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BY WILL CHABUN, THE LEADER-POST
REGINA — The recent decline in house prices in Regina and area seems to be tapering off, a new measurement tool has told the Association of Regina Realtors.
“We’ve seen a leveling off and we hope that continues into the fall,” Rob Reynar, the association’s manager of operations and member services, said Tuesday. “We’ll see where it goes. There’s usually a little bump in sales, historically, as we head into the fall.”
Being put to work assessing prices is the association’s Home Price Index (HPI). Reynar compares it with Statistics Canada’s consumer price index.
The CPI doesn’t take the average of every product’s prices, he said. Instead, it notes the prices of a “basket” of everyday items a typical consumer would buy.
In the same way, the HPI looks at the price changes of “benchmark” properties that typical Reginans would buy or sell — as opposed to high-end properties whose sale could distort the market in a medium-sized city like Regina.
The HPI picked up declining prices back in the spring of 2013 — changes that aggregate statistics like mean and median prices are still missing, Reynar said.
The HPI also generates a base index comparing all property types over a set period. Taking a base index of 100 back in January 2005, an HPI value of 250 indicates a 150-per-cent price increase since then.
All that behind us, here’s the scoop: the association’s HPI reported a composite residential price of $281,600 and index of 267.2 in the city for July.
That’s down 3.3 per cent from last year’s $291,200 and index of 276.3 — and down five per cent over the last three years.
The ARR sees good news, though: “Despite the small year-over-year drop, the HPI is level over the last
one-, three- and six-month period, showing a levelling in home prices in the city of Regina,” it says.
Looking at other metrics, the ARR said July noted 351 residential sales in Regina and area, down 8.4 per cent from July 2014. That was “below the five-year average of 364, but above the 10-year average of 345,” it said, adding, “sales inside the city were down marginally with 292 occurring compared to 300 in 2014, a 2.7-per cent decline.”
The inventory of listings still is “at elevated levels compared to historic averages, but it is subsiding.”
In Regina at month’s end, there were 1,449 properties for sale, almost identical to the 2014 total of 1,445.
In other real estate business, Reynar noted the ARR’s counterpart in Moose Jaw has disbanded, with the city’s realtors coming under the statistical umbrella of the Regina association.