The Saskatchewan real estate market has come a long way from the bearish 2015-2020 days. The COVID-19 public health crisis transformed the province’s housing sector, allowing it to enjoy unprecedented gains while maintaining its affordability status for young families and first-time homebuyers who either live there, or come from elsewhere in Canada.

But while Saskatchewan is recording impressive sales activity and price growth, what about municipalities within the province? Are they performing as well as the province as a whole?

Moose Jaw is a perfect example of just how strong the overall Saskatchewan housing industry has performed over the last year. Despite all the trends unfolding in the post-pandemic economy and the Canadian real estate market ostensibly returning to some semblance of normalcy, the Moose Jaw housing sector is remaining above average in the dog days of summer. But are these trends sustainable?

This is indeed the $220,600 question in this Prairie town that is home to many Canadian Snow Birds. It is uncertain what will happen heading into 2022, but right now, homebuyers and sellers are signing on the dotted line and contributing to the market’s growth. That said, conditions may be starting to slow down after reaching their zenith. What do the figures say?

Moose Jaw Real Estate Figures Remain Well Above Average This Summer

According to the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA), residential sales in the Moose Jaw real estate market tumbled 27.7 per cent year-over-year in July, totaling 83 units. However, on a year-to-date basis, housing transactions were up 47.4 per cent to 423, and they were 9.1 per cent above the five-year average.

But while sales appear to have eased in the dog days of summer, housing prices remained as hot as the blistering temperatures throughout the country. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), which industry experts note is more accurate than average or median measurements, climbed at an annualized rate of 6.3 per cent to $220,600.

The latest supply numbers suggest that the Moose Jaw real estate market tilted in favour of sellers.

The number of new residential listings dropped 14.8 per cent to 92 and is 8.7 per cent below the five-year average. Active residential listings edged up 5.6 per cent to 322. Months of inventory totaled 5.4 months in July, up 46 per cent from the same time last year. The sales-to-listing ratio topped 65 per cent. Fresh supply is coming to the market, too, as housing starts increased to 25 in the second quarter of 2021, up from just four in the April-to-June period of 2020, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Goodbye Spring. Enjoy Summer. Hello Fall?

The latest national numbers suggest that the Canadian real estate industry is still cooling down following about 18 months of monumental growth. Are the same trends forming in the western province of Saskatchewan?

Overall, the housing situation in Moose Jaw, like so many other segments of the broader Canadian real estate sector, is starting to return to pre-pandemic norms. In other words, the spring market is typically busy, and the summer slows.

But what does this mean for the fall and winter seasons ahead? Will Moose Jaw and the surrounding rural real estate market continue to trend downward? Will the marketplace shift to favour buyers next?

“While covid likely caused many to re-evaluate their housing needs, reductions in lending rates combined with earlier price declines supported much of the growth in sales. At the same time, supply levels could not keep pace, which means the market shifted to favour the sellers as the months of supply hit levels not seen in nearly a decade,” he said in a news release. “Even with some recent price gains, Saskatchewan is still one of the most affordable and attractive places in which to invest and call home.”

As housing affordability becomes one of the top issues in the Canadian economy, young families and first-time homebuyers wishing to attain the dream of homeownership may need to leave their hometowns and venture to places like Saskatchewan. And why not? This is a beautiful part of the country with many growth opportunities. Much like how Atlantic Canada has transformed its economy – particularly over the past 18 months – the Prairies (Saskatchewan and Manitoba) have the potential to transform into the next major economic hubs in the years to come.

From agriculture to energy to technology, Saskatchewan and its municipalities have many components to offer to the rest of Canada. And as more young talent is drawn to one of the few remaining affordable housing markets in the country, this scope of industries in Moose Jaw and across Saskatchewan will only grow!