FEBRUARY SALES EASE OVER RECORD LEVELS
March 03, 2021
For immediate release:
February sales in the province reached 1,059, an eight per cent decline relative to last year. While the year is starting out with sales that have slowed compared to last year, it is important to note that housing demand continues to remain strong as levels are over 22 per cent higher than what we typically see at the start of the year and nearly 40 per cent higher than average levels recorded throughout the 2015–2020-time frame.
While there have been some signs of improving new listings relative to sales, inventory levels remained lower than levels we traditionally see in the market and the months of supply averaged just over five months. The five months of supply in February is slightly lower than levels expected at this time of year.
“There is a significant amount of uncertainty weighing on the economy. While this could have some impact on demand, supply levels are still low providing some cushion should demand taper further. Conditions also vary significantly based on location, property type and price range because real estate is very local,” said Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association CEO Chris Guérette.
Most of the decline in sales was driven by pullback in the detached sector. However, some of this could be related to the lower inventory levels. Detached inventories in February were 3,643 across the province 30 per cent below 10-year averages and the lowest the market has seen since 2010.
“Last month we started to raise an alarm bell about inventory levels in Saskatchewan,” said Guérette. “Now that we’re two months into the market, that dip in inventory levels being the lowest we’ve seen since 2010 is concerning. That’s why we’re working harder than ever to build a fuller picture of Saskatchewan’s housing continuum so we can identify where the gaps are and build smartly and collaboratively for growth.”
Benchmark prices in the province have remained stable over the past several months, but on a year-to-date basis remain over five per cent higher than last year’s levels. If the inventory can better meet demand as we move through the spring, it should support more stability in prices this year.