How much did Sask.'s housing market change in 2022? It depends how you look at the data

File - Multiple houses are shown under construction in the east end of Regina, Sask., on April 21, 2022.  (Cory Herperger/CBC - image credit)
File - Multiple houses are shown under construction in the east end of Regina, Sask., on April 21, 2022. (Cory Herperger/CBC - image credit)

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association is trying to soften the blow of Regina's market seeing a significant drop in the average house price last year.

A recent report highlighted that from December 2021 to December 2022, the average home sale price in Regina dropped by 19.8 per cent.

That would mean Regina saw the biggest drop in average housing price of any Canadian city.

In Saskatoon, the average housing prize was far less volatile, recording a 0.6 per cent increase from the year before.

How house prices have changed in Canada's major cities

The report used data provided by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). While the data is accurate — CREA draws its numbers from organizations like the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA) — it's not the metric that realtors use to assess the market, according to Chris Guérette, CEO of the Saskatchewan Realtors Association.

"So an average price is a bit of a blunt tool. I would say the benchmark price is actually comparing apples to apples in the typical neighbourhood, typical house that you would see in this neighbourhood,"said Guérette.

While the average price can see drastic changes depending what is sold in a given year, the benchmark price doesn't fluctuate as much. It also gives a better portrait of what the community is like, Guérette said.

In Regina, the benchmark price in Regina dropped by 0.1 per cent from December 2021 to December 2022.

In Saskatoon, the benchmark price increased by 0.8 per cent during the same time period.

If you use these figures, the market has essentially remained flat.

Guérette said the stability in benchmark prices is a sign that Saskatchewan has a strong economy and the province's housing market is resisting inflationary pressure.

Guiylaine Patenaude has owned her condo in Saskatoon for 15 years. She has put it on the market multiple times over the past 10 years, but only recently sold the property. She's now on the hunt for something larger and newer.

In a recent interview, Patenaude said she's happy to be "turning the next page of the chapter of my real estate story."

The search won't be too difficult, as interest rates are around the same amount that she was approved for back when she first bought her condo in 2008.

"I'm not too far off where I thought I would be. So that's encouraging in the sense that I can still afford what I had hoped to afford," she said.

Guérette said realtors are keeping a close eye on the inventory of available units across the province.

"We've been trending down for a few years now since the pandemic, and if that gets too low what ends up happening is it puts a pressure on prices," she said.

It's all about the balance between supply and demand, Guérette said.