Saskatoon real estate week in review: October 11-17, 2015

Saskatoon real estate week in review: October 11-17, 2015

Saskatoon real estate agents reported 67 firm residential sales to the multiple listing service® this week to match last week’s production while recording a year-over-year decline of 13 home sales. Meanwhile, the number of new listings added to the MLS® fell to just 164, the smallest number added during any week since the week of February 28 of this year. This week’s total is down 19 from last week but still well ahead of numbers recorded during the same week last year when just 137 new listings were added to the system.

Looking back on last year’s post for this week I can see that we had reached 3840 unit sales by this point in the year. Today we’re sitting at a year-to-date total of 3341 sales for a loss of about 500 units, and a percentage decline of 13. At that time I wrote;

“Interesting, at least to me, is the fact that by the close of this week 3,840 residential sales had been reported for the year. That’s nearly 300 more Saskatoon homes than had been sold by this time last year, and 28 more sales than had occurred by this date, in what turned out to be the strongest year ever for the number of Saskatoon homes that traded hands, 2007. It’s looking like 2014 is likely to be the new record holder for the largest number of residential trades. Don’t be fooled into believing that the market is weak. If you’re trying to sell now, and failing, you are actually letting a pretty good time pass you by.”

It’s fascinating to me as I look back, that even at that time, people were talking about how tough the Saskatoon real estate market had gotten. It seems, with years of seller’s market conditions in our recent past that people have a strange attitude about how a real estate market should work. Every year can’t be the best on record and some balance is important to keep things in check. 2015 has turned out to be a much more balanced year, perhaps leaning towards a buyer’s market in some categories and price rages.

Still, even though conditions are clearly tougher for sellers, some continue to operate with a seller’s market mindset. These are the listings that are clogging up the system with little hope of selling, overpriced and under prepared. To be a successful seller today, every detail needs to be considered (price, staging and presentation, promotion) and your attitude has to be right. You have to understand that we are no longer in a market where a seller can dictate all of the terms. This past week, one of my agents wrote an offer of $330,000 on a property priced at $339,900. The response she received was, “My seller will accept $335,000. They’re giving this counter verbally as they don’t want to waste anymore time on this.” Guess where that went. Right, absolutely nowhere. I mean, is there a better way to offend someone than to say, “don’t waste my time”? Understand that if you’re not willing to show a buyer that you’re interested in their offer they will walk. Plain and simple. Prepare your home properly, ensure that it’s presented and promoted masterfully, and don’t be an asshole. You’ll likely come out okay.

What do you think is ahead for 2016? Leave us a comment below, please.

Active MLS® inventory in the residential category inched lower this week to 2016, down just seven units from the previous week’s close and up by 473 when compared against levels recorded at the time last year. Our single-family homes inventory closed the week at 1154, up just a bit (5.3 percent) from last year when 1096 detached homes were available on the system. Year-over-year increases in the single-family homes category have been repidly declining each week for more than a month now. This is the smallest year-over-year increase this year, to the best of my recollection. Condominiums are a different story. Today we have 676 condos showing an active status, up from 426 a year ago for an annual increase of about 59 percent. Annual gains in the condo category have become fairly routine in recent weeks. Going back to my comments about the change in markets, if you’re selling a condo you are in for a rougher ride, for sure.

Prices continue to remain remarkably resilient in the face of tougher conditions. This week saw the average sale price of a Saskatoon home stay level at $355,807 while the median sale price for the week saw some big gains growing to $354,000 as a result of more upper end activity. The six-week average price lost about three thousand dollars on the week to hit $344,210 to find itself down from last year by roughly nine thousand dollars. The four-week median price grew by ten thousand dollars this week reaching $345,000 to finish higher than it was at this time last year by eight thousand dollars.

Things went the buyers way at the negotiating table this wee as 59 of 67 sales were reported to have sold below the asking price netting the buyer an average discount of $11,304. Still, a few sellers hit the jackpot as seven deal were processed showing an average bonus of $11,304. One deal went through at the seller’s list price.

Other notable real estate activity this past week included 79 cancelled and withdrawn listings (74 and five respectively), 39 expired listings and 70 price changes.

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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 Vidorra

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