Housing sales up 16% in Saskatoon during May as condo sales increase

Housing sales in Saskatoon for the month of May reached its highest level in five years, according to the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors. File / Global News

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors says the city’s real estate market is showing signs of stabilization as housing sales in May reached the highest level in five years.

SRAR said Wednesday that 422 homes were purchased during the month, up 16 per cent from the same period a year ago, and the best numbers for May since 2014, when 496 houses were sold.

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Condominiums played a large part in the increase.

“Condo sales are up almost 21 per cent over a year ago,” SRAR CEO Jason Yochim said in a release.

“Prices have been coming down, and they are very affordable compared to most housing types.”

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SRAR said 449 condos have been sold so far this year in Saskatoon, compared to 372 over the first five months of 2018.

“I suspect first-time home buyers have been very active this spring based on condo sales,” Yochim said.

“When lower-priced homes sell, it has a downward effect on the average price.”

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The benchmark price of an apartment-style condo in May rose one per cent from the previous month to $169,100, but is off 5.5 per cent from a year ago.

Townhouse prices rose by 2.1 per cent to $218,800 compared to April, but remain off 4.1 per cent from May 2018.

The HPI for a single-family home rose 0.7 per cent to $309,200.

Total sales for the year are up 10 per cent from a year ago, with 1,469 units sold so far during 2019, compared to 1,342 in 2018.

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Yochim said the number of new listings fell during the month, bringing more balance to the market.

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“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.”

SRAR reported new listings for May fell three per cent to 911. Listings are also down three per cent for the year, with 3,422 homes listed to year-to-date, compared to 3,536 in 2018, and 4,055 in 2017.