The Saskatchewan real estate market remains strong. Across the province, there were 1,853 homes sold (up over 67% from last May and up 88.9% year-to-date, going from 3,978 to 7,513), new listings were up over 14% (and up 26.7% year-to-date, going from 2,019 to 2,556,) and the MLS® Home Price Index composite was up 11.2% (up 8.4% year-to-date, going from $265,800 to $288,300). Inventories—a measure of how many months until there are no active listings given current sales levels— were also down in all 24 markets that the SRA tracks.
“May was about as strong April,” said Chris Gbekorbu, SRA’s Economic Analyst. This month-over-month leveling off in activity is expected. “Markets have been gaining momentum since last May when some pandemic restrictions were lifted. And at some point, things need to start to steady,” said Gbekorbu. But market indicators suggest that the current pace should hold.
Strong demand combined with falling inventory levels continues to put upward pressure on prices. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) composite was up in 13 of the 15 markets where these data are available (with Estevan and Weyburn showing declines of 5.9% and 1.8% respectively, while Swift Current and Meadow Lake saw the greatest increases), while the number of sales were up in 23 of 24 markets.
It’s still too early to tell what kind of an impact the new mortgage rules will have on markets. According to Gbekorbu, “When new regulations were introduced in 2018, we saw a jump in sales right before the new rules came into effect followed by a drop in sales after.” While sales and prices may fall a little in the coming months as buyers reevaluate their finances, the drop is likely to be temporary. “The rules introduced in 2018 saw prices fall just over 1% across the province, but they’ve continued climbing,” said Gbekorbu.
Swift Current and Region
Sales in Swift Current were up 225.0% going from 12 in May 2020 to 39 in May 2021, and up 146.4% in the overall region, going from 28 to 69. In Swift Current, sales were 48.9% above the 5-year average (and 31.3% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 37.5% above the 5-year average (and 31.9% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Swift Current rose 87.2% over last year, increasing from 78 to 146, while YTD sales in the larger region rose 95.4%, going from 131 to 256.
Sales volume was up 215.1% in the city, going from $3.6M to $11.3M in 2021 (47.8% above the 5-year average, and 38.6% above the 10-year average). In the region, sales volume was up 192.1%, going from $5.1M to $15.0M (40.9% above the 5-year average, and 36.1% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $41.4M, an increase of 121.1% from last year, while in the region, YTD sales volume was $56.1M, an increase of 123.8% from last year.
In Swift Current, the number of new listings in May 2021 rose 24.4%, going from 45 to 56 (1.8% below the 5-year average and consistent with the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings were flat at 102 (14.6% below the 5-year average and 15.1% below the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city rose 25.9%, going from 39 to 50, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date rose 16.5%, going from 81 to 95. Active listings fell 6.9% in Swift Current (down from 204 to 190) and fell 10.8% in the region (down from 489 to 436).
Inventory in Swift Current stood at 4.9 months (which is 71.3% below the level last year and 35.9% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 69.6%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers. Inventory in the larger region stood at 6.3 months (which is 63.8% below the level last year and 35.3% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 67.6%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers.
Homes in Swift Current stayed on the market an average of 69 days in May, down 23.3% from 90 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 76 days and above the 10-year average of 68 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 92 days on average in 2021, but up from an average of 89 days last year (and 1.8% above the 5-year average).
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—saw the price of the benchmark single family home in Swift Current rise 24.0% year-over-year, going from $210,000 to $260,300.