Saskatoon real estate week in review: March 8-12 2010

Saskatoon real estate week in review: March 8-12 2010
The promise of spring was delivered through warmer weather and a higher volume of home sales as Saskatoon real estate agents reported sixty-six house and condo deals to the multiple listing service, picking up thirteen units over the previous week and seventeen compared to the same week in 2010.

New listingsfell back to earth to bring the red and the black line on our graph significantly closer together. Absent of the block of condo listings that caused last week’s number to swell, local agents brought 113 Saskatoon houses and condos to the MLS, forty-two fewer than last week and just eight fewer than were introduced over the same period in 2009.

The inventory of residential listings available to Saskatoon home buyers continued to grow as it always does at this time of year moving higher by twenty-eight properties from the week before to finish at 931, down roughly thirty percent from the same time last year when total inventory sat at 1,343. The majority of the gains were in single-family homes, which picked up twenty units to finish the week with 525 listings for sale, still 300 fewer than could be found at the same time last year. Condo inventory picked up seven over the course of the week to close at 353, down from 431 last year at this time.

I don’t have a great deal of certainty as to where this market is ultimately headed, but one thing seems clear, sellers are not “running to exit the Saskatoon real estate market” as someone suggested in a previous post. Active listings are growing, but that’s a normal function of a healthy spring market. Note that inventory growth is more or less mirroring 2009. It is not following the more aggressive path of growth that we saw in 2008 that brought us to over 1,800 listings. Next, look to the red line on the first graph in this post to see how new listings of Saskatoon houses and condoscompare to last year and you can clearly see that we are well below the numbers of homes that were offered for sale early in 2009. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing particularly stellar about what’s going on in our market, but there is no objective analysis, in my opinion that might lead us to conclude that a significant gap is growing between supply and demand. That is not to say that it won’t move in that direction as lending rules tighten, particularly if rates do start to rise, only that it isn’t happening now. This is just one of many attempts to weave a tale of doom well in advance of its arrival.

Cancelled and withdrawn listings were quite low at just fifteen homes, while eight of those properties immediately came back waving the new listing flag. Forty Saskatoon home sellers adjusted their asking price with all but one positive thinker moving lower, rather than higher.

A good handful of sales above the $450,000 mark helped the average price paid for a Saskatoon home bounce back over thirty thousand dollars this week following two weeks of slides, stopping just short of $300K at $296,339. The six-week average inched up to $289,328 to gain thirteen hundred dollars over last week and finishing ahead of the same week last year by roughly fourteen thousand dollars. Far more entry-level action caused the four-week median to take a tumble as it fell over thirteen thousand dollars from last week to $275,000, precisely fifteen thousand dollars higher than it was during the same period in 2009.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Seven of sixty-six home buyers dropped an average of $4,028 more cash on the table than the seller had requested to wrap up their Saskatoon home purchase, while eight homes traded at the asking price. Fifty-two buyers managed to negotiate a deal with an average discount of 9,632, or about 3.2 percent of the list price.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

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Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

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