Healthy housing market in Sask. despite sales drop in August, says realtors association

File photo - for sale sign. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

It’s the second month in a row where home sales in Saskatchewan saw a decline compared to earlier this year and sales recorded in August of 2020.

Despite August seeing a fall of almost 12 per cent in sales compared to last August, the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA) says levels remain above pre-COVID-19 pandemic trends.

The association said in a statement that sales have been far stronger than anyone expected throughout the pandemic, and recent shifts might suggest the market is returning to more normal levels.

“We still very much have a year that is performing above long-range trends, which means we still have a very healthy market here in Saskatchewan,” said Chris Guérette, CEO of the Saskatchewan Realtors Association.

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The Saskatoon region recorded 611 actual sales, down seven per cent year-over-year, while the Regina region saw 348 sales and a year-over-year decrease of minus 17 per cent.

The association noted how the southeast Saskatchewan region was the only area of the province that did not hit new record levels for the year due to gains across all property types.

The easing of sales across most regions in the province was also met with a lower number of new listings in August.

“Nonetheless, slower sales relative to the inventory in the market caused the months of supply to increase to just below seven months in August,” said the SRA. “This is the first time since February that levels have risen this high.”

Guérette added that a shift to more balanced conditions will also support more stable prices in the provincial market.

Inventory was marked at 9,453 provincewide in August, a 9.0 per cent fall year-over-year. New listings finished at 2,379, down just over 6.0 per cent year-over-year but up 11.5 per cent year-to-date.

The province’s benchmark price as of August was $287,900, which is similar to what was reported in July 2021 but nearly 7.0 per cent higher than what was recorded in 2020.

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Average prices in the Regina and Saskatoon regions were $339,112 and $343,033 respectively.

“All regions of the province have seen a general reduction in inventory levels from previous years, which is sort of causing a tighter housing market relative to last year,” Guérette mentioned.

“There are a number of factors. One is that it’s fall and there are trends throughout a year when people shop for homes. However, we’re also in election mode. With the federal political parties talking about housing, it may have people watching to see how the housing market will be affected by that.”

When asked if it’s a buyer’s market or seller’s market at this time, Guérette said the province is truly fortunate to be where it’s at when it comes to real estate.

She described Saskatchewan’s real estate market as a “healthy continuum,” adding people can jump into the market with various price points and amenities available depending on a person’s life or business goals.

“I don’t want to say that to say we shouldn’t be cautious of future political decisions that may impact our housing market, but this is really a good place to invest in real estate,” noted Guérette.

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“Saskatchewan, amidst all these ups and downs, I think the overall story here is that we still have a place where we can invest and grow where we see fit depending on where we live.”

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