Year-over-year sales activity is down in the Prince Albert housing market, but still above the provincial average.
The Saskatchewan Realtors Association reported 88 sales in the Prince Albert area in May, a 14 per cent decrease over the same month last year. The total housing inventory dropped during that time, while the average sale price rising to $292,450. That’s a 13 per cent increase over the year before.
Saskatchewan Realtors Association CEO Chris Guérette said the lack of inventory was likely the big reason for the drop in sales activity.
“It’s kind of like when you’re shopping for shoes. You’re looking for something very specific, either office or gym or whatever, and if you walk into a store that doesn’t have a lot of selection, you chance of finding something or walk out purchasing something is decreased,” Guérette explained. “It’s the same in the housing industry. With the amount of supply being so low, it’s hard to find something that suits your needs.”
The Prince Albert region has reported 291 sales so far in 2022. That’s decrease of 31 per cent over the year before, when Saskatchewan hit record sales levels. Every region of Saskatchewan has seen a decrease in sales except for the southeast, which saw a modest increase of four per cent.
While sales have gone down, prices have gone up. The Prince Albert Region’s average May sale price was 13 per cent higher than in 2021. Guérette said low inventory levels are likely driving that trend as well.
“Sales are still relatively high compared to the 10 year average, and the amount of supply is going down,” she said. “What that does is it puts pressure on prices, so it’s not a surprise that prices continue to go up.”
Some parts of Canada have seen huge increases in housing prices over the past year, with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island all reporting increases of more than 20 per cent.
Guérette said it’s unlikely Saskatchewan will see big swings in the housing market, but added it will take two to four months before buyers and sellers feel the impact of increased inflation and interest rates.
The latest Saskatchewan Realtors Association report shows the province at its lowest housing supply total since 2008. Guérette said that needs to change if prices are going to drop.
“Our recent report in partnership with the Saskatchewan Housing Continuum Network titled Saskatchewan’s Current Housing Continuum outlines the significant number of homes our province needs to build in the next seven years, so we don’t fall behind.” She said in the report. “The next step will be to undertake research and recommend targeted policies that foster building and smart growth.”
Total housing sales in Saskatchewan continue to be well-above the 10-year average of, with 6,682 reported as of the end of May.