Home prices, sales increase

C/O The Saskatoon Star Phoenix

By Scott Larson

The average existing home sale price in Saskatoon increased seven per cent in 2012.

"With the increase in the average price, it shows the demand is still there," said Jason Yochim, executive officer with the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR).

The average sale price for a home in Saskatoon was just under $332,000 at the end of December while the median price came in at $325,000. The average price in the rural market surrounding Saskatoon remained almost unchanged with an increase of one per cent for the year. Sales in the rural market were up five per cent over 2011 while the number of new properties listed dipped by four per cent.

Saskatoon and area sold a total of 5,564 homes in 2012, five per cent higher than in 2011. In Saskatoon alone there were 4,171 sold.

"Sales activity was quite strong in the first two quarters of 2012 compared to the latter half of the year," said Yochim. "This cooling off is most likely a reflection of the federal government's changes to the mortgage rules in June. The most no-table decrease in sales activity since July 1 showed up in the price ranges below $400,000."

While there was a cooling trend at the lower end of the market, sales of homes at the high end continued to be brisk, Yochim said.

The most expensive home sold in 2012 was for $1.85 million, and there were 16 homes sold for more than $1 million, up from eight in 2011.

There were 44 homes sold for between $750,000 to $1 million, a 26 per cent increase over the previous year. And between the $500,000 to $750,000 price range, there were 346 sales versus 259 sales the year before, he said.

The total dollar volume was up 12 per cent, coming in at $1.791 billion for sales in and around Saskatoon.

"It shows prices are up and still selling."

Yochim anticipates another solid year in 2013, despite a slight decrease in the number of active listings.

"The shortfall is not significant enough to push us out of a balanced market at this point with prices only increasing seven per cent over the year."

SRAR represents over 600 professionally licensed and trained Realtors in the Saskatoon region.

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