March 10, 2017 7:40 am

Saskatoon home seekers still benefitting from buyer’s market conditions

WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon had the largest year-over-year percentage drop in housing prices in Canada during January.

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While new home prices increase across Canada, Statistics Canada numbers show Saskatoon is bucking the national trend.

The New Housing Price Index released Thursday shows a national average price increase of 3.1 per cent for new houses and land combined.

READ MORE: Saskatoon housing starts trend downward in February: CMHC

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Saskatoon posted the largest price decline (1.2 per cent) of any of the tracked census metropolitan areas, followed by Regina (1.0 per cent) and Calgary (0.8 per cent).

Brandon Gryba and his girlfriend have been searching for a home for the past ninth months. Currently renting, they’ve realized a new home may be possible given the market conditions.

“Based on some of the costs of the houses available, we’ve found the costs of building houses are quite comparable and competitive as well,” Gryba said.

Experts say Saskatoon is oversupplied with homes and sellers need to compete for prospective buyers.

Saskatoon is presently a buyer’s market, which means less than one out of two homes that’s listed is selling during its listing period, according to Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors.

READ MORE: ‘Positive signs’ in Saskatoon’s real estate market: SRAR

“A lot of people think that’s negative, but it’s ideal,” Yochim said.

“We’ve got still low interest rates. We’ve got lots to choose from if you’re a buyer, whether it’s a single-family house or a condominium.”

Saskatoon’s total new housing starts have been slower in 2017, down 46 per cent compared to January and February of last year.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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