Gripped by a sudden and severe chill, the Saskatoon real estate market cooled this week as residential sales fell to just 33 units, down ten from the previous week, and lower by six when compared against the same week last year.
New listing activity moved in the opposite direction with 136 Saskatoon homes being added to the MLS® database. That’s 36 more than were listed the week before, and a decline of two from the same period of 2019.
MLS® inventory began its slow and steady upward climb as the number of Saskatoon homes for sale on the system grew from 1219 last week to 1268 today, which is down from 1409 at this time last year. The levels recorded over the past two weeks are the lowest that we have seen since the first week of March 2014.
Reaching peak levels in 2017, the housing inventory numbers have been falling slowly but consistently since that time. Given the very small numbers of construction starts we’ve seen over the past two years, I expect that this trend will likely continue through 2020. It will be some time before we can call it a shortage, but if demand continues to roll with the momentum it gained through last year we may in fact see some modest upward pressure on prices. That said, I think there is a bit of a “pent-up” supply of ready sellers who would love to unload a property that they are currently “underwater” on. As prices stabilize and edge higher, those homes will steady the supply and keep us from reaching “shortage” levels.
The current inventory is made up of 731 single-family detached homes, down from 783 at this time last year, and 475 condos, representing an annual decline of 71 units.
After slipping fairly sharply last week, entry-level buyers continued to dominate the sales board and pushed the median sale price for the week down another 50K to $270,000. A near absence of upper-end sales (just two deals above $500K and none above $600,000) helped bring the average price for the week sharply lower to just $278,739. That’s the lowest it’s been since the same week last year when it failed to reach $240,000.
Both of our longer-term measures headed lower on a weekly basis while maintaining annual gains. The six-week average price slipped close to eight thousand dollars from last week to $326,815 to find itself up about eighty-five hundred dollars from a year ago. Meanwhile, the four-week median price fell just over 14K from last week to settle at $315,750. That’s up nearly 30K from a year earlier when the four-week median price entered a strange slump that persisted until mid-February and then suddenly turned around. This leads me back to my repeated warning that prices are difficult to track in any meaningful way when sales levels are this low. At just 33 deals, a few sales (present or absent) can drive these averages significantly.
No sellers won the overbid lottery this past week. The only sales that went above list were new homes that had been on the market for some time, which suggests that the buyer ultimately negotiated additional improvements in their contract. Meanwhile, 31 of the week’s 33 sales recorded a below list price sale generating an average discount of $12,668.
Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ratio looked like on this week’s sales. Please note that this chart may show over list price sales, even when I have reported the number as 0. Those sales are typically new properties that spent some period of time on the market, and most likely sold and included additional improvements that were not reflected in the original list price. For example, a new home listed at $450,000 sells at a price of $490,000 after 120 days on the market may have included a basement development that was not anticipated in the listing 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.
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