HOME SALES STRENGTHEN IN JULY
July is typically a quieter month for home sales with summer vacation in full swing, however that was not the case last month. A total of 444 sales in Saskatoon last month was the second highest July in the past ten years, just shy of the 462 sales that took place in July 2013. Listing activity appears to be cooling off slightly as there was a decrease in the number of listings for the first time in over two years. Although the decrease for listings in July year over year was only 2%, it is an interesting trend to watch. With stronger sales and less listings coming on the market, the ratio of the number of sales to new listings increased to 48% for the month, up from 45% in June. The comparison of sales to new listings is referred to as the sales to listing ratio. A ratio below 40% is considered a buyers-market while a ratio above 60% is considered a strong sellers-market. The number of days to sell increased sharply to 52 days compared to just 38 days a year ago.
The average price for a home in Saskatoon continued to remain virtually unchanged at $357,304 while the median price continued to move downward for the third straight month to $343,000. While averages can be misleading, a more accurate measurement of the direction of the market is the Home Price Index (HPI). This measures the overall change in value for a typical single family home over time, starting with the base year of 2005. Overall in Saskatoon, the HPI benchmark value of $329,100 remained unchanged from one year ago. This is a positive sign of the resiliency of the Saskatoon and area economy. Over the past three years this value has increased overall from $309,900. This represents a 6.2% increase in the index from 219.8 to 233.4. The index was set at a base of 100.0 and a benchmark value of $141,000 for a typical single family home in January of 2005 as a starting point.
Overall in the Saskatoon region there have been 9,308 homes listed for sale year to date which is an increase of 8% compared with 2014. Sales for the same period totaled 3,349 representing a decrease of 12% year over year. "Although Saskatoon is still experiencing a balanced market it is important to recognize that with higher inventory levels, proper pricing is still critical to sell in a reasonable period of time" cautions Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. "Buyers are well educated on the market and while most will pay fair value for a home, they are not willing to overpay." Inventory levels still remain high in new housing and especially in the multi-family market. A total of 2,028 active listings in Saskatoon represents a 26% increase for the same period last year.