Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (May 12-16 2008)

This past week produced the second highest number of new residential listings this year with a total of 244 properties offered up for sale including 162 single-family homes and 67 condos. Total active listings available on the Saskatoon real estate market now sits at 1,051 units, the highest level that I can recall in the past 15 years. Last year, at this time, we were celebrating as active listings briefly broke the 300 mark. Based on weekly sales at that time, we barely had a two-week supply. Today, we easily have enough property to satisfy demand for about two months, even if another home wasn’t offered for sale during that time. It’s a different market indeed.

Total recorded unit sales came close to the 100 mark and settled at 89 in the single-family and condominium categories, up just a smidge from last week, and down from 154 units during the same week last year. Given the diminished demand and the growing number of active Saskatoon home listings, sellers have about a one in fourteen chance that their property will make the “sold” category by the end of next week. Just a few months ago, you had enough market clout to name the place and the time of the sale. If your home has been on the market for more than three weeks, your price is too high and you’re headed toward an expired listing without an adjustment to your price. Again, it is a different market today.

Remarkably, the percentage of Saskatoon homes that sold above the asking price took a pretty solid jump from around 15% last week, to 26% this week. The average overbid also increased and crossed the $10,000 mark for the first time in four weeks. Last year at this time, 75% of the homes sold went above list price by an average of $27,000.

In spite of rising inventories and lackluster sales, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home hit a new high this week at $326,544. The average was skewed significantly higher by one remarkable residential sale that recorded a price of almost $1.8 million dollars. Remove that sale from the equation and the average is closer to $310,000. On the average, selling prices stayed below list prices for the fourth consecutive week, but again, the difference was marginal given the expanded options that exist for Saskatoon home buyers.

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (May 12-16)

See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here
Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate


  1. Armoth, take the bus, use less oil, good for the environment. Sustainability is cool now.

  2. Armoth, wouldn’t want well rounded discussion, or a “blog” style discussion. And yeah, everyone loves Saskathcewan “As for Sask most people know it is a great place to live”.

    What’s the population now?

    What was it 50 years?

    How many more people is that?

    What percentage growth is that?

    How much is that annually? (remember reverse compound)

    Everyone knows what a great place it is…

  3. Alex and Heather,

    It seems your economic outlook and doom and gloom would be welcome in Russia since some of ur ideas seem to fall in line with socialist ideals. Maybe you should go over there and go preach how the world is gonna end over there. As for Sask most people know it is a great place to live and resources are what the world lives on asking people not to use them is idiotic and ignorant. If your so against using our resources turn off your power and stop driving your cars but in the meanwhile lets keep it Sask real estate and use the blog for what it is created for please.

  4. Heather D. says:


    My husband was born in Uranium city and his family had to uproot leaving their house, furniture, LIFE behind when those mines closed down – then had to start ALL over again. Very sad.


    I was unfamiliar with that piece of history – and haven’t seen The Emporer’s Club. (I think I’ll go rent it now!) There’s a great quote in there:

    “great ambition and conquest without contribution is without significance.” :’)

    • Norm Fisher says:


      I don’t think that prices are still rising here. I can’t say that they’ve dropped but all indications point to “pretty much flat.”

  5. Alexander Trauzzi says:

    Lots of the cursors – much like how people de-speculate on Ontario and Eastern Canada being tied to manufacturing – is such blatant nonsense. This includes Saskatchewan’s abundance of something we’ve known is there for a long time.

    Who says any of that?! Ontario’s economy is likely one of the most diverse in our country. To boot, they have perhaps even hoped to make steps towards stability and civility towards all income brackets.

    It’s this subset of false trends that some isolated people get stuck with in the west, and get their heads spun!

    Realistically, the sentiment isn’t circulated amongst people involved in the procurement, purchase, processing, providing and what ever other “P” you can think of to do with it. It’s just a term speculative investment sharks use the same way cereal boxes proclaim “NEW!”

    It’s just a load of undeliverable crap and red herrings. When will people stop all this greed and start looking at society building?!

