Mike's Market Comments
2018 was a challenging year for some sellers in the Saskatoon market.
December sales were down by about 20% in terms of units sold, while overall unit sales for the year were down only about 5%. Fluctuations of 5% are certainly nothing to be concerned about, either way.
Some price ranges and neighborhoods did better than others, with the $300,000 -$400,000 price range showing the strongest results overall. Inventories were at 1487, which is consistent with the 5 year average. The list to sale ratios have improved considerably over the past few months and appear to be moving towards a balanced market, from a “buyers” market. I think this is, in part, a result of sellers accepting the market values where they are at today. (Which in most cases is still much higher than when the homes were purchased.) But when one realizes that in 2005, the average home price was $140,000., and in 2018 it was $310,000., owning a property has been a good investment. Most of us enjoyed living in the home while values have increased substantially.
The mortgage interest rates rising, as well as the new mortgage qualifying rule changes, has created some challenges for those applying for new mortgages. The buyers qualify for a lower mortgage as interest rates rise. Interest rates are still very low, which makes it very attractive for buyers in today’s Saskatoon market.
We have seen a shift to multifamily homes for a lot of people. Multifamily, or attached housing including apartment style homes, have become more popular in the past few years. This has been in part because of an aging population, but also for lifestyle reasons for the younger buyers.
As new technology in homes is becoming more common, it is important that buyers realize that they may not have the privacy that they expect when viewing some homes. Many homes now have monitoring systems that will record activities in the home and may record conversations as well. I don’t feel that there is anything to be concerned about, just something to be aware of when you are viewing homes whether inside or outside. These new technologies are creating wonderful tools that we can use to lock and unlock our doors while we are away from our homes, and set the thermostats using our smartphones. While this is great, it does come with some pitfalls that are not always obvious.
If it is time to replace some of the systems in your home, such a heating system, you might consider some of these tools as they will be expected by the younger group of buyers in the coming years.
I feel it is a great time to sell or buy a home. If you have considered making some changes, or just want to prepare for the time when you will want to sell, and you wish to discuss your options, call me.
P.S. Enjoy the rest of your winter. I will be updating you again in a couple of months in the next Market Report. Until then, you can either find me on Facebook (The Gustus Group at Re/Max) or listen to my market update on CKOM, usually the second Saturday of every month at 11:30 AM.
By: Mike Gustus