The influx of new houses and condos on the market is having an impact on house prices in the Weyburn market and companies handling real estate have noticed the shift.
“There’s a little bit of a listing glut right now,” said Jim Onstad, managing director of Weyburn Securities. He described the current situation as “somewhat a buyer’s market” with the influx of homes to choose from and prices levelling off.
“Prices had to be corrected down a bit; not a lot, but a bit,” said Onstad, who added that he thinks that prices are still decent now. He said the drop in prices might be seasonal to some degree, but there are definitely more homes on the market now compared to this time last year.
“Maybe we are a little over-built. We are starting to reach over-saturation at this point, but it could change,” he said. If the oil industry increases its activity again, as many are forcasting, it could mean more residents who need homes.
“The real estate market in Weyburn has gone through a bit of a shift,” said Lyle Leonard, sales associate for Re/Max. “She’s softening.”
He said the top of the market, which he classified as homes in the $450,000 and up bracket, is weakening while the middle, $250,000-$450,000, is holding. He said the market below the $250,000 mark seems to be doing okay. Leonard said the types of homes and the quality of the homes is not what has changed.
“It’s the same home. It’s just the price is dropping,” he explained, referring to top bracket-priced homes.
“There are considerably more listings than we’ve had since ‘07,” said Leonard of the current market, and added it has been a good run for the last few years. “It’s a good market for both buyers and sellers now.”
Another reason Leonard sees for the drop in prices is the season. He said traditionally the real estate market slows down when temperatures start to drop and remains slower until February, though that has not happened for the last couple of years. When asked if he expects things to rebound a bit in the spring he said, “you betcha.”
Andy Broccolo, salesperson at Royal LePage, disagreed, saying there hasn’t been a change in prices and called it a “misconception”.
“There are more pure listings, only because of the level of development,” said Broccolo. He said listings appear to have increased, but that many of them are not ready for occupation and are still under development.
“Weyburn is still a very small market,” said Broccolo, adding the market in town was still balanced, not favouring either sellers or buyers.
When asked what might indicate a shift, he said, “You’d have to see a price turn-around.”
Referring to Multiple Listincs Service (MLS) numbers, Broccolo said 2011 and 2012 were exceptional years in Weyburn, and that even at 83 per cent of previous years sales for this time over last year compared to now, 50 per cent more homes are being sold in Weyburn this year than in 2010 and development of new homes is continuing in Weyburn. As of the end of September, 96 building permits had been issued in 2013. Combined with the 83 dwelling units already created this year, there will be more than 150 new homes in just a couple years. Eighteen of those homes are single family homes with a total value of $6,973,000, and 65 multi-family dwellings woth $11,032,000. (Eighteen of the permits were for industrial and commercial development totalling $11.2 million in value.)