    Oh, I’m sorry if you want your boat, new truck, cabin or other status wealth symbol. But if that’s your measure of self worth…movie lovers will like this:

  6. todd, ever hear of uranium city? uranium mining is not so cut and dry. nor is its demand when there is demand. its not like Iran and Myanmar can put an order in like its a drive through window. many countries should never get their hands on the stuff for a lot of reasons. alberta has oil too. more than us and easier to get to. yet their real estate prices are falling as listings build by the 1000’s. so yes I hope we are like alberta in that sense. as for diamonds, there has been hype for a few decades about that, and where are all the diamonds?

  7. Heather D. says:


    Just because SK has all these resources I don’t believe it’s directly proportionate to our real estate market. It has already had it’s “boom”. Just because SK’s economy may be strong it doesn’t mean housing prices will continue rising despite the rest of Canada cooling. I guess time will tell.

    I also don’t think raping our land of ALL it’s non-renewable resources is a good idea. When will we stop throwing money into oil drilling, etc., and instead use that money to research and develop REAL solutions?

  8. I wish the local newspapers would quit printing doom and gloom about Canada’s real estate market, yet they never mention how Saskatchewan is doing. I already know that Quebec and Ontario’s real estate market is in the crapper due to their manufacturing slump that is only going to worsen. They are much more tied to the US economy than the west. Saskatchewan’s real estate market is still going up and will continue for some time as the oil prices rise, so too will interest in this province. We are much like Alberta whether anyone likes it or not. The only difference is that we also have uranium, which is set to become the next method of providing energy for the planet. People here in Saskatchewan can take advantage of this by making investments in Uranium companies, oil companies, local real estate. We have the most purest uranium on the planet, in the most abundance, let’s take advantage of this fact rather than sticking our heads in the ground. We also have potash coming out of the ying yang, it’s price has doubled or even tripled in the last year. This province even has diamonds, what else can we ask for?

  9. Heather D. says:


    I think you hit a nerve!

    There are SO many people who are SO focused on financial gains – it’s the only way they know how to define themselves. It’s terribly sad, and not a good example for younger generations. North Americans are heading in the wrong direction! Maybe an economic collapse would straighten us out?

    I’m definitely the furthest thing from Conservative, but I must admit Harper hasn’t majorly screwed up yet, has he? He pleased all the right-wing voters with all these promises (ie. stopping gay marriages), but then hasn’t delivered on any of those right-wing views. (He delivered on lowering taxes which I didn’t think was a good idea, but what’s done is done) Maybe he’s really a Liberal attempting to take the Conservative party DOWN from the inside!?!? LOL

  10. Alexander Trauzzi says:


    If I’m not being flown out to Calgary to cover for the stark inability of that city to harbor actual working human beings, I’m at home working on a side project or if I have the guts, my basement.

    In a lot of ways, I feel run out of this blog. Being called disingenuous for making observations days later (or even days before!) popular media supports kinda takes it out of you eventually.

    People are so intent on not observing the situation correctly, it’s no wonder our country is going to hell in a conservative hand basket. We’ve allowed a generation of greedy 40somethings to use my naive generation to line their pockets.

    Coming on here to talk about it only draws the boosters out in packs to shoot you down for challenging their cash cow. I know where all the problems are and we unfortunately happen to live in a time where you can be called “extreme” (or more politely – unmoderate) for wanting the best for yourself and others.

    Doesn’t stop me from doing it, but a real estate blog is a good way to get a sampling of people only interested in money-and-nothing-else.

    Gotta be aware of your audience 😉

  11. Heather D. says:

    Just an observation,

    Funny how comments on here are precisely directed at me or my views (while some hide behind their so-called “generalized” posts) and you act like I’m just reading into it? You must be a bit dense if you honestly think they aren’t aimed (at least in part) at me. (Don’t worry, I felt no need to restrain myself there) Could you at least give me any insight as to why you even care?

    And thanks for complimenting me on my wit. :’)


    You’ve been absent! Enjoying the summer? (I hear it’s finally going to arrive there soon)

  12. Alexander Trauzzi says:

    Funny how whenever anyone tries to defend the middle class, snippy little commenters with titles for a name make some jeers.

    There’s a huge problem here with people skimming a post and opposing it based on political bias rather than practical observation.

    Good example:

    “It is like they want Saskatchewan to go back in the toilet so they can smugly proclaim “ha! I told you so!”.”

