Housing market up for June, down for 2018

Home sales in Prince Albert were on the rise in June, but despite the late surge, year-to-date sales are down for the second straight year.

According to figures released on Wednesday by the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR), 41 homes were sold in Prince Albert in June 2018, a year-over-year increase of 21 per cent. The average sale price was $232,244.

It marked the second straight month of increased year-over-year sales, which left realtors pleasantly surprised heading into the heart of the summer.

“Typically our busiest months would be April and even into June. Once we start to get into July, people are planning vacations, leaving early for vacations, up at the cottage, and we see our numbers drop off,” SRAR chief executive officer Jason Yochim said. “To see June strong for Prince Albert was good. I know it’s only two months in a row, but we consider that a positive sign.”

However, total sales from the January to June period are still down compared to one year ago. In 2018, 179 sales were reported in Prince Albert over the past six months, compared to 199 during the same period in 2017 and 254 from January to June 2016.

The number of total listings also dropped, with only 428 reported in the City of Prince Albert in June. That’s down from 466 listings in June 2017 and 512 listings in June 2016.

Numbers also dropped outside of the city, with figures from the Prince Albert City and Region showing 255 sales over the last six months. That’s down from last year, when 290 sales were reported between January and June 2017, and from the year before, when 353 sales were reported. The total number of listings also sharply declined over the same period and there was a rise in the amount of days the average listing was on the market.

Cottages and lakefront properties account for roughly one-third of the overall sales dollar volume in the Prince Albert region. Yochim said the market has cooled down in that area, but he expects that to change as sales prices continue to fall.

“It seems like pricing is coming down for the cottages,” he explained. “I know there was a period of time a few years back when they were a hot commodity and pricing seemed to be just going on without end. I think we’re seeing a correction to that, which is good and I think it’s reflected in some declining prices and a little less sale activity.”

In June 2018, the average Prince Albert City and Region property sold for $261,171. Over the past six months, the average sale price works out to $233,904.

Yochim added that July and August are typically quiet times for the Prince Albert housing market, meaning sales numbers might not pick back up until the fall.

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