Saskatoon real estate week in review: March 9-15, 2014

Saskatoon real estate week in review: March 9-15, 2014

In spite of widespread reports of ‘busyness’ from most local brokerage offices, Saskatoon real estate sales trailed lower this week as REALTORS® reported just 66 houses and condominiums as being firmly sold to the local MLS® system. That’s a weekly decline of just four units but it falls short of sales generated during the same week last yearby 20 homes.

The number of new listings that were added to the Saskatoon multiple listing service® declined on a weekly basis but showed big gains when compared against activity recorded for the same period last year. New listings finished the week at 162, down 18 from the previous weekto finish ahead of last year by 35 properties.

The disparity between firm sales and new listings was enough to push the total inventory of MLS® listings in the residential category sharply higher. At the close of business Friday, total active residential listings had grown almost 50 units from where it stood a week earlier. This morning, we have 1275 active residential listings. That puts us ahead of last year’s levels by 236 units for an annual increase pushing 25 percent. A search of the multiple listing service® today yields 734 active single-family home listings, up from 656 a year ago, for a 12 percent year-over-year increase. Additionally, there are 418 active condo listings for an annual increase of more than 40 percent. Last year at this time there were 297 Saskatoon condos showing active on the MLS®. The balance of the residential inventory is made of semi-detached homes, duplexes, vacant lots and mobile homes.

These numbers fail to tell the real story of supply and demand. Over one-third of the active real estate inventory can be found in four of our city’s roughly 55 neighbourhoods (Rosewood, Evergreen, Hampton Village, Stonebridge). Narrow your search to single-family homes and you’ll find 344 of the 734 active listings in those same four areas leaving fewer than 400 houses in all remaining neighbourhoods. If you’re not shopping in one of those four areas, and you’re after a single-family home, chances are good that you’re actually having some challenges finding something good in your areas of choice. Our team is still receiving decent offers on the resale property that we’re listing within a reasonable period of time. Over the past few weeks, listings viewed on our website are up nearly 50 percent from levels of last year. If this is an indication of real demand resale inventory in the single-family category may be scarce through the spring months.

After a few weeks of exceptionally strong activity, buyers at the upper end of Saskatoon’s real estate market appear to have taken the week off. Accordingly, the median price of a Saskatoon homes dropped almost 30K from last week to $332,000. The average sale price of a Saskatoon home slipped lower by about half as much to $340,708. The six-week average price remained stable for the fourth consecutive week at just one thousand dollars lower than last week’s number. It closed the week at $352,403 for an annual increase of twenty thousand dollars. The four-week median price saw some needed relief after it climbed nearly twenty-five thousand dollars with four consecutive weekly gains. This week it gave back nearly 10K on those gains to finish the week at $338,450 sharply higher than the $307,000 recorded at the close of the same week in 2013.

Buyers showed little interest in over-paying this week. The one seller that did manage to secure an above list offer made off pretty well with a $12,100 overbid. Another 50 buyers walked away from the negotiating table having picked up a home at an average discount of $8,737. The remaining 15 buyers paid full pop to close their deal.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 34 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 13 expired listings and 34 price adjustments.

Highlights from the news this week

Meddling with mortgage rules could create ‘unpredictable’ housing market - CTV News
Why the doomsayers are wrong about Canada’s housing market - Globe and Mail
Prime retail space hard to find - Star Phoenix
How bubbly is Canada’s housing market? Why doomsayers may be wrong - Financial Post
Canada’s new house price see largest rise in 20 months in January - Globe and Mail
Fixed rate mortgages may be a better choice than variable: BMO - Financial Post
Canadian wealth rises and household debt falls from record levels- Financial Post

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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.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

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