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Saskatoon HOUSING ACTIVITY STABLE CONSIDERING ECONOMIC FACTORS

January 5th, 2016 by Kevin Goyer

Prior to January of 2015, the Saskatoon real estate market experienced months of positive sales activity year over year. January 2015 recorded a 21% decrease in sales activity year over year. With the exception of July, which experienced a 6% year over year increase, every month last year averaged a 14% decrease over 2014. In December of 2015, the year over year decrease was only 8%. Although this number is still on the negative side of the ledger it was an improvement over the average for the year. Inventory levels have also been reduced to just over 1600 units, 13% lower than the monthly average for 2015.

At the end of 2014 the market was perfectly balanced with a sales-to-listing ratio of 50%. Comparatively, at the end of last year the market had shifted to a buyers’ market with a ratio of 40%. This ratio is determined by dividing the number of sales for the year by the number of new listings. Overall, the 9,750 homes listed for sale in 2015 was an 8% increase over the previous year. Over the same period however, there was a 13% reduction in units and sales volume.

The average price continued to hold fairly steady at $354,000 representing a 1% reduction from the previous year. The median price for 2015 ended up at $342,750. Last year all price ranges showed a decline in sales over 2014 with the exception of homes selling between $650,000 and $700,000. Homes in this price range rose by 4% year over year with a total of 56 units.

The steady decline in the CREA HPI (Home Price Index) composite benchmark price for the Saskatoon market continued in December and will likely do so until at least the second quarter of 2016. The current benchmark value of $304,500 is the lowest point since May of 2013. In January of 2002, when the benchmark value was established, it was set at $114,000. The greatest increase in the benchmark price was when it climbed from $139,000 in January of 2006 to $303,000 by June of 2008. The CREA HPI is the most accurate indicator of the current real estate market.

“Amidst the difficult economic conditions nationally and globally, the Saskatoon real estate market is weathering the storm fairly well compared to other western markets.” Comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “however, until the economy strengthens, activity increases and inventory levels decline, sellers will need to be sensitive when pricing their homes for a successful sale.” He cautions.

The Emotional Side of Selling

January 1st, 2016 by Kevin Goyer

Let’s face it. Selling your home is as much an emotional decision as it is a practical one.

Sure, in some ways, a property is a “product”. You want to sell that product quickly and for the best price, so you can buy your next dream home.

A home, however, is also a place filled with memories and emotional attachments. You’ll think of the rec room where the kids’ birthday parties were held; the dining room where you had countless family dinners; and the backyard deck where many afternoons were spent enjoying the sunshine.

That’s why managing the emotional side of selling your home is so important. Here are some tips:

Have your kids draw pictures of the fun they’ll have in their new home.
Remind your kids that they’ll be able to stay in touch with their old friends, while making new ones.
Visit neighbourhoods where you’d like to find your next home. Walk around. Get a sense of what it’s going to be like to live there.
Consider taking a keepsake with you from your old home to help ease the transition.
Want more ideas for making your next move go smoothly? Call today.

SLIGHT DECREASE IN SASKATOON HOUSING INVENTORY

December 2nd, 2015 by Kevin Goyer

Over the past month the inventory of homes for sale in Saskatoon decreased by 6.5% largely due to a slowing of the pace of properties being added to the market. Sales activity in Saskatoon was down 13% year over year representing a total of 3,737 units by the end of November. This volume of sales is comparable to 2012 which saw 3,772 sales by the end of November. Current dollar volume of $1.7 Billion is similar to 2012 as well, this represents a 14% decrease from last year. There was a total of 280 sales in Saskatoon in November which is consistent with the five year average. November saw a slight decrease in the months of inventory from 6.8 months to 6.5. This represents how long it would take to absorb the current inventory level based on the current volume of sales.

Although sales have slowed in 2015, the average price of $354,000 only represents a 1% reduction from January 2015. The average price can be misleading however and should not be applied across the market. True market value will depend on the type of home, age, condition, location and what is competing on the market at the time. Some markets are in a much higher over supply while others have a shortage of available property. The median sale price for a home in Saskatoon of $350,000 is almost identical to the year previous.

Overall the CREA HPI (Home Price Index) composite benchmark price for the Saskatoon market has been in a steady decline since September which was the high water mark at $317,000. The current benchmark value of $308,000 is the lowest point since May of 2013. “This would indicate that overall prices are cooling and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® “I don’t expect to see a change in this trend until second quarter of 2016 at the earliest.” In January of 2002, when the benchmark value was established, it was set at $114,000. The greatest increase in the benchmark price was when it climbed from $139,000 in January of 2006 to $303,000 by June of 2008. “It’s strictly supply and demand, as inventory is absorbed, prices will begin to stabilize” he adds.

