It appears as though tightening mortgage regulations and local economic factors may be having a cooling effect on the Saskatoon real estate market. When comparing the entire first quarters of 2018 and 2017, a marked decline in home sales can be seen. Year-over-year comparisons show a decline in sales for the individual months of March and April as well.
In the first quarter of this year, 648 homes sold in Saskatoon. This was an 11% drop-off when compared to 2017. In April this year, 233 homes sold in Saskatoon. This may indicate a seasonal uptick in activity as we move towards the busy spring and summer months. This figure was up from the 202 and 211 sales seen in February and March respectively.
Homes Taking Longer to Sell in Saskatoon
Saskatoon has slowly shifted towards being a buyer’s market over the past several months. Back in March, we saw evidence of this as the sales-to-listings ratio dropped to 35%, slightly below what would be considered a sign of a balanced market. The number of months of total inventory in the city has grown consistently the first months of 2018.
Of course, when the market shifts to the buyer’s side of the equation it is normal to see other aspects of this shift besides the sales-to-listings ratio, and this is in fact the case in Saskatoon. For instance, the average number of days it takes to make a sale has changed quite dramatically compared to last year. For the month of March in 2018, home sales took an average of 64 days. This was a leap up from the average of 47 days that it took for a home to sell in the same month a year ago. The long-term average number of days a home takes to sell in Saskatoon is around 50, but every month of 2018 has so far surpassed that.
Prices Trending Downward in Saskatoon
Saskatoon has experienced a slight downward correction in housing prices. In April 2018, the average price of a home sold in Saskatoon was $338,158. Compared to the average of $361,445 in April 2017, it becomes clear that sellers in 2018 shouldn’t expect quite the highs of last year. However, it is also worth noting that prices are starting to rebound from February and March of this year, when the average sale prices were $329,940 and $328,208 respectively.
Compared to other urban centers in the country, Saskatoon was in no way as drastically overpriced or in as much need of having its housing market corrected. However, several years of intense building, especially in the condo market, coupled with the slightly lower budgets of most buyers thanks to regulatory changes, has resulted in increased inventory and decreased sales. This has swung the balance of the market in favor of buyers for the time being, and spring and summer may present some excellent opportunities for those looking to enter the market or to swap their Saskatoon home for another.
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