Although the August real estate market appears to be slowing down compared with June and July, we still see signs of strength. Across the province, year-over-year sales were up over 46% from August of last year (and up over 14% year-to-date), new listings were up nearly 5% year-over-year (but down just over 9% year-to-date), and the median sale price was up over 7% (up 0.2% year-to-date). Inventories were also down in 18 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks. This suggests that people are still quite eager to buy and are continuing to find value in real estate.
“While there have been some COVID outbreaks across the province, the number of cases has been pretty small” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim, “and this doesn’t seem to have turned people off from buying and selling real estate.” The fact that we had two months of slow activity and that “we’ve almost made up all of that lost ground is simply amazing,” said Yochim.
Median sales prices were up in 14 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks (with Yorkton and the broader region seeing the strongest declines), while the number of sales in all markets jumped anywhere from just under 4% to close to 226% (except for in Melfort, which saw sales fall 10%). Again, this strong performance suggests that the sector has recovered from the devastation of the pandemic and that real estate is quite resilient.
June’s and July’s strong performance suggested that August would also be a strong month. As children start returning to school in September and the weather starts to get colder, however, we expect activity to slow down and fall off into Q4.
“August tends to be when things start to slow down a little,” said Yochim, “but we’re still hearing reports of multiple offers and of houses being sold almost as soon as they’re listed.”
Although things are starting to “slow down” compared with earlier in the year, the market is in line with historical trends—and we still see generally strong performance.
Sales in Saskatoon were up 41.8%, going from 325 in August 2019 to 461 in August 2020, and up 47.7% in the overall region, going from 449 to 663. In Saskatoon, sales were 26.8% above the 5-year average (and 25.1% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 29.8% above the 5-year average (and 27.3% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon rose 8.9% over last year, increasing from 2,557 to 2,785, while YTD sales in the larger region rose 13.4%, going from 3,424 to 3,882.
Sales volume was up 55.5% in the city, going from $105.0M to $163.3M in 2020 (31.4% above the 5-year average, and 28.3% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $957.2M, an increase of 13.3% from last year. In the region, sales volume was up 18.0%, going from $1,076.9M to $1,271.2M (35.9% above the 5-year average and 35.5% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume increased 18.0% in the region, rising from $1,076.9M in 2019 to $1,271.2M in 2020.
In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in August 2020 rose 7.7%, going from 724 to 780 (0.3% above the 5-year average and 4.0% above the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings rose 6.9% from 1,029 last year to 1,100 this year (2.6% below the 5-year average and 0.5% above the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 6.4%, going from 5,676 to 5,310, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 8.1%, going from 8,388 to 7,709. Active listings fell 19.5% in Saskatoon (down from 1,911 to 1,538) and fell 20.3% in the region (down from 3,473 to 2,768).
Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 3.3 months (which is 43.3% below the level last year and 39.9% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 59.1%, suggesting balanced market conditions. Inventory in the larger region stood at 4.2 months (which is 46.0% below the level last year and 40.5% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 60.3%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers.
Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 42 days in August—down 25.0% from 56 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 51 days and below the 10-year average of 46 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 50 days on average in 2020, but also down from an average of 68 days last year (and 16.1% below the 5-year average).
Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $309,000 to $336,000 (an increase of 8.7%) and were approximately 3.3% above the 5-year and 2.7% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 1.4% from $314,900 to $319,400. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $329,456 which is 2.9% above the $320,075 price from the same time last year.
Median home prices in the region went from $293,000 to $327,900 (an increase of 11.9%) and were approximately 5.7% above the 5-year and 6.3% above the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $311,803 which is 3.8% above the $300,450 price from the same time last year.
~September 2020 SRA News Release
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