As expected, new Saskatoon real estate listings continued to taper off this week falling to their second lowest level for any week this year. A total of 58 residential properties were offered up for sale including 30 single-family detached houses and 15 condominiums. 26 residential listings were cancelled or withdrawn and just 10 of those made a repeat appearance as a new listing on the Saskatoon MLS system. Total active listings continued to slide for the seventh consecutive week dropping 28 units from the previous week to finish at 1,388 units including 850 houses and 449 condos, and reaching its lowest level since the week of June 16-20.
As residential sales activity picked up over the previous week, the listings and sales lines on our graph reached their closest point since February of this year. A total of 46 residential property owners managed to firm up a pre-Christmas sale. 28 houses and 17 condos found a new owner over the course of the week. This was one of the better weeks for condo sales that we’ve seen in some time. The category managed to capture 37% of total residential sales, compared to just 15% the week before. Since the first of September condos have accounted for less than 21% of total residential unit sales.
74 price changes were recorded this week, a fairly sharp increase from 50 the week before. Seller motivation remains high. That motivation is certainly reflected in the balance of this week’s numbers.
Prices took a substantial dive this week according to all three of our value indicators. The weekly average fell sharply to just $247,022, down from $270,226 the week before as it reached its lowest level since the week of February 11-15, and its third lowest level for the entire year. The six-week rolling average dipped to $275,914 from $283,832 the previous week. Finally, that stubborn four-week median price dropped from the sticky levels we’ve been seeing for about three months time, falling to $256,250 from $269,950 the week before and reaching its lowest level since the week of March 10-14.
So, what the heck happened to Saskatoon real estate prices this week? There’s no doubt that the unusually high number of condominium sales brought the averages down, but still, the average selling price of a Saskatoon house also came in sharply lower compared to the previous week falling to $257,536 from $279,331. Interestingly though, the average size of the houses that traded was just 1,123 square feet, compared to 1,200 square feet for those which traded the week before. Given that the average cost per square foot for a Saskatoon house was $242 in November, nearly $19,000 of that difference can be accounted for in the size difference over the two weeks. Are higher condo sales and smaller house sales an indication that some first time buyers are beginning to get active again? Only time will tell.
Regardless of the types of homes and the sizes of houses that traded, there’s little doubt that Saskatoon home sellers who were fortunate enough to bag an offer went all out in an effort to close the deal. The average underbid soared to $19,717 and reached its highest level this year. The percentage of home sellers who completed a sale within $10,000 of the asking price did see an increase from 41% last week, to 47% this week. At the same time, there was a sharp increase in the percentage of sellers who accepted an offer that was more than $20,000 under their list price. The $20-25K category saw an increase from just 3% last week to 11% this week, while the over $25K category moved from 15% to 18%.
I expect that similar activity will be the order of the day through the balance of December. From this point forward, buyers are in extremely short supply as the focus shifts from home buying to holidays. At the same time, seller motivation is likely to reach its peak as Saskatoon home owners put a sold sign at the very top of their Christmas wish list. If you have decided that you’ll purchase a home in the next sixty days, these next three weeks may present an opportunity to grind yourself a good buy. Once we get through this year sellers may be encouraged by an uptick in buyer activity that we would normally expect over the next few months.
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