THE NATIONAL ON HOUSE PRICES
I was watching the National on CBC last night and came across a segment on Canada’s housing prices. According to CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) statistics, the numbers of total sales in March 2013 were down 15% from 2012, while prices had risen 2.5% over that period. The segment had also stated that there are just enough buyers to help keep prices up.
IS SASKATACHEWAN ISOLATED?
The problem with blanket statistics across the entire country is the fact that they are focused on Canada’s larger centres. The smaller centres such as Regina and Saskatoon tend to be forgotten. I asked myself the same question most others are pondering. Considering Saskatchewan’s resource rich economy, are we exempt from such market drop-off?
It should be noted that in Saskatoon for the month of February 2013, sales numbers dipped 18% from the previous February in 2012. However the Saskatoon real estate market rebounded in a big way in March after a dismal February. Sales in Saskatoon increased 21%, and listings increased 35% for the month of March 2013 from the same period in 2012. Whereas in Regina, sales decreased 20% and listings decreased 6% from March 2012 to 2013. The average sale price in Saskatoon for the month of March was $336,100 which is roughly $10,000 higher than the average during the same period in 2012. Whereas in Regina the average price for March of 2013 was $321,019 which is significantly higher than March of 2012 when the average was $27,643 less.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
There are many different variables that affect real estate sales, some are direct (ie. weather conditions, jobs, interest rates) and some are more complex (ie. world economic situation). The market has been all over the place in Saskatchewan of late.
What we do know is that sellers are still able to get top dollar for their homes as prices keep going up. This is likely directly attributed to low interest rates which encourage potential buyers to borrow money and buy houses.
The world economic situation is very unstable in Europe and the United States at the moment and the weather has been absolutely awful. I suppose only time will tell how the world economic situation plays out, but we do know that the weather is likely to improve.
Ultimately I do believe that the Saskatchewan real estate market is affected by the economic conditions that surround it. Data concludes that sales and listing numbers have improved in March 2013 from March 2012 in Saskatoon, yet were weaker in Regina.
Once the weather improves, we will see for sure where this market is headed.