    I’m sorry, what’s the basis for this assumption? The statement is completely off even based on figuring Saskatchewan was ever “in the toilet”. Saskatchewan up until 2006 may very well have been one of Canada’s top three provinces.

    Now the province is defined by guileless greed and reckless status-wealth built on a philosophy of debt. How unabashedly right wing!

    I can’t wait until the next rounds of elections across the country. Provincial, federal and municipal. Get rid of all these greedy thieves rigging our economy for their friends.

    Eyes to the South. While Canada subjects itself to a greed revolution, the United States make steps away from it. I guess people are getting sick of being told to anticipate the trickle down.

  13. Just an Observation says:

    Funny how after anyone makes a general comment on here about how whiney or negative or miserable people are oh here , Heather D responds to it as if it was directed at her. I’m sure she’ll be dying to write some witty reply , but is really trying to restain herself , lol.

  14. Heather D. says:


    What makes you think by the real estate market cooling in SK that it will “go back in the toilet”? Seeing overpriced properties correct themselves isn’t going to change SK’s prospects. I find your posting weird and presumptuous. :’)

    I love SK and would never wish anything bad for it. However, what I’m seeing it morph into IS bad and I certainly don’t want us to become the next AB.

    BTW, I WILL smugly proclaim “I told yah so” because any decency that remained in me about this whole Saskatoon real estate topic has been stomped out by EVERY SINGLE PERSON saying to my face “it’s just going to get worse, buy in now or you’ll lose out!”.

  15. I have also been a part of the blog for awhile and told my story of even with a 50k income and 3 kids i still could afford a home in a decent area. There is no reason for others to be wishing debt and destruction just because you did not or could not buy a home. And wishing others to “lose their shirts” by buying homes and hoping for recession is what is funny about this. If you think about it the complainers and the people who insult others on this blog do not own homes I believe this is Karma no? What I wish for every1 on this blog is happiness and that everyone has a chance to own a home if they deserve it.

  16. Great stuff thanks. Mandatory reading for anyone who thinks Garth Turner knows what he’s talking about this time…

  17. Not Garth Turner says:

    Mike on the Edmonton blog posted this link to some of Turner’s previous predictions:

    Interesting read. Posted it here as some here take what he has to say as gospel.

  18. I found this site a few months ago and Norm’s weekly report is great. However, I am shocked at the negativity of the posters. It is like they want Saskatchewan to go back in the toilet so they can smugly proclaim “ha! I told you so!”.

    I just find it weird.

  19. Heather D. says:


    I don’t recall what your story is. If you bought a property with intentions to flip then I won’t feel sorry if you lose money on your it. However, if you bought in because you NEEDED a place to live, and are now moving I DO have sympathy for your plight. The real estate in Saskatoon should have NEVER gone this high in the first place, unfortunately some innocent bystanders may end up losing out.


    Oh my, that guy is insanely over-confident:

    “If I had money I wanted to invest with an almost sure-fire guarantee of a good return, I would invest in this province”

    Those are strong words – NOTHING in the real-estate game is “sure-fire”, as we’ve ALL learned by now!

    “all sources point to housing prices going much, much, MUCH higher”

    That IS comic gold! He must be an investor… or a dreamer. ;’)

  20. A new home in these areas is just not affordable. I have a feeling these places will not grow like as planned. And if there is a downturn in our economy, I would not want living in the new areas.

  21. Well it’s official. The Canadian Housing Boom is now over. So says the RBC anyways.

    With this news it sounds like some speculators are already starting to get desperate to unload their properties. This one post over at Garth’s site trying to convince people to buy further investment properties in Saskatchewan is one of the funniest I have read for a long while.

    “I tend to disagree with this article. While I agree that others markets are showing signs of peaking, others like Saskatoon and Regina, are just beginning to hit their stride. From everything I have heard and read, the stage is set for the former have not province of Saskatchewan to become one of the main economic hubs of Canada. Wages are increasingly at prevously unheard of rates, their economy is booming, and people around the world have their eyes on what is being called the Paris of the prairies. If I had money I wanted to invest with an almost sure-fire guarantee of a good return, I would invest in this province. Home ownership cost are still a relative bargain with prices only starting to catch up to with rest of Canada, and all sources point to housing prices going much, much, MUCH higher. From the people I have talked to, in the next couple of years prices are likely to appreciate in the range of $100,000 for even a meagre starter bungalow property!!! Like their slogan says, the sky is wide open to the opportunity this previously overlooked jewel of a province offers. If you are looking to invest in a near sure thing, Saskatchewan is your best bet.”

