March 2019 Real Estate Market Update
DECENT START CONTINUES IN FEBRUARY
From: ASSOCIATION OF REGINA REALTORS® INC.
Based on sales through the Regina and area MLS® System, the positive start to the 2019 residential in January continued into February, said the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.
There were 197 sales reported during the month in all geographic areas, up 4.2% from 2018 when 189 sales occurred. This was slightly above the 5-year average of 193 but below the 10-year average of 222. There were 170 sales reported in the city, up 11.8% from 2018 when 152 were posted. The number of sales in the city was above the 5-year average of 163 but below the 10-year average of 191 for the month.
For the year-to-date, there have been 370 homes sold in all areas, an increase of 2.7% over last year. In the city, 314 sales have occurred, up 6.8% from 2018.
For February, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), a much more accurate measure of housing price trends than average or median price, reported a composite Benchmark residential price of $262,800 and index of 246.0 in the city, down 5.1% from $277,000 one year ago. The Benchmark price continued its move in a downward direction, indicating downward pressure on home prices due predominately to elevated supply levels and weakened demand. Over the last five years, the Benchmark price is down 12.3%. The HPI measures residential price trends based on four benchmark home types, with the index set at a base of 100 for January 2005.
Total dollar sales volume in all areas was $60,5M, up 4.3% from 2018’s $58.1M. The YTD stood at $109.8M, up 2.3% from $107.3M in 2018.
In the city, there were 1,219 active residential listings on the market at the end of February, down 4.7% from 2018’s 1,279 at the same time.
There were 384 new listings placed on the MLS® System during the month in all geographic areas, a decrease of 27.6% from 2018’s 530. There were 301 listings posted in the city, down 24.8% from 400 in 2018.
The ratio of sales to new listings for the month was 56% in the city and 51% all geographic areas. Balanced market conditions are generally in the 40-60% range – below 40% is considered to be more of a buyer’s market - above 60% is considered to be a market favouring sellers. Although because of the very low number of new listings for the month, we would caution against describing the market as balanced. The trend has been more of a buyer’s market for a number of years.
“Although we are encouraged with the level of sales so far this year, economic factors coupled with federal mortgage stress levels are negatively affecting demand levels. Stress rules have unnecessarily taken buyers out of the market because they cannot qualify for mortgage financing even though they can afford monthly payments,” said Gord Archibald, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.
“With some positive economic growth forecasted for the year locally, we are hoping this will translate into job growth and further demand for housing. It would also help if the federal government relaxed the impact of the mortgage stress rules, allowing more buyers to qualify for financing,” concluded Archibald.