Eighty-five Saskatoon houses and condominiums were offered for sale this week, down eight units from the previous week, and up five from the same week last year. An additional seven properties (duplexes, apartment building, etc.) brought total listings for the Saskatoon real estate market to ninety-five this week. Presently, there are a total of 710 single-family detached houses and 406 condominiums for sale on the local MLS system. Total active residential listings sit at 1,192 units, up just one from the week before.
Residential unit sales reached seventy-one units including sixty-nine houses and condos to claim the best sales week in terms of overall unit numbers since the week of September 22-26 of last year. I should point out that sales of houses and condos for the same week last year reached 91 units so while “units” are showing some signs of improving we have been down for three of four sales weeks that fall into this year. At this point there is little doubt in my mind that we will fall short of matching last January’s record breaking sales numbers of 300 units, but with a total of 166 properties already reported as firmly sold, and weekly sales showing some solid improvements it seems likely that we will be able to produce sales sufficient to claim a “second best January.” The previous best for a January prior to 2008 was just 219 residential properties. In spite of all of the doom and gloom surrounding the economy, and real estate in general, home sales in Saskatoon are better than average over the past two months. No doubt, some of you will find my optimism grossly offensive, but demand for Saskatoon homes is strong. Cuts to interest rates and price drops over the last quarter have improved conditions for buyers and they are clearly responding. Naturally, inventory continues to be the wild card which will influence future prices as well as days to sell. Wise sellers will realize that they have their challenges ahead of them, likely for some time to come.
Over the course of the week, a total of 45 price changes were recorded on the Saskatoon MLS. Additionally, 25 listings were canceled and re-listed, most of those offered at a new lower price. The average selling price of houses and condos dipped down $10,000 from the week before to finish at $268,072. The six-week average increased slightly to $274,026 claiming a gain of nearly $20,000 over the same week last year. The four-week median price slid $3,000 to $262,000, remaining up just $7,000 from the same week a year earlier. The median sale price for the week was just $247,000, down significantly from recent weeks when it topped $270K. Clearly, like the weekly average, this number is subject to wild swings on a weekly basis. We’ve seen it move from $195K to $285K from week to week over the last quarter.
At first glance, the underbid activity looks very similar to the previous week. The average underbid saw little change and maintained some stickiness around the $13K mark. The percentage of sellers who struck a deal within $5,000 of their asking price held steady at 35%, while the $5,001-$10,000 range took a slide from 27% last week to 22% this week. The buyers lost from that category stepped up to the $10,001-$15,000 which gained five percentage points to finish at 20%. The higher discount categories showed little change over the previous week.
At second glance, and upon closer inspection you’ll see something occurring here that hasn’t happened in awhile; a full 10% of sales from this week traded at or above the seller’s asking price. Four above list price sales generated an average “overbid” of $11,550.
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Norm Fisher Royal LePage Vidorra