July 07, 2020
For immediate release
As the province continues to re-open, the real estate sector is experiencing a strong recovery. Year-over-year sales across the province were up close to 50% from June of last year (and only down 0.3% year-to-date showing that we’ve nearly recovered all of the sales lost during the lockdown), new listings were up almost 8% (down 14.5% year-to-date), and the median home price was up almost 2% (down 1.5% year-to-date). Inventories were also down in 17 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks, suggesting that people are quite eager to buy now and make up for lost time due to the pandemic.
This recovery was expected as physical distancing restrictions were loosened and as people’s confidence began to return. With the economy getting back to “normal”, people are getting excited to buy homes. “We’ve seen properties in some markets sell within days of being listed,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim. “And we’ve even seen bidding wars start to break out”, suggesting that people are quite motivated to buy and may be willing to pay more than full listing price. This could help to further drive Saskatchewan’s recovery as people are encouraged to list due to rising prices.
Prices and the number of new listings are still down in some markets (and some markets have seen an increase in the number of days for properties to sell), which continues to reflect the local nature of real estate. Despite the relatively sluggish performance compared with the rest of the province, however, these markets appear to be headed for a recovery as well and may soon return to pre-COVID level activity as the province and the economy re-open and return to normal.
Although Statistics Canada has not released the latest employment figures, employment rose 1.8% in May (while full-time employment rose 1.6%) suggesting that more people are returning to work and that a number of jobs are relatively secure despite the higher levels of unemployment created by the pandemic. Rising employment levels are promising since it means that people have the money needed to buy and help support a broader recovery.
While the future is uncertain and the recovery may slow down if we see a spike in COVID cases over the next few months, the government’s phased re-opening plan should help to minimize any potential new threats. This is boosting confidence and allowing the real estate market to recover now and help the economy to recover. “The multiple offers that members are getting,” and the low levels of inventory currently available suggest that the market has recovered and is well on its way to making up for the losses that the pandemic brought. “We may not have as good of a year as last” says Yochim, “but we should do pretty well all things considered.”
For interviews and more information:
Director of External & Government Relations
Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association