Year to date, the Saskatoon home market shows positive signs in a few of the key indicators. “There are a few key statistics that we watch ever month to get a sense of where our market is at and where it may be headed” according to Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® .“We keep a close eye on the number of transactions, the inventory levels and the change in pricing.” he adds. Year to date home sales are up 4% over 2016 with 558 unit sales. This is comparable to the number of home sales in 2015. The total dollar volume for those sales was just over $186 million, representing a 2% increase over last year. At the end of February, the inventory level for available residential property on the MLS® system in Saskatoon was 1,659 units, 5.4% lower than last year. The lower inventory levels are largely due to a significant drop in the number of new listings added to the MLS® system. So far this year there have been 1,337 new listings in the system compared to 1,410 last year. When comparing new listings for the last month, there were 15.7% fewer properties added to the market this past February than last February.
A decline in new listings coupled with an increase in sales resulted in a sales-to-listing ratio of 37.4%in February. This is a significant increase from last February where this ratio was 30.9%. A market with a sales-to-listing ratio below 40% is considered to be a solid buyers market. This indicates a positive move towards a more balanced market. “Although we are seeing these positive indicators quite early on, these statistics indicate a shift in the marketplace in a positive direction,” comments Yochim.
Home prices remain relatively unchanged year to date with the average price down a mere 0.7% to just under $340,000. The median price of $320,000 represents a slight drop of 1.6% year over year. The Home Price Index (HPI) is considered to be the most accurate measure of home values and where the market prices are trending. The HPI composite price is an aggregate of various residential home types in a particular market and is a measurement of change in value over time. A composite value was established with a base year and has been indexed on a monthly basis. The composite value in February was $297,900 representing a 1.2% decrease from a year ago. This value had been on a downward trend since mid-2016 which is not surprising considering elevated inventory levels through the year and a buyers market.
The average number of days for a home to sell in Saskatoon was 54 days. This is only slightly longer than in 2016 with an average of 52 days. Because today’s real estate buyers are well educated on the market, homes are selling at 97% of their asking price which is consistent with last year.
“The best advice I can give a seller in any market is to get professional advice when dealing with your largest asset.” adds Yochim. The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® has a membership of just over 600 licensed and knowledgeable REALTORS® who can provide sound market advice. REALTORS® also subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to developing professional standards and continuing education in the real estate profession.
Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE