July is typically a quieter month for the housing market with people being on summer holidays and enjoying lake time, however that was not the case this year. This was the second highest for home sales for July in the past ten years, at 444 sales, it was just shy of the 462 sales from July 2013. Listing activity cooled off slightly as there was a decrease for the first time in over two years. With stronger sales and less listings coming on the market, the ratio of the number of sales to new listings increased to 48% for the month, up from 45% in June. The comparison of sales to new listings is referred to as the sales to listing ratio. A ratio below 40% is considered a buyers-market while a ratio above 60% is considered a strong sellers-market. The number of days to sell increased sharply to 52 days compared to just 38 days a year ago.
The average price for a home in Saskatoon was virtually unchanged at $357,304 while the median price continued to move downward for the third straight month to $343,000. Overall in the Saskatoon region there have been 9,308 homes listed for sale year to date which is an increase of 8% compared with 2014. Sales for the same period totaled 3,349 representing a decrease of 12% year over year. Inventory levels still remain high in new housing and especially in the multi-family housing market. A total of 2,028 active listings in Saskatoon represents a 26% increase for the same period last year.
Moving into late summer and looking towards the fall, August represented the eighth straight month with a year over year reduction in the number of home sales in Saskatoon. This, coupled with a continued elevation in inventory levels equates to a buyers’ market. Currently there are just over 2,000 residential listings on the market in Saskatoon, an increase of 26% from just 12 months ago. Considering that there were 329 sales in August, it would take 6 months to liquidate the current inventory of homes. Year to date 2,812 homes changed hands, a 12% reduction from last year. The sales to active listing ratio for August was 39% significantly lower than the five year average of 54%. This suggests that only four out of every ten homes placed on the market will result in a sale. Meanwhile the average home required 50 days to sell compared to the five year average of 41 days. Roughly 690 of the active listings are condominiums with two thirds of these being apartment style. You really need to pay attention to price if you want to sell your house with a decent turnaround.
The number of sales are down in nearly every price range but most notably between $450,000 and $500,000 and $750,000 and $900,000. This reduction has also impacted the new home housing market where the number of housing starts are down significantly over 2014. Year to date single family housing starts for the Saskatoon area totaled 510 representing a 28% reduction from 2014 while multi-family starts increased by 10% to 798 units. The average home price continues to remain static at $357,000. According to the second quarter RBC Housing Trends and Affordability measure, it takes a household income of $72,300 to purchase a detached bungalow in Saskatchewan. The Home Price Index benchmark price of $327,700 remains virtually unchanged from a year ago for a single family home. The Home Price Index has remained fairly flat for Saskatoon indicating that prices are remaining stable for the time being. Over time this is likely to decline slightly as new listings continue to outpace total sales.