At the beginning of the 2020 year, the Saskatoon real estate market began with definite promise. The numbers certainly show a much more balanced market of late as sales volume and prices were quite strong. Of course, there will be a slow down due to the Covid-19 outbreak, however a survey done by Point 2 homes in March shows that buyers have not lost confidence in the market. Most prefer to wait to purchase once this blows over. With interest rates at all time lows over the past few weeks, plenty of buyers are still actively shopping.
The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission has put strict guidelines into place since the recent outbreak. It is obviously not business as usual as Realtors in Saskatoon are working remotely from their home offices and are reinventing how they do business. Virtual tours, high definition pictures and virtual video caravans are now the talk of our now virtual weekly meetings. Its my belief that these changes will help agents figure out new ways to market homes that will become the norm in the future.
Since New Years day there have been 723 firm sales in the Saskatoon real estate market which is a 7% increase from the previous year. We haven’t had a first quarter as productive as 2020 since 2017. Currently the average days on market is 68 which is up 5 days from 2019 figures. Most importantly in the first quarter of 2020, prices are better than they were in 2019! The average price of a detached home is currently $370,210 which is up 3.6% from 2019. Meanwhile the average price of a condominium in 2020 is currently $247,871 and up nearly 5% year over year.
Active listing inventory is beginning to drop as sellers are reluctant to list their homes during the Coronavirus pandemic. There are currently just under 1400 listings in the Saskatoon market, which is a slight drop off from 2019. It might be a good time to list if the competition in your niche market is sparse.
Also of note; Saskatoon’s multi-family rental market has witnessed its vacancy rate drop from a 10.3% peak 4 years ago to 5.7%, according to the latest report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC). Ultimately this is the lowest vacancy rate of any urban centre in Saskatchewan.
A mortgage broker I work with wrote a mortgage on a deal under 2% last week! You can’t expect this type of rate, however these are historically low rates and must be taken advantage of and quickly. In the current coronavirus pandemic I urge those that are shopping for homes currently to LOCK IN A RATE as soon as possible. ‘Locking in a rate’ means you can guarantee a rate for yourself with a lending institution for 3 months. If the rate goes up in that 3-month window, you get the low rate they promised and if they go down, you can take advantage of that as well. We have connections to the best mortgage brokers in the city of Saskatoon, so please don’t hesitate to ask to be referred. Banks are raising rates over the past few days because of a decrease in earnings and cost increases on their behalf.