HOME BUYERS SHOULDN'T WAIT
The Saskatoon market in February 2016 saw a slight decrease in sales of 1% compared to February of 2015. This represents a drop of only two units from the 306 sales in February of last year. Year to date the total number of unit sales was down 4.3% from 560 units in 2015 to 536 units in 2016. The average sale price of $341,459 was a 6% decline when compared to the same period last year. This was anticipated based on the CREA Home Price Index where the composite value has steadily trended downward from $313,000 last July to $301,600. This represents a 3.8% decline in the index since July and a 2.96% decline over the past twelve months. A significant factor in the average price declining, was a decrease in the number homes selling over $500,000. In 2015, 65 units had sold by the end of February compared to 49 units for the same two month period in 2016.
The housing market in Saskatoon is ideal for those wishing to buy for several reasons. Healthy inventory levels which are up 13% over 2015, provide more choices, especially in the new home market. Interest rates are also low and likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. Saskatoon has weathered the economic slowdown well with a projected GDP in 2016 of 2.2% which is the envy of many cities in Canada. Lastly, in spite of an average sale price of just over $340,000, Saskatoon is still considered to be one of the most affordable places to buy a home in Canada. "It is really a perfect time for those who are in the market to purchase a home." comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. The primary reason for purchasing a principle residence should be that it meets the needs of the buyer, the thought of making a tax free profit, although important, should be secondary. "Waiting to buy at the bottom of the market can be a risky strategy." he cautions. "Buy the home because it is what you want, where you want it and fits your budget. When the time comes to sell it may have fluctuated in value several times on paper."
The homes that are moving are selling for 97% of the asking price and average time to sell of 53 days. This is a typical exposure period for this time of year. "Sellers that are realistic about the current market and who price their home accordingly will see similar results." adds Yochim, "Let's face it, we all would like to make a handsome tax free gain on the sale of our home but depending on when one purchased the home, what improvements have or have not been made and where the home is located will have a direct impact on profitability at the time of sale."