2015 hasn’t been a banner year for home sales in Saskatchewan. In fact, this has been one of the worst years to sell a home in Saskatchewan in recent memory, even though our economy is still doing well, and our population is still growing.
The main culprit behind the slower sales this year is that there is just too much inventory for buyers to choose from, and maybe not quite as many buyers as in the past few years.
In a normal year, somewhere between 50 & 60 percent of our customers are successful in selling their homes privately, and the same is true of sellers who use the MLS system to market their homes.
But this year, our sales-to-listings rate is sitting at 38.5 percent. That is almost identical to the MLS sales-to-listings rate of 40.2 percent so far this year.
A sales-to-listings ratio of 40 percent or less is considered to be a buyer’s market, while a sales-to-listings ratio of 60 percent or more is considered to be a seller’s market.
Things have been particularly tough for condo sellers and new home sellers. There have been a lot of new homes and condos built in the past couple of years, and many of them are still for sale. There is a lot for buyers to choose from, and that means sellers need to make sure their properties are priced competitively.
Sellers of resale homes and condos need to make sure their properties compete favourably with those brand new properties that buyers can consider as well.
The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors just reported that September sales were down 16 % from a year ago, and that year-to-date sales are down by 12 %. That is consistent with the experience that sellers on saskhouses.com have had this year. While many homes are still selling, more than usual are not.
The Association is also reporting that the average selling price for a home in Saskatoon was $334,971 in September, down from $354,818 in September of 2014.
But while it looks like we are definitely in a buyer’s market right now, there are forecasts for brighter days ahead for sellers in 2016. A new report from Price Waterhouse Coopers and the Urban Land Institute says Saskatoon is looking like one of the best markets for new foreign and domestic investment in 2016. It says there have been discussions of some more corporate head offices moving to Saskatoon, and bringing people and new jobs with them. Here’s hoping for a better year for Saskatchewan sellers in 2016!