    Comedy gold I tell you! I hope guys like this lose their shirts.

    • Norm Fisher says:


      For May we have 9 sales in Willowgrove, 6 in Hampton Village and 1 in Stonebridge.

  22. Norm,

    You mentioned no sales in Specubridge. How about Willowgrove and Hampton Village? Are these areas selling or is there a pull back also?

  23. George,

    No I bought in exhibition. I wish we were able to put it on the market a month and a half ago but what can you do. I might be burnt and make Heather happy!

    Hopefully my house in MJ will increase in equity comparible to what I might loose in Stoon.

  24. I was looking at Saskhouses and found out for the houses in Stonebridge for a first time buyer the annual taxes for a property are what your monthly payment will be for that property.


    Mortgage payment 1857 Annual taxes 2700

    Taxes 225

    Utilities 150

    Saskenergy 150

    Phone,tv, internet 150

    $2532 to make payments on this property for a first time buyer plus general upkeep each month comes close to the annual taxes.

    And when these skinny houses on skinny lots first came out they were for first time buyers. I remember this same house was listed for 165,000 in Hampton Village in 2005. Stonebridge Speculators! Arggh!

    I’m gonna call it Specubridge from now on.

  25. tb,

    did you buy in Stonebridge?

    • Norm Fisher says:


      A “buyer’s market” could be most simply defined as one which has more sellers than buyers. Inventory levels which offer about a three month supply are pretty balanced. Once we get beyond that, we’re probably in a buyer’s market.

  26. Check out the chart in this article:

    interesting… houses down in last quarter and year, 8-20%, but up 30-70% including declines over last 5 years (note: u.s. market)

  27. When is it considered a buyer’s market?

    I am currently selling my place as work is taking me south. Getting people thru here but was hoping for a quicker sell than what I am experiencing!

    Last year I was stressed in buying, now I am stressed selling! I just cant believe the change in a few short months!

  28. Heather D. says:


    That’s awesome that you got the lot you wanted. :’)

    Will you start building as soon as the lot is serviced? I am very surprised to see that the 8 lots already serviced haven’t gone yet! Not one! If I were picking a lot that would be one of my first choices so I could get started right away.


    With over 1000 listings it’s pretty hard for Saskatoon NOT to have a “for sale” sign (or multiple signs) on every main street. It’s a beautiful sight.

  29. Anybody know of any streets without real estate signs? I couldn’t count the number on Clarence and on Willowgrove Bvld there are four for sale out of about 9 houses.

    I can’t seem to drive down a main drag without seeing a sign!

  30. Hi Heather, you’re right, I forgot about the 75 pre-sold lots, so its really a 3:1 ratio!

    I did have the good fortune of getting a low number, and actually got the first lot I wanted. There were even some walk-out lots still available when I went, but I couldn’t afford to get one of those.

    If its any consolation, my boss was telling me about people down south that thought they won the lottery when they got lots in the local draw. Then a couple years later, they end up looking after the neighborhood as prices plunged and all of the nearby houses sat empty. Anyways, who knows what’s in the cards for the place we call Saskatoon. But its fun to guess.

  31. No Stonebridge sales in May?

    Speculating on new houses don’t sound too much like the good life to me.

  32. speculative builder says:

    Don’t worry about me , I’ll still make a huge profit even if house prices drop 20%. Ahh the good life.

  33. Heather D. says:

    speculative builder,

    Oh, and just how exactly did you “make something happen” for yourself? Perhaps by the good fortune of having a LOT to build on??? Or was it the magic lot fairy that gave you one?

    Now go and build those houses that you’ll be selling for a lot LESS than you’d hoped for by fall. :’)

  34. speculative builder says:

    Man , there sure is a lot of whining going on here. Make something happen like I have instead of whining about lots.

