Saskatoon housing market off to a strong start in January of 2014: SRAR

By Norm Fisher, February 8, 2014 - The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors® (SRAR) released the MLS® residential real estate statistics for January of 2014 recently accompanied by the following release. Please note that many of the association’s comments touch on “year-to-date” numbers, and some are based on all sales within the association’s full trading area. The charts which you see, as always, reflect activity within the city of Saskatoon on a month-to-month basis over the past several years.

Unit sales appear to be strong so far in 2014. January recorded 331 sales compared to 297 for the same period in 2013, an increase of 11 percent. The number of units listed also increased by 13 percent with 958 new listings bringing the total inventory in the Saskatoon market to 1,324. In January of 2013 there were only 1,061 properties on the market. Many homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000 saw reduced asking prices late last year. Buyers appear to have responded accordingly with sales in this range increasing by 84 percent with 35 units sold year-to-date.

Two other factors of interest are the sales-to-listing ratio and the months of inventory. These two indicators will vary greatly depending on price range. The sales-to-listing ratio compares the number of newly listed homes to the number of sales for a given period. With homes priced between $350,000 and $650,000 the sales to listing ratio averages 28 percent. However, with homes priced over $650,000 this ratio drops to just 14 percent. At the lower price range (below $350,000) one out of every two homes is selling.

The number of months of inventory is simply determined by dividing the number of sales for a period by the number of properties available on the market. When looking at inventory priced below $350,000 there is three month supply of homes. With homes priced between $350,000 and $550,000 there is more than six months of inventory while homes priced between $650,000 and $750,000 face a 20 month supply. Overall the number of months of inventory in Saskatoon hovers just below six months. According to Jason Yochim, Executive Officer with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “The more months of inventory, the longer a seller can expect to wait for a sale. This just means that there are a smaller number of sales relative to what is available for sellers to select from.”

The Saskatoon MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) reflects market trends for five specific property types as well as a composite of the Saskatoon market. The HPI works similar to the Consumer Price Index using a benchmark price and start date of January 2005. The composite benchmark price for Saskatoon had reached its peak in May of 2008 at a value of $308,900. By January of 2009, with the market adjustment, it had dropped to a low of $258,700. The market then began a slow climb until October of last year reaching a new high of $312,600, however, by years end the composite benchmark price declined to $306,600. “Since October of 2013 the Saskatoon MLS® Home Price Index had been trending slightly downward, indicating a shift to more of a buyers’ market especially in the higher price ranges.” states Yochim. “The recent burst of activity in January should arrest that decline.”

“Irrespective of the stats, every home is unique in its own way and every seller’s situation is unique. Trends in the market will affect sellers directly. To find out how, it is highly recommended to contact one of the more than 600 professionally licensed and trained REALTOR® members of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to developing professional standards and continuing education in the real estate profession."

Copyright Norm Fisher Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate