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Saskatchewan realtors say housing market supply at lowest levels in more than a decade

The housing market in Saskatchewan is struggling with supply levels. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
The housing market in Saskatchewan is struggling with supply levels. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Saskatchewan realtors say the province's housing market has very low supply levels, especially in lower-priced homes.

"Buyers in the market are ready, willing, able to buy and pre-qualified, but there's nothing out there for them to buy," Scott Ziegler, a realtor in Saskatoon, said.

"When we have these inventory shortages, statistically speaking it is more of a balanced market. But if you are a buyer in today's market looking for under $500,000, it certainly doesn't feel like a buyer's market."

Ziegler said the 415 new listings in the Saskatoon market in January were the fewest for any month in five years.

"It's a clear sign that sellers are holding off putting their houses on the market."

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA) said that while January sales were lower than the past two years, sales remain consistent with pre-pandemic levels.

As per SRA, 631 sales were recorded across the province in January, a year-over-year decline of nearly 16 per cent.

January inventory levels were at their lowest levels in more than a decade, according to SRA.

Submitted by Scott Ziegler
Submitted by Scott Ziegler

Ziegler said construction in Saskatoon is shifting from big condo complexes to purposeful rentals.

"Unlike other markets in Canada like Vancouver and Toronto, where prices crashed dramatically, the lack of inventory is going to help prop up the Saskatoon prices, as there is enough buyer demand," he said.

"Our lack of inventory in Saskatchewan will hold our prices relatively flat for the next short term."

Cole Zawislak, director of public affairs at SRA, said rising lending rates paired with ongoing inflationary pressures are impacting what people can afford.

"It's a huge concern that there are not a lot of choices right now, as there isn't a whole lot of inventory in the more affordable segment of our market right now," he said.

Submitted by Cole Zawislak
Submitted by Cole Zawislak

Zawislak said interest rate hikes and fewer choices in the more affordable segment of the market — defined as costing less than $500,000 — are contributing to an overall drop in sales. Consequently, he said benchmark prices are rising for condos.

Many regions across the province, apart from Moose Jaw and North Battleford, experienced a year-over-year decline in sales.

SRA said all regions other than Moose Jaw and North Battleford reported monthly supplies lower than 10-year averages. But Zawislak said Saskatchewan "is still faring well" compared to other Canadian markets.

In total, he said there were 5,224 units for sale available across the province, which is 28 per cent below the 10-year average.

Regina reported 300 new listings in January, the fewest since 2010. Saskatoon reported 415, the fewest since 2008.

"Presently in Saskatoon, there are 868 units on the market and that is 36 per cent below the 10 year average. In Regina, 794 units are currently available, but it's 22 per cent below the 10-year average," Zawaislak said.

"This isn't a problem that's going anyway anytime soon. It's going to take some incentives from governments of all stripes."