In the last update, I mentioned mortgage rule changes resulting in increased demand for October. We felt that a number of buyers rushed their purchase to avoid the changes that were effective October 17th. This contributed to very strong sales numbers in October (+8% vs Oct 2015). At that time we predicted that the November numbers would suffer as a result. This appears to have been the case, as November sales fell 14% compared to 2015. The year-to-date stats show a 7% decline in units sold, so November sales were softer than what we have seen so far this year. The mortgage rule changes were a big contributor to this.
Housing inventories (# of listings) were a bit below 1700 units in November. This is higher than the historical average, but has decreased from several months of carrying more than 2,000 listings earlier in the year. The Saskatoon market typically sees a reduction of active listings in the late fall and early winter, so we are seeing that trend repeat itself. Higher than average inventories continue to be more heavily weighted to the condo market.
The differences between the condo and single family housing markets are also reflected in the overall market prices. According to the MLS Home Price Index, single family home prices have remained relatively flat at -0.7% over the past 12 months. Apartment condo prices are showing -5.79% over the same period.
Overall, we expect December to be pretty similar to what we have seen all year with some reduced demand compared to 2015. While predictions are difficult in any market, it is interesting to note some recent positive economic news for Canada and Saskatchewan. Oil is trading over $50/barrel again, and Canada’s economic growth for Q3 was the strongest seen in 2 years. Real Estate market demand depends largely on population growth, job growth, and income growth. As these 3 factors improve, we will see strengthening in our real estate market.
If you are looking for advice or assistance with buying or selling, please contact our Agent on Duty, or Matt Miller, Broker (306-260-4720, firstname.lastname@example.org).