The number of residential sales reported through the Regina and area MLS® System in March fell significantly from 2017 and was well below historical averages for the month, said the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.
There were 215 sales posted during the month in all geographic areas, down 26.6% from last year when 293 sales were recorded. This is well below both the 5-year average of 284, the 10-year average of 315 and is the fewest number of sales in over a decade. There were 175 sales posted in the city, a decrease of 28.3% from 2017 when 244 sales occurred. The number of sales in the city was also below the 5-year average of 235 and 10-year average of 258.
For the year-to-date there were 576 sales reported in all areas, a decrease of 7.3% from 621 in 2017. In the city, there have been 470 sales to the end of March compared to 522 last year, down 10.0%.
For March, 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 $280,000 and index of 259.4 in the city, down 4.6% from $293,400 one year ago. This continued a downward trend that began in 2017, and is now actually 9.1% below the composite price reported in 2013 of $308,200. The majority of this price loss has occurred in the last 6-7 months primarily due to slowing demand and elevated supply levels. The HPI measures residential price trends based on four benchmark home types, with the index set at a base of 100 for January 2005.
The sales volume of $63.9M posted in all geographic areas for the month was down 31.8% from 2017’s $93.6M. Dollar volume in the city of $53.5M was down 31.6% from 2017’s $78.2M.
In the city, there were 1,384 active residential listings on the market at the end of March, up 16% from 2017’s 1,195. This is the largest number of active listings at the end of March in over a decade.
There were 699 new listings placed on the MLS® System during the month in all geographic areas, down 7.1% from 2017’s 752. In the city, there were 525 new listings recorded, down 10.4% from 586 in 2017.
The ratio of sales to new listings for the month was 33% and 30% in all geographic areas. These sales to list ratios are the lowest in many years and tend to point to buyer’s market conditions. 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.
Homes that did sell in the city sold in average of 56 days in the city and 64 days in all areas. This compares to 45 and 48 days respectively last year.
“March is typically when we experience an upturn in the market from a seasonal point of view. That was not the case so it was very disappointing to see the results that actually occurred. We are hoping to see April results return more to historical patterns”, said Gord Archibald, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.
“With projections for economic growth for the Regina area to be very positive for 2018, we remain optimistic that this will eventually translate into both job and population growth. This will in turn stimulate demand for housing in the area”, concluded Archibald.