  35. Heather D. says:

    Oops, wasn’t thinking, builders are choosing too. There’s a LOT of lots already gone! *sigh*

  36. Heather D. says:


    Wow, what the heck was your number?!?!? ONE!? You’re sure lucky. What lot did you pick? I’m going to go look at the map and I’ll have a 1 in 8 chance of getting it right. :’)

    It’s as I’ve previously stated, the fact is 75 lots were presold to builders, then the remaining 235 lots are up for the lot draw, and it is 1 lot for an individual for every 2 lots for builders. Outrageous!

  37. jrochest says:

    You remembered the number right, Lou: it’s a big 1912 ‘century home’ with what looks like loads of upgrades & nice decoration.

    Given that, it’s sad they didn’t think to, you know, fix the slant…

  38. Hi Heather, well I was able to select a lot today from the lot draw. For those interested, the sequence goes individual, builder, builder, individual, builder, builder, and so on. So its not as slanted as we had thought earlier, but still 2:1 ratio in favor of the builders.

  39. Gail, I believe it was 303076. Big brown and white one in Haultain, listed at $329,000.

    Maybe its not a big deal to jack up a leaning corner of a house, but as a first time buyer looking for a HOME, I don’t want to go anywhere near something like that.

    I’d recommend you check it out for yourself though, don’t take some anonymous message board poster’s word for it!

    • Norm Fisher says:


      Sounds like an interesting weekend.


      Are you looking for a house with “a slant?” :)

  40. Lou,

    Do you have mls link or address for the house with the slant?

  41. jrochest,

    it does seem fishy that all of a sudden the world needs everything we have and they will pay top dollar for it. I do know that in India and China that at least 1 million each per year are moving to the middle class and they have the money to pay for better and more food. Factor in Austrailia’s drought the last couple of years and corn being used for ethanol. Less supply and more demand= higher prices.

    Middle East uncertainty raises oil prices( have they not been fighting since 1 AD?)

    Or is it this?

    Since the US economy is going in the crapper and once reliable stocks and banks are not as safe, investors and speculators are looking at commodities as a safer alternative to put their money. Oil has almost doubled in a year with less demand and supply remaining constant. Speculation has driven most our commodities through the roof. I believe demand might have a little to do with it but not to justify what we are seeing these days. The trouble is finding out whether this speculation is short of long term.

  42. Open houses I was at seemed slow the last couple of weekends.

    A few little things that stuck out:

    A couple feature sheets had the price crossed out, and the new price written below (20K reduction on a low 300’s house for one). I take that as a good sign.

    Had another agent giving us the asking price/sq ft comparisons as we were trying to walk out the door.

    Almost found it hard to locate the open houses we were looking for, what with all the other for sale (and sold) signs out.

    Saw an agent offering a dinner gift certificate draw for people coming through. Any gimmicks like that last year?

    And a big old character house with a nasty slant to it. I didn’t feel safe inside the place. Lots of square footage though!

  43. Somethingdoesnotadd,

    here is a story for the first 3 months of this year.

  44. jrochest says:

    Joe said:

    “What we DO know is that the world needs resources and that Saskatchewan is very well positioned to provide many of those resources, be it grain, oil, potash, water, uranium, lumber or what have you”

    And apparently the world *hasn’t* needed grain, potash, oil, water, uranium, lumber or what have you for the past 22 years, else they’d have beaten a path to our door.

  45. Norm,

    My take on the market right now is that anything below 300k is either junk, bad area, very small or overpriced.

    300-400k are decent properties and are selling.

    400-500k is getting pretty pricey and there is a smaller percentage being sold than 300-400k.

    Anything over 500k will have trouble selling or will take alot longer to sell.

    Inventory is climbing and it seems every house being built is either a mini mansion or cookie cutter houses with such small lots that with enough force you could pee from your back door and hit the garage.

    I see a glut of houses next year in the high price range. There are no new houses being built that are affordable to an average family, everything is big and expensive.

    This will never happen here but it is a good read.

  46. George:

    Good question.

    We don’t truly know.

    What we DO know is that the world needs resources and that Saskatchewan is very well positioned to provide many of those resources, be it grain, oil, potash, water, uranium, lumber or what have you and we are still relatively low cost, low transit times, etc, etc.

