It may be “the most wonderful time of the year” for family time, goodwill, and amazing food, but it’s not much of a week for real estate sales. I’m grateful for that. It’s been nice to have a little downtime to relax and reflect. I hope the holidays have been equally nice to you.
Even though the numbers are small, I’m pleased to bring you my final weekly review for 2019, and the last week in review for this decade! I look forward to continuing to keep you updated with the latest sales, listings, and pricing trends as we move forward.
Saskatoon real estate sales fell to their lowest level for the calendar year this past week with just 18 residential trades being reported to the MLS® system, down handily from the 66 units that sold the previous week, but enough to match sales for the same week last year.
New listings came in at 28, down from 76 last week, and up by three compared to activity recorded over the final week of 2018.
The inventory of Saskatoon homes for sale stayed pretty stable as we approached the close of the year. As of this morning, there are 1347 active residential listings for sale on the multiple listing service®, down just six from last week’s close, but well below the 1498 properties that were for sale on the MLS® a year ago. This is the smallest number of active listings for any week since mid-January of 2015 when inventory numbers were beginning to ramp up to break the 2000 mark for the first time.
Single-family homes inventory is at 791 this week, down just one from the previous week’s close, for an annual decline of 45 units. Condo inventory sits at 489 for a weekly drop of seven and an annual decline of 79.
Given current demand (sales over the past 30 days) which appears to have some momentum, and the total number of available MLS® listings, the “sales to listing ratio” shows the Saskatoon real estate market as having a supply of listings that would take 6.2 months to exhaust. A four to six month supply is considered to be a balanced market in which neither buyers nor sellers have a distinct advantage. A supply greater than six months is considered to be a buyer’s market, while a supply that would take less than four months to exhaust is a seller’s market.
Just like averages, this particular metric, while useful, can be misleading if we fail to remember that buyers and sellers aren’t buying an index fund. They aren’t buying or selling “the market”. They are always trading a product that fits within a much narrower market niche. It’s important to understand how the supply and demand dynamic is affecting the specific property they wish to buy or sell.
To make the point, let’s look at supply and demand for the two major housing categories, single-family homes, and condominiums.
There are currently 791 single-family homes for sale in Saskatoon. Over the past 30 days, 146 homes in this category have traded.
791 listings / 146 sales = 5.4 month supply = balanced market
Meanwhile, there are 489 active condo listings. Over the past 30 days, there have been 59 sales.
489 listings / 59 sales = 8.3 month supply = buyer’s market.
Buyers and sellers should drill much deeper than this to fully understand how the supply-demand equation affects them. There will be significant differences across areas and price ranges so be sure to ask your agent for the specifics that relate to the area, price range, and housing category that applies to you.
Let’s do one more bit of math to make the point crystal clear.
There are currently 202 single-family homes for sale in Saskatoon with a price of between $300,000 and $400,000. Over the past 30 days, 51 of these homes have traded.
202 listings / 51 sales = 4 month supply = balanced market (just barely).
So, a seller of a single-family home that is priced between $300,000 and $400,000 is in a much better position than the broader market would suggest. That’s useful information for both the buyer and seller in this transaction to understand going into the negotiation. People who are armed with the right information can come to an agreement much easier than those who are operating with bad information.
Reality versus fantasy.
Saskatoon home prices were higher this week on every measure we track. The weekly median price grew by nearly 30K to close at $350,750 as entry-level buyers pulled a disappearing act. There were no sales below 200K and only two below $250,000. The weekly average price grew just as much as it jumped to $373,480. Again, with just 18 sales in the mix, it’s easy to see how just a few big sales or small sales can skew the numbers.
The six-week average price took a jump to $331,773 for a weekly increase of about nine thousand dollars and an annual loss of six thousand dollars. The four-week median price was least moved as it inched up just a few hundred dollars from last week to reach $316,635 for an annual decline of more than eleven thousand dollars.
As is often the case, Christmas week produced the largest average discount of the year as 17 of the week’s sales reported a sale price below the asking price. Those buyers saw an average price drop of $18,751 from the seller’s listed price. That number was sharply skewed by one upper-end sale that went 70K below the asking price. There were no overbids at all this week.
Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ratio looked like on this week’s sales. Please note that those sales that do show a sale price that is greater than the list price are all new properties that spent some period of time on the market, and most likely included additional improvements that were not reflected in the original list price. We report these to you as “at list price sales”, which is likely too generous in some cases, but it’s simply not practical to obtain the full details of each sale.
More weekly stats and numbers for those who love them.
Thank you again for reading the week in review. I appreciate you and wish you the very best for 2020.
I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. Reach out by voice or text at 306-241-6676 or email me at norm at teamfisher.com
Royal LePage Vidorra