Regina a buyers' market: report - Regina Leader Post - January 23, 2010

Regina a buyers’ market: report 

Regina Leader Post - January 23, 2010

Regina is currently the only “buyers market” for housing among major Canadian markets, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s metro resale index released Friday.

But the local real estate association questions the methodology used in the Conference Board report, adding Regina’s actually more of a “sellers’ market,” especially inside the city.

“The resale market ended 2009 on a upbeat note (as) December sales volumes were above year-earlier levels in all 28 markets and prices were up in 24,” the Conference Board report said. “Measured by the sales-to-listings ratio, all markets except Regina were balanced or sellers,’ suggesting healthy price growth awaits.”

The sales-to-listing ratio in Regina in December 2009 was .549, meaning that for every sale, there were two listings.

In December, there were 6,627 listings in Regina, up 16.2 per cent from November. There were 3,774 homes sold during the same period, down 5.9 per cent from November.

According to the Conference Board report, a balanced market has a sales-to-listing ratio ranging from .561 to .802, based on the longterm average sales-to-listing ratio for the Regina market.

Given the buyers’ market for houses in Regina, average prices fell 2.2 per cent in December to $251,682 from $257,273 in November.

But Gord Archibald, executive officer of the Association of Regina Realtors, says the Conference Board report is “misleading’’ because it uses different sales and listings data than the association does. “Their numbers do not line up with my numbers,’’ Archibald said.

For example, the report cites 3,774 sales in 2009, while the association said the total sales for the year were 3,691. Similarly, the report said there were 6,627 new residential listings in Regina, while association reported 6,218 in December 2009.

Using the association’s numbers, the sales-to-listing ratio would be .59, which would put Regina in the ‘balanced’ market camp, he said.

More importantly, the Conference Board uses annualized data, which doesn’t account for monthly changes in the market, and sales and listing data from the Regina area, which includes slower-moving properties in rural areas and small towns, Archibald said.

“The market changed significantly from the first half of the year to the second half,’’ he said.

“In the first half of the year, it was probably a buyers’ market because there was excess supply on the market. But supply actually declined each and every month in the second half.’’

Archibald added Regina’s real estate market is “completely different’’ than the market outside the city. “The rural market is much slower than the city market. It takes longer to sell, and they sell at lower prices and the active inventory (of listings) goes on and on and on.’’

Suzanne Siller

Suzanne Siller

CENTURY 21 Dome Realty Inc.
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