May brings buyers to housing market

Battlefords home sales rise 52 per cent from same month last year

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The Battlefords Region

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May brought improved home sales in the Battlefords region, the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors reported Monday.

The dollar volume jumped 81 per cent to $13 million, a 52 per cent increase from last May, on 50 sales. Listings were up five per cent to 150, although that represents an increase of just seven properties. The average selling price soared 24 per cent over last May to $299,318.

Year-to-date, dollar volume is down 11 per cent in the Battlefords to $30 million and listings have fallen nine per cent from last year, to 547 from 601. The average price is also down 12 per cent, to $194,353.

Saskatoon

A hot, dry May brought a warmer market for Saskatoon home sellers, as sales rose 16 per cent over the same month of 2018.

City sales came in at 422 units, up from 363 last May and 420 the year before. Sales are also up 10 per cent year-to-date at 1,469, up from 1,342 and 1,450 in the last two years.

“Sales have rebounded significantly this year, in large part due to an increase in condo sales,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR. “Condo sales are up almost 21 per cent over a year ago. Prices have been coming down, and they are very affordable compared to most housing types.”

Year-to-date, 449 condos have sold, as compared to 372 last year. Over the same period, single family home sales rose six per cent to 1,292, up from 1,215 last year. In May, single family home sales were up 13 per cent from last May.

As sales rose, unit listings fell three per cent to 911 in May, down from 942 in 2018 and 1,031 the previous year. Year-to-date listings are also down three per cent; so far, 3,422 homes have been listed to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as compared to 3,536 last year and 4,055 in 2017.

The higher sales resulted in a 17 per cent dollar volume increase over last May to $140.7 million, up from $120.5 million. That’s despite a two per cent drop in the average selling price, which fell to $329,595 from $334,651.

“I suspect first-time home buyers have been very active this spring based on the condo sales,” Yochim said. “When lower-priced homes sell, it has a downward effect on the average price.”

In Saskatoon and region, including communities such as Warman, Martensville and Dalmeny, sales rose 14 per cent in May to a three-year high of 561 units. Listings fell seven per cent to 1,386, down from 1,485 and 1,553 in the previous two years. Dollar volume rose 12 per cent to $181.3 million from $162.3 million last year.

In the surrounding region excluding the city, dollar volume was down 13 per cent to $31.5 million from $36.3 million. Listings fell 20 per cent to 317, after two years at about 390, and sales rose eight per cent to 113, up from 105 last May. The average selling price fell 19 per cent, however, to $279,095, after posting $346,130 last May.

Year-to-date, the surrounding region has seen a three per cent decrease in dollar volume at $120 million; a three per cent drop in listings, to 1,344; and unit sales of 421, up nine per cent from last year.

As of the end of May, buyers had 3,164 listings to choose from in Saskatoon and area, unchanged from last year. Of those, 1,938 are in the city proper (down from 2,001 last May) and 1,126 are in surrounding towns and regions (down from last year’s 1,164).

“We’re finally seeing some stabilization in the housing market, which has been in buyers’ market territory for some time due to oversupply and lower consumer confidence,” Yochim said. “The sales to listing ratio was 46 per cent in May, which is approaching a balanced market.”

Prince Albert Region

The Prince Albert Region’s spring sales season has been less robust, as dollar volume fell 18 per cent to just over $12 million in May on 53 sales, down 16 per cent from last May. Listings fell a marginal two per cent to 241.

The city itself saw 34 sales, down 23 per cent from last year’s 44, although the average sale price rose four per cent to $234,972. That brought a dollar volume of $8 million, down 19 per cent from last year.

So far this year, the region has seen 730 listings (up two per cent), 212 sales (down five per cent) and a dollar volume of $44 million (down eight per cent).

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