The Saskatoon real estate market remains strong. Across the province, there were 1,914 homes sold (up over almost 12% from last June and up 65.7% year-to-date, going from 5,690 to 9,427), new listings were down 2.6% (but up 20.0% year-to-date, going from 2,174 to 2,608) and the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) composite was up 9.8% (up 8.9% year-to-date, going from $262,700 to $288,500). Inventories—a measure of how many months until there are no active listings given current sales levels— were also down in 23 of the 24 markets that the SRA tracks.
“The market continues to level off from the highs seen earlier this year,” said Chris Guérette, SRA’s CEO. This month-over-month leveling off in activity is expected and is being seen across the country. “As more people get their COVID vaccines and the economy continues to open up, people’s spending decisions are going to include things other than housing,” said Guérette, “and that’s going to temper demand somewhat. But so far, market activity remains positive.”
Some policy makers had hoped that the new mortgage rules that came into effect June 1 would help to moderate demand; “It’s still too early to tell what the full impact of the tighter mortgage rules will be, but they don’t seem to have had any real impact on Saskatchewan markets,” said Guérette. Across the province, sales were still up nearly 18% and prices were up almost 10%, while the changes introduced in 2018 saw both sales and prices fall. According to Guérette, ”the jump in sales and drop in inventory despite efforts to cool the market suggests that the market is still quite strong and that if we want to see prices moderate, policy efforts should be aimed at increasing supply rather than trying stifle demand.”