Oct. home sales ahead of '08

Oct. home sales ahead of '08

Courtesy of Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Home sales in Saskatoon were on the rise in October, with 311 houses sold in the region for an average price of $274,759, says new data from the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR)

The number of homes sold last month topped October 2008, when 213 homes were sold, by 46 per cent. The average price in October dropped by four per cent compared to the same month last year, when the average selling price reached $285,547, SRAR said in a news release.

An increase in sales activity in the $250,000 to $275,000 price range contributed to the four per cent decline in October's selling price, the association said. Activity remained active, it added, in the $300,000 to $350,000 price range.

For the first time in more than 12 months, active listing inventory dropped below 1,000 in October, when 971 homes were listed for sale. This compares to the 1,667 homes on the market at this time last year.

Outside of the city, 90 homes sold last month, an increase of eight per cent over October 2008 when 56 houses were purchased. The average selling price for these homes reached $251,319 in October, a 23 per cent jump from the same month last year when homes outside the city proper sold for $203,956.

SRAR believes real estate market activity will remain similar and steady throughout the remainder of the year.

Meanwhile, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said Monday it believes housing starts in the Saskatoon region will end this year slower than 2008, but a construction rebound will hit in 2010.

"Housing markets have cooled from the historically high levels of starts and price gains seen in 2007 and 2008," said Paul Caton, the CMHC's senior market analyst for Saskatchewan. "The slower pace of housing activity in 2009 has allowed for a reduction of inventories, setting the stage for an increase in activity in 2010."

The agency said after the market moderates to 900 single-detached starts this year, starts will rise to 1,000 units next year, while multiple-family home starts will drop to 200 this year and rise to 400 next year.

Resale activity will reach nearly 3,700 units this year and 3,900 in 2010, the CMHC predicted, with the average price of a home totalling $280,000 in 2009 and $286,000 in 2010.

As for apartments, the corporation anticipates vacancy rates will have risen to two per cent this fall and will be three per cent next year. The average rental rate for apartments in the region is expected to rise to $880 next year from $875 this year.

Tyler Frederick

Tyler Frederick

CENTURY 21 Fusion
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