year closes later today, making the year-over-year gain to a less significant number than it appears today.

As of this morning, there are 510 single-family homes and 342 condominiums showing an active flag on the MLS®. By tomorrow, those numbers will have slipped to 483 and 315 respectively. At the close of the same week last year, the two categories sat at just 439 and 298 respectively. No matter how you slice it, it looks like we’ll be kicking off 2012 with nearly ten percent more inventory than we had had the opening of 2011. However, the chart for active listings makes it pretty clear that inventory levels at the start of the year don’t provide any solid signals as to where they might go.

Cancelled and withdrawn listings fell to nearly none as just nine sellers pulled their property from the market. Two of them did the immediate re-list hoping to convince the market that the listing is “new.”  Another 11 sellers changed their pricing strategy by bringing it down, while two more listings reached the end of their time on the market without a sale.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home slipped lower to $311,341 after climbing close to $20,000 over the previous two weeks. The six-week average pushed higher by twenty-four hundred dollars from last week to finish at $316,608 for an annual gain of roughly nine thousand dollars. Finally, the four-week median fell back over three thousand dollars from last week to close the week at $300,888. That’s up nearly $21K from the close of the same week last year when it slipped to just $280,000, a number that was low enough to appear out of sync with what had become the norm at that time, and a level that we haven’t reached since then. The numbers coming into 2011 almost present a better baseline for comparison of year-over-year sale prices. Using those, we see growth in the six-week average of around $11,000 and a gain to the four-week median of just $6,400.

Overbidding was pretty much a thing of the past last week, except for a few new homes reported sold substantially higher than list price in spite of lengthy market times, which we typically count as having sold at list (assuming that some extras were negotiated into the deal). Full list price sales came in at just seven, while 29 of 36 firm sales required some back and forth at the negotiating table with the sellers giving up an average of $10,900 to successfully close the sale.

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

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra

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