Housing prices continue downward slide in Saskatoon

WATCH ABOVE: Justin Trudeau outlines incentives for first-time homebuyers.

House prices continued to slide in Saskatoon during March despite an increase in sales, according to new numbers from the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR).

The average selling price was down four per cent from a year ago to $316,445, partially due to a higher proportion of entry-level homes below $400,000 being sold, SRAR said.

There was also a significant decrease in sales of homes between $400,000 and $450,000, the organization added.

READ MORE: Housing prices in Saskatoon decline in Q1

SRAR CEO Jason Yochim said a better indicator of the market is the home price index (HPI).

The composite benchmark fell 2.7 per cent from a year ago to $283,700.

“We’re coming into the spring market, and the degradation of prices over the last three years has made it a little more attractive out there,” said SRAR CEO Jason Yochim in a release.

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“People do get a little bit more optimistic in the spring.”

READ MORE: Housing market in Saskatoon warms up slightly in February

Yochim said some of the optimism may be due to new measures announced by the federal government for first-time homebuyers.

“(It) provides a five per cent interest-free loan on existing homes, and 10 per cent on new homes, to first-time buyers,” Yochim said.

“Our industry has been lobbying for changes such as this for a long time.”

Sales were up 11 per cent when compared to March 2018, with 258 homes purchased.

READ MORE: Mortgage stress test has adverse effect on Saskatoon’s housing market

New listings were also up five per cent from the same period last year.

Saskatoon remains a buyers’ market with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 37.

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