Around 500 properties or approximately 27% of the inventory in Saskatoon is made up of newer homes built in the past two years. This has resulted in a drastic decrease in permits for new single family homes which are down 39% in 2015. Multi-family permits on the other hand are only down 15% over the same period last year.

Saskatoon Absorption Levels Creep Upward

November 3rd, 2015 by Kevin Goyer

October saw a 25% decrease in home sales month over month in the Saskatoon real estate market. This reduced activity sustained inventory levels of available property in Saskatoon to just below 2,000 units. “Based on the rate of home sales in October it would take nearly 7 months to absorb the current available inventory”, according to Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. In spite of the decrease in sales activity and higher inventory levels, the average price in Saskatoon has only decreased by 1% year to date. “Although averages give some sense of where the market is at they can be misleading. An increase in sales in one price range can skew the results.” adds Yochim “a better indicator of where the market is trending is the Home Price Index (HPI).” 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 the Saskatoon market in October was $310,200, virtually unchanged from the previous month. The composite index of 235.6 has been trending downward since July this year reversing a gradual upward trend which began in January. This index is at its lowest level in two years and looks to continue its downward direction. By comparison this index was at 124.6 in January of 2007 rising to its peak of 230.8 in May of 2008 before the market corrected.

Although there has been a decrease in home sales in most price ranges, there was a notable decline in the sale of homes above $700,000 month over month. In October of 2014, a total of 11 homes in excess of $750,000 sold eclipsing the 3 that sold this past month. Year to date, home sales in Saskatoon have declined by 14% from 4,002 units to 3,459. Comparatively, the number of homes listed for sale was up 8% by the end of October. This has resulted in sustained inventory levels of 1,955 units, a 26% increase over last year. Total dollar volume for the Saskatoon market at the end of last month was $1,6 Billion, that is down 15% from last year and by year end will likely equal the volume of 2013.

“The current buyers’ market is likely to remain for the foreseeable future until existing inventory is absorbed.” says Yochim. “If priced to market, homes will sell within the average of a month and a half.” New home construction has slowed, especially in the multi-family market. With higher inventory levels, buyers have more to choose from in the market. The tendency for buyers is to wait on a purchase hoping prices drop significantly. “Although there will be a downward adjustment in pricing, I don’t anticipate a significant change as some have predicted.” comments Yochim.

What is your home worth?

September 4th, 2015 by Kevin Goyer

Your home has both a personal value and a market value.

When you think of your home as a place where a family is raised and memories are built, then it’s like those popular MasterCard commercials on television: Your home’s value is “priceless”.

But when it comes to how much your home is worth to potential buyers, then things get much less sentimental. It’s the “market value” of your property that determines how much it will sell for, not your personal feelings.

Market value is simply the price that similar properties in similar neighbourhoods are currently selling for. If you were to list your home on the market today, you could expect to get somewhere close to that figure.

Even if you’re not planning to sell your home in the near future, it makes sense to get an update on its fair market value. Your home is an investment – and you should know how much that investment is worth.

There may also be circumstances where you might have to move quickly. Knowing the market value of your home will help you make quick – and better – decisions.

How do you determine the market value of your property? Call me today.

How Much Should You Budget for Home Maintenance?

August 27th, 2015 by Kevin Goyer

If you own a car, you know there’s more to the cost-of-ownership than just finance payments and gas. You also need to budget for maintenance and repairs. If your car is older, those costs are going to be higher. That’s just common sense.

The same is true of your home. It’s wise to budget for anticipated repairs and maintenance. Otherwise, you might be caught by surprise when you find that your furnace stops working and needs to be replaced. That can easily be a four-figure expense.

Experts recommend that you set aside 1% of the value of your home for repairs and maintenance. For a $500,000 property, for example, that would be $5,000. That is, of course, merely a rule of thumb. If your home is older, you may need to budget more.

Another recommended method is to budget $1 a square foot. If you have a 2,500 square foot home, that would be a budget of $2,500. Again, that number would need to be higher for older properties.

When budgeting, consider things that are getting old and will likely need to be replaced within the next three years. Examples include roof shingles, furnace, A/C unit, deck, fence, plumbing, and windows. Depending on the size and model, a new A/C unit will cost at least $5,000. Anticipating that expense will help you plan accordingly and avoid the shock of an unpleasant and costly surprise.

