Saskatoon. January 2nd, 2013.
The strong Saskatchewan economy in 2012 was reflected in real estate sales with a year over year increase in the average sale price of 7% and an increase of 5% in units sold. "Sales activity was quite strong in the first two quarters of 2012 compared to the latter half of the year. This cooling off is most likely a reflection of the federal governments changes to the mortgage rules in June." says Jason Yochim, Executive Officer with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR). "The most notable decrease in sales activity since July 1 showed up in the price ranges below $400,000".
The average sale price for a home in Saskatoon sat at just under $332,000 at the end of December while the Median price hovered around $325,000. Comparatively, the average price in the rural market surrounding Saskatoon remained virtually unchanged with an increase of only 1% for the year. Sales in the rural market were up 5% over 2011 while the number of new properties listed dipped by 4%.
"At the end of December, the number of active listings on the SRAR MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE® was at 1,793 which is a decrease of 8% from the previous year." Says Yochim. The unit sales slightly outpacing new listings resulted in a decrease in available property for consumers to choose from. Builders have been working hard at filling this shortfall however more product on the existing market would be timely and welcome. "The shortfall is not significant enough to push us out of a balanced market at this point with prices only increasing 7% over the year".