January Housing Sales Encouraging

January home sales held steady in the face of some recent gloomy economic reports with 174 units changing hands in Saskatoon. This is comparable to results a year ago and only 17% below the five year average for January. The market experienced a decline in the number of homes added to the market in January with a 5.5% decrease for a total 683 new listings. A decline in new building permits coupled with home sellers deciding to wait until spring to go to market, has helped to relax inventory levels. The average selling price year over year was virtually unchanged at $354,000, down 1.2%. “Focusing on the average price can be very misleading” according to Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “An average is just that, it can be skewed based on a change in the number of homes selling in a particular price range.” A more accurate barometer of pricing than the average is the composite Home Price Index, (HPI) which was $305,400 at month end, a 1.4% decrease over the same time last year. This is the first leveling of the HPI since a steady decline which started in September. This is a positive sign when it comes to a trend in home prices. According to a recent survey by Praxis Analytics, Saskatchewan residents remain optimistic about the economy in spite of economic challenges.

Although there are currently 1,612 active listings, the decline in new listings so far this year coupled with steady demand will help ensure that inventory levels remain below the overall 2015 average of 1,856 active listings. Condominiums in Saskatoon accounted for roughly 40% of the active properties with 634 units currently on the market. Of these active condos, it is estimated that about 20% are new units. By comparison, less than a third of the single family homes available on the market are new construction.

On average it takes 50 days to sell a home in Saskatoon at approximately 97% of the asking price. This is a typical exposure period for this time of year. “The seller is really the deciding factor in determining how long a home will sit on the market. The higher they choose to price above market the longer the home will sit. It is important to keep in mind that every property is unique, every situation is unique and every micro market is unique. He cautions, "It only makes sense to have a professional REALTOR® provide sound advice when it comes to pricing competitively in this market. -Source: February 2016 SRAR Media Release

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