Keep in mind that budgeting $2,000 for repairs and maintenance doesn’t mean you’ll actually spend that money this year. But, if needed, the budget will be there, and that’s peace-of-mind.

The “3 Up” Strategy for Selling Your Home Quickly

August 27th, 2015 by Kevin Goyer

There are many reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly: a sudden job relocation; a change in family situation; or perhaps an opportunity to purchase a new home that you just can’t pass up.

Whatever the reason, this strategy will help when you need to sell fast. It’s called the “3 Up” strategy.

• Fix it up.
• Clean it up.
• Spruce it up.

First, you need to fix it up. That simply means getting things repaired around your property, such as a broken floor tile in the kitchen or a sticking patio door that’s difficult to open and close. Maintenance issues like these distract buyers from the appealing qualities of your home. Fortunately, repairs can usually be done quickly.

Second, clean it up. Obviously, when your home is clean and tidy it’s going to look its best. You also want to eliminate as much clutter as possible. You don’t need to make every room look like a magazine cover — but that’s a good attitude to have when prepping your home for a quick sale!

Finally, spruce it up. That means making any quick improvements that are going to make your home even more appealing. It might mean replacing the kitchen counters or giving the main rooms a fresh coat of paint.

Of course, the number one strategy for getting that SOLD sign on your front yard is to select a great REALTOR®.

Looking for a great REALTOR®? Call me today.

How to quickly improve indoor air quality

August 27th, 2015 by Kevin Goyer

There are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. Until you get those issues addressed, how do you make your indoor air healthier — today?

Here are some ideas:

• Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.

• Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odour in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least once a season.

• Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove odour, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture; mould being the worst. Professionals recommend you keep the bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after a shower.

• Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer pesticides and other outside ground pollutants from their shoes to your mat.

Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular way to freshen the air, and it works.

Discovering that a home you like has “issues”

August 27th, 2015 by Kevin Goyer

Say you’re viewing a home and are impressed with how it looks. The walls are freshly painted. Everything seems bright and new. You’re considering making an offer.

Then, while standing on a mat in the kitchen, you hear a squeak below your feet. You lift the mat and see that some tiles are broken. Obviously the mat was there to, literally, cover up that defect.

A few broken tiles are not a big deal. But now you’re thinking, “What else might be wrong with this house?”

There’s no reason to worry that every home will have maintenance issues hidden from view. However, it’s smart to do your due diligence to ensure the home you’re considering is truly as good as it looks.

One way is to have a professional home inspector check out the property as a condition of your purchase offer. He or she will inspect the home from top to bottom, inside and out, and point out any issues you should address.

It’s also smart to ask questions. Find out the age of certain features, such as the roof, furnace, and appliances. Ask about any recent renovations, and determine whether they were done by a professional or by the homeowner.

Most importantly, work with a good REALTOR® who can provide you with information on the property that you would have difficulty getting on your own. Your REALTOR® has a stake in making sure you buy a home with your eyes wide open — knowing all the potential maintenance issues you’re likely to encounter.

Want to talk to a good REALTOR®? Call me today.

Saskatoon Home Sales Strengthen In July

August 5th, 2015 by Kevin Goyer

July is typically a quieter month for home sales with summer vacation in full swing, however that was not the case last month. A total of 444 sales in Saskatoon last month was the second highest July in the past ten years, just shy of the 462 sales that took place in July 2013. Listing activity appears to be cooling off slightly as there was a decrease in the number of listings for the first time in over two years. Although the decrease for listings in July year over year was only 2%, it is an interesting trend to watch. 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 continued to remain virtually unchanged at $357,304 while the median price continued to move downward for the third straight month to $343,000. While averages can be misleading, a more accurate measurement of the direction of the market is the Home Price Index (HPI). This measures the overall change in value for a typical single family home over time, starting with the base year of 2005. Overall in Saskatoon, the HPI benchmark value of $329,100 remained unchanged from one year ago. This is a positive sign of the resiliency of the Saskatoon and area economy. Over the past three years this value has increased overall from $309,900. This represents a 6.2% increase in the index from 219.8 to 233.4. The index was set at a base of 100.0 and a benchmark value of $141,000 for a typical single family home in January of 2005 as a starting point.

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. “Although Saskatoon is still experiencing a balanced market it is important to recognize that with higher inventory levels, proper pricing is still critical to sell in a reasonable period of time” cautions Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “Buyers are well educated on the market and while most will pay fair value for a home, they are not willing to overpay.” Inventory levels still remain high in new housing and especially in the multi-family market. A total of 2,028 active listings in Saskatoon represents a 26% increase for the same period last year.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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