Saskatoon real estate sales trailed lower this week as local agents reported a total of 72 house and condominium sales, down from 81 the previous week, to finish behind the same week last year by ten sales. If there’s any significance to this week’s numbers, it that those 72 sales, combined with all other residential sales to have occurred this year, were enough to push us ahead of the residential sales numbers for all of 2013. At the close of last year, Saskatoon REALTORS® had completed 4215 Saskatoon home sales. As this week wraps up, we are sitting at 4,229 for 2014.
New MLS® listings grew higher again on an annual and a weekly basis. This past week, 147 listings were added to the Saskatoon multiple listing service®, up 27 from last week to make gains of 47 when compared against the same week a year ago.
It’s not all peaches and cream.
The number of active Saskatoon real estate listings in the residential category of the Saskatoon MLS® remained stubbornly high at 1,542. That’s 26 homes more than were available last week, and 263 more than could be found on the system a year ago. Interestingly, it’s the only time inventory has made gains during this particular week since I started “the week in review” in late 2006. It’s just not something that we are used to seeing at this time of year, period.
It’s somewhat concerning because the current trend over the past few months, observable on the black active inventory line, leads me to believe that we could easily finish December somewhere above 1,400 active listings. We’ve certainly been there before, but not this late in the year. The problem, of course, is that inventory will start its upward cycle almost immediately come January. Where will it end up next year? I think it’s anybody’s guess, but a new peak seems inevitable.
As concerning as this is, one only needs to go back a few yearsto our last inventory peak to be reminded that conditions can change rapidly. In 2008, the number of homes for sale on the Saskatoon multiple listing service® bolted higher from a low of 400 at the start of the year to peak at nearly 1,800 homes. In January of 2009, we started the year with annual inventory gains of 800 listings (a 200 percent increase), but the spring listing period was weak, the inventory peak for the year was reached in May, and inventory rapidly declined through the balance of the year. House prices did soften some. The average sale price of a Saskatoon home finishing 2009 two percentage points lower than it had the previous year. There were larger corrections in some housing types, but overall, the market rode through that storm quite steadily even though the preceding period was one during which market activity and price gains were extraordinary.
Taking a closer look by housing category, we currently have 907 single-family homes offered for sale on the MLS® system, up from 786 a year ago. Today, there are 495 condo owners looking for a buyer, up from 381 at this time last year.
The median price of a Saskatoon home lost some of the big gains it had recently produced and dropped about 10K to $353,500 this week. The average price moved in the same direction but saw declines of twice what we see in the median, still closing near $365,000. The four-week median softened slightly losing two thousand dollars compared to the previous week to finish this period at $350,000 even, up more than $23,000 compared against the same week last year. On the other hand, the six-week average price grew by two thousand dollars to reach $366,938 and finished ahead of the same week last year by fourteen thousand dollars to claim a new weekly record.
Other notable real estate activity this past week included 46 cancelled and withdrawn listings (42 and four respectively), 23 expired listings and 41 price changes.
Highlights from the news this week
Housing bubble begone - Turns out we may need all these homes - Financial Post
Canada’s housing market a three city show - Globe and Mail
Canadian home sales edge higher in October - Canadian Real Estate Association
Don’t fret over housing - There’s no significant overbuild - Globe and Mail
Real estate investing coming of age - Financial Post
Klump says housing bubble is bunk - Star Phoenix
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An overview of data collection and calculation practices for our statistical reports is here.
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Royal LePage Vidorra