January sales eased over last years levels, but with 230 sales for the month, activity remained consistent with long term trends. At the same time, new listings in the market continued to ease compared to levels we traditionally see this time of year and could be one factor preventing stronger sales in the month. Inventory levels remained exceptionally low for January with 881 units. That is over thirty per cent below longer-term averages and the lowest January levels since 2010.
The limited supply and relatively strong sales kept the months of supply relatively tight at under four months. While prices remained relatively stable compared to where they were at the end of 2021 with a total residential benchmark price of $328,600 in January, levels are nearly six per cent higher than last January.
New listings in January remained well below traditional levels seen in the market in January. While levels are better than what was recorded in December, it did little to change the inventory situation as inventories remain at the lowest January levels since 2012.
January sales in the province reached 748 units, a decline over last year’s elevated levels, but still higher than longer term averages. Lower inventory levels likely contributed to some of the slower sales activity this month.
“Inventories still remain relatively low, but if new listings continue to improve relative to the sales, this should eventually translate into improved supply and better market balance,” said SRA CEO, Chris Guérette.
The months of supply in January rose to just over seven months. While this is a gain compared to last January, overall conditions are still relatively tight for January. Persistently tight market conditions supported further price gains. In January, the unadjusted benchmark price rose to $285,700, nearly seven per cent higher than last January.
The SRA has been working to gain a better understanding of the factors affecting housing supply in Saskatchewan. Everything from labour and supply shortages to land costs, lending rate increases, the pandemic and remote work, along with increased immigration and economic growth. All are contributing to gaps in the housing continuum and the Association is seeking partnerships that foster collaboration in the industry to work and address those gaps.
“With changes expected in lending rates, the 2022 housing market is not expected to see the demand levels as 2021. However, it is still early in the year, and like I have said before, my biggest concern for 2022 is inventory,” said Guérette.