September home sales in Saskatoon were down 16% compared to 2014 and 12% lower year to date. We have to keep in perspective that 2014 was an exceptional year for real estate and these lower numbers are consistent with the five year average for sales. We are actually doing quite well through the economic challenges when compared to some other western Canadian cities. Inventory levels within Saskatoon continue to hover at just over 2,000 available properties. Many of the available properties are new homes and many of these are condominium units. Almost half of the available inventory is located east of circle drive. As builders feel the pinch, we can expect to see vacant condo units hit the rental market.
The average home sale price of $353,587 continues to hold steady but is expected to start a slight decline with slower sales. The median sale price on the other hand has shown a slight decline to $330,000. According to the Multiple Listing Service®, homes were selling for just under 90% of the average asking price in September, the widest margin since last August. In the past couple of years this percentage has typically been in the low to mid 90's. With a buyers' market, it is expected that it will be more challenging for sellers to see offers close to their asking price if they are not sensitive to the market. It's important to keep in mind that in any market a properly priced home will sell in a short period of time for top dollar if it is priced right from the start. This is not a market for speculation and overpricing.
The sales-to-listing ratio for September was 37% which is calculated by dividing the number of new properties listed for sale by the number of sales for the same period. A ratio of 40% or less indicates a buyers' market while a ratio in excess of 60% is considered a sellers' market. On average in 2014 the market was firmly balanced while in 2015 it has shifted in favor of buyers.
The MLS® Home Price Index is the most accurate indicator of market trends. It measures change in market value similar to the Consumer Price Index. The composite benchmark value for Saskatoon for September was $310,400. Although virtually unchanged over the past twelve months it has been declining slightly since July. The benchmark value was set in January of 2005 at $133,400. It reached a high of $308,800 at the peak of the market in May of 2008. Over the next 17 months this value continued to decline. Essentially the market has steadily recovered its value over the past seven years to equal the high water mark in 2008.
Source: SRAR October 2015 Media Release