Following exceptionally strong sales over the last three months, July sales in the province trended down to 1,528 units. Last July sales hit a new record high for the month, so while sales did record a year-over-year decline of 15 per cent, levels are still well above typical levels seen in July. Nonetheless, year-to-date sales are at record high levels thanks to the strong start to the year.
Prior to the start of the pandemic, active listings were high in comparison to sales and prices were trending down. “While covid likely caused many to re-evaluate their housing needs, reductions in lending rates combined with earlier price declines supported much of the growth in sales,” comments Chris Guérette, Saskatchewan Realtors® Association CEO. “At the same time supply levels could not keep pace, which means the market shifted to favour the sellers as the months of supply hit levels not seen in nearly a decade.”
Recent price gains have brought more sellers back to the market as active listings trended up in July relative to last month. Slowing sales combined with monthly supply gains cause the months of supply to rise relative to the low levels experience over the previous four months. This has helped ease some of the upward pressure on prices recorded earlier in the year.
In July, the total residential benchmark prices remained relatively stable compared to last month but was still nearly eight per cent higher than last year’s levels. While price gains have been significant this year, they have not offset earlier declines and remain below peak prices achieved in 2014. Prices have generally trended up across most regions in the province, however activity does vary by location, property type and price range. “At the end of the day, consulting an expert on your next move in real estate helps to better position yourself with understanding the local reality in comparison to provincial trends,” comments Guérette.
The housing market has seen incredible demand growth throughout the pandemic despite job loss and rising unemployment levels. While low interest rates are expected to continue to fuel demand growth, higher prices are cooling some of that growth, helping shift the market back to more balanced conditions. “Even with some recent price gains, Saskatchewan is still one of the most affordable and attractive places in which to invest and call home.”
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