Since the start of 2021, real estate markets across Canada have soared to new heights, from coast to coast. A red-hot sellers’ market driven by sky-high demand has created both a shortage in homes and an outstanding increase in average home prices within both urban, and rural markets across the country. Saskatchewan, one of Canada’s main prairie provinces, has been enjoying strong real estate activity, and only seems to be gaining momentum as a hot spring market transitions to an even hotter summer buying and selling season!
Saskatchewan Housing Markets Remaining Steadily Strong
The headlines have stayed consistent since May of 2020: real estate in Saskatchewan is booming and momentum is steadily building month-by-month. Setting yet another monthly record, the province saw 1,865 homes sold in April 2021 – up 182% compared to April 2020. The most booming markets, in regards to sales, were Moose Jaw with a sales uptick of 270%, Warman which saw an increase of 370% for sales, and the Melfort Region which saw an astonishing 471.4% increase in home sales during the month of April.
While the initial phases of pandemic life slowed markets across the country, particularly affecting April of last year, it is no longer a concern as we’ve yet to experience any aftershock in figures posted this year. Chris Gbekorbu, Saskatchewan Realtors Association Economic Analyst, notes that comparing 2021 numbers to last year is not an accurate representation of growth: “It’s not really fair to compare this April to last April since pandemic restrictions halted activity for part of April last year.” He does however note that the growth is still breaking all-time sales records. “It is fair to compare April with other years, and just like last month, we set another record with 1,865 sales. We saw sales hit a high of 1,801 last July as the economy reopened, but before then, our record was 1,609 sales in May of 2014.”
With sales numbers breaking records and new listings increasing month-over-month, the province is firmly positioned in a red-hot sellers’ market. Furthermore, driven by jaw-dropping sales prices on the selling side, it is no wonder that more homeowners are putting their homes on the market – particularly in the smaller areas of the province.
Coming off strong April, there were questions as to whether the market would continue at the same rate in May. With a 67% uptick in sales compared to May 2020, this past month saw 1,853 homes sold across the province. New listings also increased by 14%, seeing the year-to-date value increase from 2,019 to 2,556. The SRA Economic Analyst notes that the month-over-month metrics are starting to cool off, showing the market potentially leveling out after an explosive 12 months – something that was expected to happen. “May was about as strong as April. Markets have been gaining momentum since last May when some pandemic restrictions were lifted. And at some point, things need to start to steady,” states Gberkorbu.
A year-long high demand market has exerted upward pressure on prices across the Saskatchewan housing market, leading the MLS Home Price Index composite to rise 11.2% compared to last month, and 8.4% year-to-date. This means that the average price of a home sale has risen from $265,800 to $288,300.
Thirteen of the fifteen markets in the province with available data saw the MLS HPI increase with only two of the tracked areas seeing a decrease – indicating that a strong sellers market is present in just about every market across the province. Further supporting this is the fact that months of inventory declined across Saskatchewan.
What to Expect for Saskatchewan Real Estate?
Coming off a major real estate boom in May 2020, the market is finally beginning to show signs of leveling-off. Although there seems to be no signs of easing when it comes to sales volumes or average home prices, the acceleration of many major market metrics has slowed down. With new mortgage rules recently announced, there is potential for another jump in sales before they come into effect.
Gbekorbu notes, “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.” However, that drop was only minor and temporary. As the year continues to move forward, it is expected that the accelerated pace will steady itself, however Saskatchewan will remain in seller’s territory for the foreseeable future.