Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (December 29–January 2 2009)

Goodbye 2008! My best wishes for a happy New Year for each and every one of you Saskatoon real estate junkies.

Before I get started on this week’s review I just have a couple of comments about the graphs you’ll be seeing in this week’s post. Initially, they might be a tad bit confusing but I think you’ll see what I’m trying to do here. I thought it would be best if we could track the 2009 data against the 2008 data, so I’m using the completed 2008 graphs as a starting point. I’ve added a new data series for each of the numbers we track through the year and brought it in on the left side of the graph. At this point, the 2009 numbers are single points. I’ve made last years trend lines about 50% transparent hoping that they’ll be visible, but somewhat unobtrusive. The 2009 data will be laid on top of it, using the same colors and markers as the previous year. Hopefully, it’s not too cluttered and difficult to read.

As far as sales and listings are concerned, the first week of 2009 couldn’t have been any less exciting. The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR) was closed Wednesday through Friday so Realtors were only able to report sales on Monday and Tuesday. There were a total of 16 residential sales reported including 10 single-family homes, 3 condominiums, 2 duplexes and one residential care facility. The duplexes and the care home managed to deliver the residential category from its lowest sales week in at least a year, but alas, condo and house sales managed to decline 2 units from the previous week to settle at just 13 units and reaching our lowest point on the graph in 53 weeks.

New listings of condos and houses perked up some as 20 new listings made their way to market, up 5 units from the week before. Included amongst them were 18 single-family homes and 2 condominiums. Total active Saskatoon real estate listings (residential) tumbled hard for the third straight month as a rash of month end expired listings exited the MLS system. Currently, there are a total of 1,121 residential properties for sale (down from 1,292 last week) including 671 houses and 378 condos. Single-family home listings peaked at 1,059 in August, while condos found their high point at the close of October when 530 units were offered for sale on the Saskatoon MLS. Here's the big question on every agent’s mind? Will all of these expired listings resurface for another go at the market this spring?

Let’s get to prices. You’ll recall that last week the average selling price fell through the floor reaching its lowest level for the 2008 calendar year at just $214,550. Well, this week it roared back to more typical levels reaching $265,492, but down about $4,000 from the number recorded for the first week of 2008. The six-week average edged down slightly falling from $270,782 last week to finish at $269,489, or about $12,000 higher than the same week last year. The four-week median lost $1,000 from the previous week and was down an equal amount as compared to the same week in 2008.

The average underbid picked up some steam again rising to $15,625 from $12,525 the week before. The “up to $5,000” range shrunk significantly and represented just 7% of recorded sales, compared to 33% the week before while the $5,001-10,000 underbid range ballooned from just 13% to 31% of sales. The $10,001-15,000 range shrunk to 15% from 20% the week before. The deals that were struck with a discount greater than $15,000 increased significantly from 34% to 47%. I am patiently waiting for SRAR to report their December sales stats and hope to have those numbers posted early in the week. As always, our “Closer Look” will follow and provide a breakdown of how houses and condos did compared to the entire residential category. Having taken a preliminary look at the numbers, these upcoming monthly reports promise to be more interesting than most. Try to find your way back here once or twice during the next week for a full report.

I want to say thank you again for reading and participating here. 2008 brought the domain over 242,000 unique user sessions, up from about 170,000 in 2007. You, and others who read here viewed over 1,000,000 pages through the course of the year. We’re certainly no Google, but your visits helped push us to the number 9 position on Point2’s “Performance Index” at the close of 2008. The Point2 Performance Index measures the overall effectiveness of each member’s internet marketing effort giving weight to factors like visits, page views, presentation of listings and responsiveness to inquiries. There are currently over 200,000 real estate websites in the Point2 network, so we’re feeling pretty good about being in the top ten. Thank you!

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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