As the province continues to re-open, the real estate sector is experiencing a strong recovery. Year-over-year sales across the province were up close to 50% from June of last year (and only down 0.3% year-to-date showing that we’ve nearly recovered all of the sales lost during the lockdown), new listings were up almost 8% (down 14.5% year-to-date), and the median home price was up almost 2% (down 1.5% year-to-date). Inventories were also down in 17 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks, suggesting that people are quite eager to buy now and make up for lost time due to the pandemic.
This recovery was expected as physical distancing restrictions were loosened and as people’s confidence began to return. With the economy getting back to “normal”, people are getting excited to buy homes. “We’ve seen properties in some markets sell within days of being listed,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim. “And we’ve even seen bidding wars start to break out”, suggesting that people are quite motivated to buy and may be willing to pay more than full listing price. This could help to further drive Saskatchewan’s recovery as people are encouraged to list due to rising prices.
Prices and the number of new listings are still down in some markets (and some markets have seen an increase in the number of days for properties to sell), which continues to reflect the local nature of real estate. Despite the relatively sluggish performance compared with the rest of the province, however, these markets appear to be headed for a recovery as well and may soon return to pre-COVID level activity as the province and the economy re-open and return to normal.
Although Statistics Canada has not released the latest employment figures, employment rose 1.8% in May (while full-time employment rose 1.6%) suggesting that more people are returning to work and that a number of jobs are relatively secure despite the higher levels of unemployment created by the pandemic. Rising employment levels are promising since it means that people have the money needed to buy and help support a broader recovery.
While the future is uncertain and the recovery may slow down if we see a spike in COVID cases over the next few months, the government’s phased re-opening plan should help to minimize any potential new threats. This is boosting confidence and allowing the real estate market to recover now and help the economy to recover. “The multiple offers that members are getting,” and the low levels of inventory currently available suggest that the market has recovered and is well on its way to making up for the losses that the pandemic brought. “We may not have as good of a year as last” says Yochim, “but we should do pretty well all things considered.”
Sales in Saskatoon were up 38.4%, going from 372 in June 2019 to 515 in June 2020, and up 42.7% in the overall region, going from 504 to 719. In Saskatoon, sales were 27.5% above the 5-year average (and 17.7% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 29.2% above the 5-year average (and 21.5% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon fell 3.6% over last year, decreasing from 1,842 to 1,776, while YTD sales in the larger region fell 1.0%, going from 2,480 to 2,456.
Sales volume was up 36.1% in the city, going from $126.8M to $172.6M in 2020 (24.6% above the 5-year average, and 15.3% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $601.9M, a decrease of 1.4% from last year. In the region, sales volume was down 0.7%, going from $782.1M to $787.4M (28.0% above the 5-year average and 20.3% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume increased 0.7% in the region, rising from $782.1M in 2019 to $787.4M in 2020.
In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in June 2020 rose 5.9%, going from 784 to 830 (5.0% below the 5-year average and 2.9% below the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings rose 4.8% from 1,174 last year to 1,230 this year (3.5% below the 5-year average and 1.3% below the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 11.6%, going from 4,204 to 3,716, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 13.6%, going from 6,262 to 5,411. Active listings fell 19.6% in Saskatoon (down from 1,971 to 1,585) and fell 19.9% in the region (down from 3,561 to 2,852).
Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 3 (which is 41.9% below the level last year and 40.6% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 62.0%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers. Inventory in the larger region stood at 4 (which is 43.9% below the level last year and 39.7% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 58.5%, suggesting balanced market conditions.
Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 43 days in June—down 12.2% from 49 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 46 days and above the 10-year average of 41 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 54 days on average in 2020, but also down from an average of 56 days last year (and 1.1% above the 5-year average).
Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $320,000 to $329,900 (an increase of 3.1%) and were approximately 1.0% above the 5-year and 0.7% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 0.9% from $306,500 to $309,400. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $326,858 which is 1.3% above the $322,600 price from the same time last year.
Median home prices in the region went from $310,000 to $312,500 (an increase of 0.8%) and were approximately 0.5% below the 5-year and 0.8% below the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $308,171 which is 2.1% above the $301,767 price from the same time last year. ~ July 2020 SRA News Release
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