Saskatoon real estate week in review: January 31-February 4, 2011

In spite of growing hype that the Saskatoon real estate market is heating up, sales activity actually softened this week, compared to the last, as agents reported just fifty-one house and condo sales to the local MLS® system. That marks a decline of five units compared to last week and nine fewer than we saw during the same week last year. Is it a big deal? It’s hard to know at this stage, but following a month that finished up on a year-over-basis, it’s certainly interesting that we’ve now seen two consecutive weeks that are down on an annual basis. Perhaps the draw of pending mortgage rule changeswon’t be as big a spark to the market as some had predicted.

There was pretty brisk activity on the new listings side of the market as 126 house and condo listings made their way to the Saskatoon MLS®, up twenty-three properties from last week and higher than the 101 homes listed for sale during the same period in 2010.

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In spite of weak units sales and strong listing activity, the total inventory of Saskatoon residential listings on MLS® managed to avoid the one thousand mark, as fifty-five listings made an exit from the system when month end expired listings were processed and removed. Total listing numbers finished the week at 972 for a gain of just six compared to the previous week end, but up nearly thirty percent over 2010 when just 749 Saskatoon homes appeared as active on the system. Single-family inventory moved up ten units this week to 537, while condos slipped lower by two. At this time last year, those two categories showed total listings of 411 and 290 respectively.

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Listing cancellations and withdrawals from the system came in at nineteen this week with thirteen of those immediately returning to the MLS® as a new listing. Thirty-four sellers adjusted their asking price this week with most headed for lower numbers while five brave sellers, hoping for an early spring bounce, made an upward adjustment.

The median price of a Saskatoon home bounced higher again as strong activity in homes priced above $400,000 picked up. The weekly median closed at $307,900 for a gain of just over fifteen thousand dollars. The surge in upper end activity pushed the average selling price of a Saskatoon higher by more than thirty-two thousand dollars to $322,241 with both of our longer terms measures following, albeit nowhere near as aggressively. The six-week median price moved about thirteen hundred dollars over the course of the week to $305,727 claiming a gain of nearly thirty-three thousand dollars compared to the same week last year. The four-week median moved up about the same amount to $296,000 to finish higher on a year-over-year basis by a whopping thirty-six thousand dollars.

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Overbid activity saw a bit of a surge as roughly ten percent of sellers managed to close a sale above their asking price by an average of $11,179. That number is skewed by one Area 5 sale of a new Hampton Village home that went $40K above list because of additional negotiated improvements. An additional two sellers got their asking price while forty-three of fifty-one Saskatoon home sellers negotiated a discount averaging $9,581 or roughly 2.9% of the asking price.

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Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

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