A report by the real estate company Re/Max says house prices in Regina and Saskatoon have dipped, compared to a year ago, because there are more homes for sale on the market.
The report, which the company called a housing market outlook, examined sales figures in both cities.
In Saskatoon a recent flurry of construction activity "has created market conditions modestly favouring the buyer," the report said. "Currently, there are four months of inventory on the market and inventory is expected to increase as more of these new builds come to market next year."
Average price dips
The outlook noted that the average sale price for a home in Saskatoon was $361,000 last year. It is now at $354,000 — a two per cent drop.
The company also provided a profile of what buyers are seeking in Saskatoon.
"Single-family homes priced between $350,000 and $425,000 were in highest demand," the report said. That demand was coming from first-time buyers and people looking to move out of a condo and into a detached home. Young people, with two incomes, were especially interested in two-bedroom homes in an older neighbourhood.
Saskatoon also saw many new condos being built, the report said, noting that inventory "is higher for condos than single-family homes", adding that most buyers preferred new builds.
The report found similar market conditions in Regina, where there has also been a lot of new construction taking place.
"High inventory kept Regina in a buyer's market throughout 2015," the report said. "However, as construction slows and inventory is absorbed a more balanced market is anticipated [for 2016].
Prices also dipped in Regina, by about three per cent compared to 2014.
The report said an average Regina home was $329,000 last year and is now down to $320,000.
The report also provided an opinion about what to expect for 2016. In both cities, the company said the average prices would likely remain the same as they were in 2015.
Nationwide, the report was projecting an increase in housing prices of 2.5 per cent. However, there were significant differences depending on the market. The Vancouver area, for example, was forecast to experience an increase in prices of seven per cent. Calgary, however, could expect to see the average price for a home to fall four per cent in 2016.