Housing sales remain slow

The North Saskatchewan River’s bank at the East Flat. Many houses there could be threatened by a 1-in-500 year flood. Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

Prince Albert’s housing market continues to limp along, the latest data from the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR) show.

Only 15 homes were sold in March, down significantly from the average 40 of the previous eight years. The previous March low was 27 sales, set in 2014 and matched last year.

So far this year, only 47 homes have been sold year-to-date, down from 67 this time last year and a high of 132 by the end of March 2012.

Other data points released by the association seem to provide more evidence of a cooling market. The months of inventory (the estimated time it would take to sell through all of the existing housing stock) has ballooned to 16.7 months. Last year at this time, the city had 10.2 months of housing stock. Year-to-date, Prince Albert’s months of inventory is at 15, up from 12.1 this time last year.

The March update wasn’t all bad news, though. Homes are staying on the market, on average, nine days less than the end of March 2018, and new listings have dropped as well.

Compared to last year, the average days on the market for March only fell by 11 days, while the number of new listings increased by 11.

Housing prices also continue to fall. Prices have trended in a downward direction since 2015.

According to a press release, other smaller centres, such as the Battlefords, are also seeing sales fall. Saskatoon, by contrast, is seeing signs of life in its housing market this spring.

“The market is considerably more challenged in smaller cities,” said SRAR CEO Jason Yochim in a press release.

“Saskatoon hasn’t been affected as much because of our diversified economy/”