The Starphoenix, October 9, 2014 -
There were more than 900 new listings for Saskatoon home sales in September, 30 per cent higher than the five-year average and a 22 per cent increase over last September.
"This is a level of inventory that we have not experienced since 2008," said Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR), in a news release. "Prices increased at an exponential rate in 2007 leading to a slight correction in 2008."
Sales were also higher, with unit sales hitting 427, up 20 per cent from last September and 23 per cent higher than the five-year average. Inventory levels continue to increase with 1,612 units currently available.
Yochim said it is unlikely we will see a correction like 2008.
"Our provincial population has grown by nearly 20,000 in the past year and these people need somewhere to live and raise a family," Yochim said. "Inventory levels are increasing mostly because new listings are increasing at a faster percentage than sales."
The price range with the greatest increase in units sold was $550,000-$750,000 with 450 sales year-to-date, a 35 per cent increase over the same period last year.
According to the MLS home price index, the average family residential price of $328,000 is virtually unchanged in 2014.
Housing starts down
Housing starts in the Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area were down in September. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate was 3,050 units in September, down from 4,904 in August.
"Actual housing starts declined 53 per cent yearover-year in September as production of both singledetached and multi-family units was lower than a year earlier," the report said.
But the six-month trend for the area was higher with housing starts trending at 3,833 units in September compared to 3,517 in August. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of total housing starts.
"The trend in total housing starts moved higher in September, supported by an elevated pace of multi-family construction in recent months. Declining inventory of complete and unabsorbed units in the multi-family sector has supported a faster pace of starts this year, particularly among condominium apartments," said Goodson Mwale, CMHC's senior market analyst for Saskatchewan, in a news release.