Following the two slowest weeks of 2008, the Saskatoon real estate market came out of the gate strong for the first full business week of the year as residential unit sales climbed to 45 units, up from just 16 the previous week. 34 single-family homes and 7 condominiums were reported as firm, topping sales for the same week last year by a total of three homes. That’s hardly a substantial difference, but just the same, it’s the first time we’ve seen an “up over last” year when it comes to units sales for quite some time.
Residential listings also came off the starting block at breakneck speeds as a total of 149 residential properties were offered for sale on the Saskatoon MLS including 100 single-family homes and 34 condominiums, 58% more than were listed during the same week last year. In 2008, we didn’t see these kinds of weekly listing numbers until March and given that our current active listing inventory is already at about 3 times what it was last January, I’m hoping this is one of those blips on the chart that sorts itself out next week, and not a sign of things to come. While I have no doubts that there are many more listings to come, I was hoping that it would follow the more traditional path showing its most aggressive growth closer to spring. Given the surge in residential listings this week, it’s no big surprise that total active listings increased. After falling to 1,121 at the close of December the active listing inventory reached 1,188 by the end of the week marking the first increase we’ve seen since they started to decline in September. There are currently 722 single-family homes and 395 condos displaying the “active” flag.
Saskatoon home prices gained some traction and came in higher again for the second week in a row. The average selling price for the house/condo category was $284,563 for the week, up from $265,492 the week before. The six-week average fell marginally from $269,489 to $268,100 while the four-week median increased by more than $15,000, from $244,000 last week to $259,900, and settling roughly 13.5% lower than it’s peak of $299,900 in June of 2008. I’m not at all surprised to see this upward adjustment following this particular measure’s poor performance through December when it declined a whopping $26,000 over just a few weeks after sticking fairly close to the $270,000 mark thirteen weeks in a row.
50 price changes were recorded over the course of the week, not including the 29 properties that were canceled and re-listed during the same week, most at a new price. The average underbid increased to $16,405, up close to $1,000 from the week before. The percentage of buyers who paid a price within $5,000 of the asking price saw a huge increase to 27%, up from just 7% the week before. The $5,001-$10,000 discount range shrunk just as hard falling from 31% last week to just 10% this week. The $15,001-$20,000 discount range also softened significantly, while the $10,001-$15,000 saw some huge growth, as did the largest discount categories.
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Norm Fisher Royal LePage Vidorra