November housing starts down, prices cooling in Saskatoon

November housing starts in the Saskatoon are down compared to 2014 and overall prices are in a steady decline, according to two recent reports. File / Global News

Housing starts in the Saskatoon census metropolitan area (CMA) were down in November, according to preliminary numbers released Tuesday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The numbers show construction started on around 100 units less compared to the same period last year.

Construction on 295 units began in November 2015 compared to 390 units in November 2014. Broken down, 207 multi-family units and 88 single-detached homes were started last month.

So far this year, there have been 2,096 total starts in the Saskatoon CMA compared to 3,329 at the same time in 2014. Saskatchewan’s total urban starts were at 4,044 by the end of November, down from 6,768 in 2014.

READ MORE: October housing starts down in Saskatoon

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors released a report last week, finding the inventory of local homes for sale decreased 6.5 per cent over the month of November due largely to a slowing of properties being added to the market.

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In November, there were 280 sales in Saskatoon which was consistent with the five-year average. However, sales activity was down 13 per cent year-over-year representing a total of 3,737 units by the end of last month.

Overall, the report says the Canadian Real Estate Association HPI (Home Price Index) composite benchmark price for the Saskatoon market has been in a steady decline since September. The current benchmark value of $308,000 is also at its lowest point since May 2013.

“This would indicate that overall prices are cooling and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” said Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors.

Yochim doesn’t expect this trend to change until at least the second quarter of 2016.

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