Following a month end retreat in January, the total inventory of Saskatoon real estate listings pushed higher this week and settled at 1,186 units, up from 1,124 the week before. One hundred and fifty-three residential properties were offered for sale on the Saskatoon MLS system including eighty-nine single-family homes and fifty-three condominiums to claim the largest listing week since October 6-10. House and condo listings increased fifty-four units compared to last week and gained thirty-nine units over the same week last year.
Fifty-one residential properties found a new owner, with forty-nine single-family homes and condos counted amongst them. Sales increased by three properties compared to last week, and were down by nineteen units compared to the same week last year when sixty-eight firm home sales were reported by Saskatoon real estate agents.
While the numbers suggest that overall demand is reasonable compared to longer-term averages it’s fairly hard to miss the stark differences when comparing this year’s real estate activity to last year’s numbers. Unit sales are down in five of the six weeks so far this year lagging 2008 sales by eighty-eight units. Frankly, I’m surprised that sales have been this strong given current economic conditions. I guess it’s that “Saskatchewan advantage” thing helping us keep our heads above water as some major markets deal with declines closer to 50% year-over-year. Sales may be reasonable, but to me the potentially greater concern sits on the other side of the supply and demand equation as new listings have been higher in five of six weeks this year, showing an increase of ninety-one units over the same period in 2008, and already forming some high spikes on our graph, approaching levels that we didn’t see until March last year.
Forty-two price changes were recorded over the course of the week, and nineteen cancelled listings returned to the market offered at a new price.
Encouraged by another $1 million house sale, the average selling price for the week pushed higher again reaching $298,004, up from $290,407 last week and reaching its highest level since June 23-27. Remarkably, the weekly median also increased fairly significantly climbing $15,000 over last week to reach $280,000. Still, the four-week median managed to decline marginally to $264,500, down just $500 from the previous week but up about $12,000 from the same week last year. The six-week average climbed higher to $281,773, up from about $274,000 last week, and a full $26,000 higher than it was this week last year.
Two lucky sellers managed a sale price which exceeded their asking price this week, but the overbids were fairly small by historical standards reaching $2,100 in case and just $100 in the other. Two other sellers managed a deal at the asking price while forty–five Saskatoon home sellers sharpened their pencil to strike a contract under list price at an average underbid of $17,018, the highest weekly underbid since December 8-12. Still, over 50% of this week’s sellers sold within $10,000 of the asking price.
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Norm Fisher Royal LePage Vidorra