Spring is near and as we enter our peak real estate season, the high levels of inventory puts us in a favorable market for buyers.
With an average selling price of just over $341,000 Saskatoon is considered one of the most affordable places to buy in Canada. The average sale price is down 6% from last February, which was significantly influenced by the number of homes sold over $500,000. Houses priced below $500,000 are transacting efficiently; for nearly 100% of list price and in less than 50 days. In 2015, 65 properties sold by the end of February compared to 49 units for the same two‐month period in 2016.
The new mortgage rules began in February for first‐time home buyers. Those seeking to purchase a home over $500,000 now need to come up with more that just the minimum 5% down. This is the federal Governments first move to cool the housing market since 2012, and more importantly, is aimed to level off sharp price jumps in our larger cities ie: Vancouver and Toronto.
Interest rates are expected to remain status quo for the time being, as Canada is expected to have weak performance throughout 2016. Non‐energy exports are gathering momentum, especially in sectors that are sensitive to exchange rate movements. However, overall business investment remains low due to our strong dependence on the resource sector.
The housing market in Saskatoon is presenting a great opportunity for those looking to buy. We have very healthy inventory levels which provide more choices and the ability to negotiate. Especially in the new home builds, where builders are sitting on an excess inventory and willing to reduce prices to sell. Interest rates remain low, for how much longer is still to be determined, but indications are that any future movements will be gradual.