Across the country, real estate sales and prices are surging. Typically, these trends are pushed forward by large urban centres like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and ultra-low interest rates have created a surge of demand in more rural places, small cities, and small towns across the country.
While the entire nation has felt the effects of the global pandemic when it comes to the real estate market, not all areas are impacted equally. Sometimes, when looking at the national average price, one can get caught up in these figures, and may be misled to believe that markets across the nation are adequately represented by that value. However, smaller provinces, like Saskatchewan, tend to be outliers in regards to this statistic.
While the average house price in markets across Saskatchewan sits well below the average house price posted in neighbouring provinces, there’s more to the story! Local real estate markets in this prairie province are still doing remarkably well, posting many of the same upward trends and growth witnessed in Ontario and British Columbia. Below, we’re taking a peek into the surging Regina housing market, which is posting strong figures, while also maintaining more balanced conditions than most other Canadian urban real estate markets.
Regina Market on the Upswing
While the market in Saskatchewan isn’t quite as steep as other parts of the nation, it is still heating up. Regina, in particular, has seen a surge in residential sales during the beginning of 2021. Based on figures from the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA), sales in Regina were up by 70% from 213 in March 2020 to 362 in March 2021, and in the overall region they increased from 260 to 446. Not only is this a huge increase in a twelve-month period, but for the city of Regina, it is 50.2% higher than the five-year average and 48.7% above the ten-year average.
The trend from March continued into April as Regina home sales increased even further to 392 for the month – up 172.2% compared to April 2020. This increase resulted in the year-to-date sales shooting up 91% compared to the first four months of 2020; increasing from 621 to 1,186 units.
With unit sales increasing, due to an increased demand, so did housing prices. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) measured the price of the benchmark single family home in the region rising 8.5% year-over-year going from $241,300 last April to $261,800 this year. Compared to the rest of the country, this is not as extreme of an increase as larger markets have experienced.
With housing prices creeping upwards at a sustainable rate, demand has stayed consistent. Mostly due to the volume of homes sold, the sales volume for Regina more than doubled. With a 207.3% increase in sales in the city, the sales volume shot up from $43.9M to $135.0M from April 2020 to April 2021. April added to a strong first quarter resulting in the year-to-date sales volume reaching $374.9M which is 103.4% more than the first four months of 2020.
A key factor in keeping housing prices low is maintaining an equilibrium between market supply and demand. In Regina, active listings have fallen slightly, but levels remain robust enough to ensure that prices don’t skyrocket in the near future.
In April 2021, the number of new listings rose from 285 to 655, which is a 129.8% increase. Not only is this a considerable climb, but it is also well above the five-year average by 23.6% and similarly above the ten-year average by 23.1%. The year-to-date listings rose by 44.5% when they increased from 354 to 512. This number is just enough to keep active listings almost stable, with the city only experiencing a drop of 1.9% in this metric.
To further support the high demand in Regina, the inventory in the city at the end of April was 3.1 months. This means that with no additional listings on the marker, the current inventory would sell off in just over 3 months. This number is below the typical level for Regina and is 64% below that of April 2020. Typically, a house will stay on the market for about 52 days based on the five-year average. Currently, demand has picked up and a home now stays on the market an average of 40 days based on April 2021.
Moving Forward with the Regina Housing Market
As we slide into the warmer summer temperatures, in order to keep the Regina real estate market stable, the number of new listings will need to pick up slightly. This will help ensure that prices remain affordable and accessible, particularly to first-time home buyers who are struggling to tap into many of Canada’s other sizzling urban markets. With interest rates remaining low for the next little while, if you live in Regina, or in another part of Saskatchewan, there is still time to jump into this hot (but stable) market.