    The original speculators that quietly moved in to buy in 2006 didn’t do so thinking “hey, lets create a false boom and buy up the homes! that way the idiots will move in and do the same while we get out! ha ha!” they did so because they saw that Sask has truly great potential for the future as far as business is concerned.

    Alberta saw the same thing happen in the 90’s. Prices started rising and people were like “what the hell!?! Where is our big boom!” then all of a sudden things went crazy years later.

    People don’t realize that it takes years for people to start setting up businesses and investing. For example, record land sales for Oil related activity this year are for FUTURE YEARS. It will take 3 or 4 years to get those projects going (they dont happen over night), but once they are going, it will create employment and what not and give people money to blow, etc, etc.

    Of course, home prices shot up too fast and we are all depressed because of it and looking around going “boom? what boom”.

  47. Joe,

    good point that houses priced now are higher than even 5 months ago. Pretty well any house listed in Stonebridge is a speculator and they can afford to drop their price because most signed contracts last year for 375-400k and are selling for 500-550k now. I notice there is one house that dropped their asking price by 40k, I bet they still make 100k for doing nothing. Thats the great thing about capitalism and free markets. And we wonder why grain, oil, potash and other commodities have gone up so much in the last year. Is it speculation or demand?

    • Norm Fisher says:

      George and joe,

      Speaking of Stonebridge; 43 single family homes for sale, averaging 27 days on the market. No sales in May. I’d be thinking about a reduction.

  48. Don’t forget that even at “reduced” prices, they are still well above where they were even 5 months ago. The first 4 months of 2008 saw about 30% increase did they not?

    In the last 5 months, everybody who put their homes on the market, has basically jacked up prices another 10-20%, taking your average home price into the $325k range according to the above statistics.

    Obviously, thats not sustainable (but who knows), so JoeBlow who would of asked $300k for his home in January and now asked $340k for his home in May, will obviously not get $340k.

    IMO, the next 6 months are going to bring some sanity to the market, but will prices go down? No, but some of the “hype index” of the last 5 months will no doubt be eliminated.

    There are a lot of people waiting to buy homes and now with more stock out there, they will jump in. Plus you have the in-migration factor that traditionally buys in during June/July/August.

  49. missylu says:

    Seems to be a lot of “reduced” homes on SK houses. I can remember last year it was covered with “offer pending”…oh how things change.

  50. Heather D. says:

    Oh Norm, you’re so funny! :’) IMO no real estate in Saskatoon is “priced right”.

    • Norm Fisher says:


      Well, you know what I mean. When I say “priced right,” I mean compared to other similar homes which are available. Generally people are most interested in what appears to offer the better value. That’s as true today as it was three years ago.

  51. SomethingDoesntAddUp says:


    It seems to me that this whole inventory mess won’t get cleaned up until well after the housing start figures begin to come down. From what I’ve been reading it seems like they are still going strong but I was curious is you have any stats on housing starts relative to last year?

  52. Heather D. says:


    That’s true. It’ll be nice to see those older grungy (poor location) houses lose their value on the market, the price gap should definitely widen.

    • Norm Fisher says:


      Jedi makes a good point. I suspect that price also plays a role. Even in a balanced market a lower pricing strategy can result in multiple offers and overbids. Finally, condition matters too. Most of these overbids are probably well located, in nice condition and priced right.

  53. Heather,

    I think it comes down to the number one rule in real estate – location. Yes the listing sre moving up exponentially, but 5 lots/houses on Idywyld doesn’t tickle my fancy. Lots of main drag stuff as well. I think houses/condos in a desirable location will attract people that want to buy them. Someone trying to unload a dump will probably have to greatly reduce their price.

    Example, rumor has it that the 1.8 million dollar home had 3 bids. Even in that price range there is demand.

  54. Heather D. says:


    Why are people still making overbids, WHY?!?! Is there a new Sask Policy involving mandatory frontal lobotamies for all potential home buyers? >:’)

    I’m still liking these stats for the most part, lotsa inventory, # of sales not increasing. I just hope buyers will soon start realizing their advantage…

  55. Well, we sure hit 1k in listings faster than I thought. What in the world is going on in Western Canada? Listings are ballooooooooooning!