Housing market improves for sellers

Sept. sales figures show 'healthy' real estate in region

Courtesy of The Star Phoenix:

A combination of increased home sales, stable selling prices and falling inventory levels has created a healthy real estate market in the Saskatoon area, the executive officer of the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR) said Thursday.

"It's very encouraging as far as the overall environment and certainly encouraging to those people who find themselves in a position where they would really like to sell," Harry Janzen said upon the release of SRAR's September residential sales figures.

The data shows the number of homes sold in the region continues to grow. In September, 351 homes in the region were sold, up 43 per cent from the same month last year, when 242 homes were purchased.

So far this year, 3,048 homes have been sold in the region, up three per cent from 2008, when 2,996 homes were sold in the first nine months of the year.

"It was a very active market -- very predictable, but very active," Janzen said of last month's sales.

Homes in the Saskatoon area sold for an average of $279,457 last month, a figure six per cent lower than the average selling price in September 2008. Last month's average is on-par with the year-to-date residential selling price average of $278,545.

The highest monthly average so far this year, $283,871, occurred in June, SRAR's data shows.

"When your average price comes down slightly it's just indicating that there's a little bit more activity in the low- to mid-range and a little less activity in the upper price range," he said.

"And yet, at the end of the day, we're certainly seeing the most unit sales in the $300,000 to $350,000 mark."

Meanwhile, the number of homes listed for sale on the market continues to fall, with 1,097 properties on the market at the end of September compared to an all-time high of 1,748 homes listed on the market in September 2008.

Outside of the city, 119 homes were sold last month, up 65 per cent from September 2008 when real estate agents noted 72 home sales in Saskatoon's surrounding communities.

The average selling price for homes sold outside of the city proper was $271,401 last month, an increase of 18 per cent from the same month last year, when homes in the surrounding areas sold for an average of $229,271.

Janzen said home sales during the last three months of the year are shaping up to be as stable as sales during the first nine months of 2009, a trend that should keep the market healthy through the start of the new year.

"Certainly for the fourth quarter we expect similar sales activity and a bit more of a decline in the inventory levels," he said.

"I think we should be very nicely poised for 2010."

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Tyler Frederick

Tyler Frederick

CENTURY 21 Fusion
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