When following market trends, one of the most promising signs of a real estate market in high demand is a steady increase in sales, and Saskatchewan delivers just that. Based on figures from the Saskatchewan Realtors® Association (SRA), sales in February 2021 soared by over 74% when compared to the same month last year, with the median sale price inching its way up 3% alongside this demand.
Soaring sales are in large part due to the pandemic, as families look for homes with additional space, including home offices and classrooms for virtual instruction. With more and more businesses shifting to a work-from-home-model long-term, professionals are searching for real estate that accommodates their personal and professional needs.
How COVID-19 Affected the Saskatchewan Real Estate Market
As more people sought recreational properties amidst the pandemic, cabins and lake houses saw a major price increase across the province, as well as nation-wide. The need for a change of scenery (without travelling far) has brought about a 31.64% spike in price for single swelling homes situated near Emma Lake and Christopher Lake.
In 2019, the average price for these homes was $296,250 compared to $390,000 in 2020. For homeowners who purchased on the waterfront, a 6.34% price increase was measured, taking homes from an average of $489,000 in 2019 to $520,000 in 2020.
Better developed highways have made it easier to travel to and from vacation homes, driving the local real estate market upwards as people look for a reprieve from the confines of COVID-19. But Saskatchewan’s recreational property market wasn’t the only one to see action over the pandemic period.
How Are Saskatchewan’s Major Real Estate Markets are Faring in 2021?
In January 2021, Saskatchewan’s year-to-year increase was 3.7%, bringing average price levels from $264,817 to $274,545. January 2020 recorded 616 homes sold, while January 2021 made way for 919 sales. February’s numbers only built upon this momentum, with skyrocketing sales, dwindling inventory levels, and climbing prices. Below are sales figures from the close of February in Saskatchewan’s major markets, based on figures from the SRA:
Sales up 53% from Feb 2020
New Listings up 15.8%
Sales up 55.2% from Feb 2020
New Listings up 4.5%
Sales up 1200% from Feb 2020
New Listings up 33.3%
Sales up 56% from Feb 2020
New Listings up 18%
Sales up 110% from Feb 2020
New Listings down 18.9%
Sales up 177.8% from Feb 2020
New Listings down 7.5%
Sales up 187.5% from FEB 2020
New Listings down 15.4%
South East Saskatchewan:
Sales up 64.4% from Feb 2020
New Listings remain flat at 86
Astonishingly low interest rates are paving the way for renters to transition into homeownership, and those who desire a larger or second home are afforded the opportunity to invest in one.
RE/MAX brokers feel that additional buyers will “move-over” from other regions and cities, continuing to cause spikes in Saskatchewan’s real estate market. These buyers may play a large role in the housing market, continuing to elevate prices as the demand for property increases. When asked, 52% of Canadians feel real estate is a strong investment and one that will continue to thrive throughout 2021.
Despite a substantial loss in jobs province-wide, and many non-essential businesses struggling to stay afloat amid multiple lockdowns, the housing market has continued to thrive.
“What is going on is pretty much across the entire province. People are still looking for homes, and there’s definitely fewer homes out there. So, the ones that are available, people are clamoring for…So it’s pretty extraordinary, considering the pandemic. You know, people really want to find a home and they’re spending more time there,” explained Samantha Krahn, who serves as director of external and government relations with the Saskatchewan Realtors Association.
The Year Ahead
In-demand neighbourhoods, countless activities, and new development all contributed to the ascent of the Saskatchewan real estate market throughout 2020 and into 2021. So, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for this thriving provincial market?
According to the Saskatchewan Realtors Association, “The Saskatchewan real estate market continues to build on January’s momentum and outperformed last February. Across the province, sales were up over 74% from last February (and up 62.3% year-to-date, going from 663 to 1,157), new listings were essentially flat (and down 2.1% year-to-date, going from 1,775 to 1,773,) and the median sale price was up close to 3% (up 1.9% year-to-date, going from $265,000 to $272,000. Inventories were also down in all 19 of the markets that the SRA tracks”.
With numbers like this, we will continue to see an increase in demand for homes in the Saskatchewan real estate market. A desire to purchase vacation properties close to home and a demand for larger houses to accommodate work-from-home positions and virtual learning will continue to drive market prices up and keep inventory low. Couple this with record-low interest rates, and Saskatchewan will continue to be one of the hottest regions Canada has to offer.