Local housing market remains slow

While the regional housing market continues to be slow, there were some positive signs in February, the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR), which includes Realtors of Prince Albert, reported in their monthly update.

The total number of active listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the city at the end of the month was 223, 15 per cent lower than the previous year, and well below the five-year average of 268 active listings.

“This reduction in inventory levels is largely due to a marked decline in the number of new listings,” SRAR said in a news release.

The number of new listings was also down, with only 29, a 49 per cent decline compared to February of last year. This is the fourth consecutive decline in February listings since 2016.

While sales year-to-date and the average sale price continue to fall, the number of monthly sales showed signs of promise. The 21 MLS-listed homes sold in the city last month is an increase of 11 per cent from last February.

So far this year, though, only 33 homes have been sold, an 18 per cent decline compared to the first two months of 2018. Last year, an average of 29 homes were sold each month.

According to SRAR CEO Jason Yochim, this isn’t a uniquely Prince Albert problem.

“There seems to be a decline in listing activity across the province,” he said.

“In a slower market, there tends to be (fewer) speculative sellers and subsequently fewer listings on the market.”

The average sale price was $198,836 at the end of February, with the median rice sitting at $177,250, compared to $225,500 in 2018.

According to the Home Price Index Benchmark Prince, which SRAR says is the most accurate indicator of home pricing, taking away variables that can affect the average price, Prince Albert’s benchmark price for a single-family home was $184,000, as compared to $208,000 last February.

Regional sales, though, and average days to sell a home, have both remained mostly unchanged. Home sales in the region outside of the city saw 11 units change hands, consistent with the past three years. Year-to-date, sales are down by 10 per cent, with a total of 19 purchases.

The average time to sell a home in Prine Albert for February was 107 days, consistent with the past four months. The five-year average for days to sell in February is 103 days.