Saskatoon housing prices losing steam

Global News, April 15, 2015 - After years of climbing out of reach for some, house prices in Saskatoon appear to be flattening out.

“We’ve seen five years of consistent growth in real estate prices,” said Norm Fisher of Royal LePage Vidorra in Saskatoon. “It’s looking like things are starting to level out.”

The Royal LePage survey found the price of a standard two-storey home rose 0.6 per cent year-over-year to $396,000 while the cost of a bungalow increased 0.5 per cent to $365,750. However, Fisher cautioned those numbers refer to the most popular types of homes that tend to hold their value.

He said the broader housing market is actually showing some decline.

“When we look at the broader market as a whole, we see a slight year over year decline in the price of a single family home,” he told Global News. “It dropped from ($393,500) at this time last year to about ($391,000) and that house would have cost you $400,000 in September of last year. That’s the kind of softening that we’re talking about.”

The story is a little better for condominiums. The survey found  a standard condo rose 4.5 per cent to $277,000. Fisher attributed this to “a collection of new units making their way onto the market during the quarter.”

Fisher says there are a lot more houses on the market, and that is good news for those looking to buy. But it will make it more difficult to sell your home.

“If I were to give some advice to sellers, I would say – do your homework, you must be prepared with a home that shows well, that’s appropriately priced if you want to get a sale through the spring,” said Fisher.

While sales are down, Fisher doesn’t see this affecting the market, pointing to a wealth of inventory and buyers looking to take advantage of softer prices. He expects activity to be in line with the five-year average for sales.

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