Housing market continues to be hot during summer: Sask. Realtors Association

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association says it expected a sharp decline and instead the industry has recovered.

Association says it expected a sharp decline and instead the industry has recovered

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association says it expected a sharp decline and instead the industry has recovered. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

Housing sales have been heating up this summer in Saskatchewan, despite the global pandemic. 

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association said numbers are on the rise across the province when compared to last year at the same time. The organization represents 1,500 realtors across the province. 

"Things are looking good in both of the major cities. Regina is just slightly ahead of Saskatoon," Jason Yochim said. 

Yochim is the CEO of the Saskatchewan Realtors Association. He said about 10 per cent of houses also sold above their original asking price in Saskatoon and eight per cent sold over the asking price in Regina. 

According to the association, year-over-year sales were up more than 56 per cent in July across the province and new listings were up more than nine per cent year-over-year but down 11 per cent year-to-date. 

Houses are slightly more expensive, with median sale price going up 2.7 per cent and inventories down in all markets the association tracks. The association said that shows people are eager to buy. 

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association says the market in Sask. quickly recovered after a decline during the pandemic. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Yochim said realtors originally expected a sharp decline during the pandemic, but the market in Saskatchewan was fortunate to only have a 50 per cent decline in April and a strong recovery after. 

"There were a couple of things at play there," he said.

"The spring market is typically the busiest time in real estate in this province and that was delayed and that demand got pent up and added to the late spring or early summer demand," Yochim said. 

Sales in Saskatoon were up 41 per cent — going from 390 in July 2019 to 550 in July 2020. Sales are up 54.5 per cent in the Saskatoon region. Sales were also up 33.1 per cent from the 10-year average. The number of places listing rose 9.1 per cent as well in Saskatoon. 

It may come as a surprise, but the real estate market in Saskatchewan is faring pretty well - even as the world's economy remains especially unstable due to the coronavirus pandemic. 6:40

Sales in Regina were up 51.2 per cent. It rose from 254 in July 2019 to 384 in July 2020. The Regina region is up 57.8 per cent in the overall region. Sales in Regina were up 40.1 per cent above the five-year average. 

In Regina, the number of new listings in July 2020 rose 10.6 per cent and is higher than the five-year-average and 10-year-average.

It was much the same throughout Saskatchewan: 

  • Melfort sales were up 40 per cent year over year. 
  • Moose Jaw sales were up 38.3 per cent year-over-year.
  • North Battleford sales were up 68.8 per cent year-over-year.
  • Prince Albert sales were up 65.6 per cent year-over-year. 
  • Swift Current sales were up 80 per cent year-over-year.
  • Yorkton sales were up 13.6 per cent year-over-year.

There was also an increase in demand for recreational sites such as cabins, Yochim said. 

"I think there's some interesting things that we're seeing on this side of the COVID pandemic. I think a lot of people are unable to travel, certainly internationally … so they're looking at other alternatives for recreation and recreation property is no exception," he said. 

Yochim said he expects demand to continue throughout September and October and more homes on the market due to the increased demand. He said it will most likely cool down as usual in November and December.