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.
Every region in the province recorded slower sales this month compared to the strong levels recorded last year. While sales in the province remained in line with historical norms, Moose Jaw stood out as the decline in January sales pushed levels well below long term trends and caused a significant rise in the months of supply. While it is too early in the year to put much weight on these figures, Moose Jaw is a place to watch. The months of supply generally trended up toward more balanced conditions across most regions. However, conditions still tightened compared to last year in the regions of Melfort and Saskatoon.
Benchmark home prices across all the larger centers did record gains compared to last January with year-over-year increases ranging from a low of just under one per cent in Estevan to a high of nearly 16 per cent in Melville. While the year-over-year gains are significant, it is important to remember that prices started to see more significant gains last year in the spring. Nonetheless, most of the centers recorded further price gains in January over December levels. The largest unadjusted monthly gain occurred in Meadow Lake at over five per cent.
City of Regina
Like other centers, sales in January eased over the strong levels recorded last year but remained above the 10-year average. At the same time, new listings did ease slightly over last year’s levels, but with 316 new listings for the month, the sales to new listing ratio eased to 53 per cent, slightly lower than the 57 per cent recorded last year. Inventory levels also remained relatively stable this month. However, slightly slower sales combined with stable inventory levels helped push up the months of supply to just over five months.
Despite the gain, the months of supply is still relatively tight, supporting further price growth in the market. Benchmark prices in January trended up over last month and reflect a year-over-year gain of over seven per cent.
City of Saskatoon
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.