Currently in Saskatoon's Real Estate Market there are 1644 active listing, and an additional 981 in the surrounding areas of the city. In January, solds & listings were both UP 6% year over year vs. 2016 in Saskatoon. Sales were up 15% year to date (with listings down 8%) in the surround areas (most notably Martensville, Warman, Osler, acreages..etc). Of the 1644 listings in Saskatoon: 42% are condos and 44%+ are vacant (166 of those vacancies are newer builds (2013+).
Traditionally, many people hold their breath during an American election year, as the results usually influence our economy. It seems that the recent result has had a positive influence on our resource driven economy YTD, most notably with Oil being up roughly $8 a barrel since Trump won. If trade relations remain strong with the US (how about that Trudeau Handshake!), I would assume that there will be continued demand on our resources from south of the border. Continued resource demand = more disposible income + more potential population gains = more housing demand.
Having recently spoken with one of the larger builders in the city, I was informed that they had their strongest January in a few years. They noted that many of the buyers who were waiting on prices to continue to cool, seemed to have had a change in sentiment on the economy and decided it was time to act! These are all positive things and it seems the real estate cycle may be working to get out of the stagnation we have seen over the last few years.
Another postive was released last week from STATSCAN, indicating that the 5 fasting growing cities in Canada from 2011-2016 were all in the prairies, with Saskatoon (+12.5%) and Regina being 3 & 4 respectively. These numbers help support that population growth has been a key to keeping our housing prices level, with lower oil prices over the last couple of years.
At the end of the day, housing is a commodity (I always argue it actually a necessity in our climate) which fluctuates due to many different variables. A key variable is the bank of canada's over night rate (we usually (always do..) peg ours with the federal reserves (USA)). I believe it will be important for us to keep a close eye on the over night rate in the next 12 months as that will give us a good idea of where housing prices are headed in the prairies.
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