According to the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA), Moose Jaw’s pandemic housing bubble may have burst.

May statistics from the SRA show that the city’s housing supply has significantly decreased year-over-year, meaning there is a limited inventory of homes to buy.

“The City of Moose Jaw now has 1.86 months of supply, that is down almost 48 per cent year-over-year, and it’s also 65 per cent below the 10-year average,” says Chris Guerette, SRA Chief Executive Officer.

As of the end of May, there were only 154 houses available in Moose Jaw. Months of supply means how many months it would take for all the current homes for sale on the market to sell, given a monthly sales volume. Guerette notes that for a balanced housing market, six months of supply is average. As of May Saskatchewan’s housing supply is 3.64 months, which is down 17 per cent year-over-year.

She adds that there are many factors that come into play, that have caused a low supply of houses in Moose Jaw, which includes the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to change their housing needs.

“The pandemic created different realities for everyone, they were now living in their home very differently than they were prior to the pandemic, and they needed something different. There were definitely more individuals looking, and more household formations so that means maybe a young adult moving out or their parents home, maybe some separations and divorce.”

In addition, the pandemic slowed down the length of time to build a house, which has also decreased the inventory in Moose Jaw. The lack of inventory has impacted home sales in the month of May, as they are down 3.2 per cent year-to-date, and 16 per cent year-over-year.

Guerette did want to mention that the low housing supply has created a seller's market in Moose Jaw, with there being more buyers than houses available.

The silver lining with a low housing inventory is that the benchmark price for a single-family residential home dropped in the month of May by 1.2 per cent, for a price of $241,700 in the city. The benchmark price is the price of a typical home in a given area.

Though the benchmark price has gone down, the average price actually increased in May by six per cent to $287,362, which compared to a $1.3 million average in Toronto and Vancouver is very reasonable.

So reasonable in fact that the monthly Canadian Mortgage Professional (CMP) magazine has Moose Jaw as one of Canada’s five most affordable places to live.

The magazine choose one city on the east coast, central Canada, the prairies, and the west coast based on factors such as history, landscape, industries, and cost of living.

Moose Jaw took the win for the prairies with an average salary of $62,000, homes prices as little as $63,000, and one-bedroom units for as low as $550. The history of Moose Jaw helped it out, as it was once the hiding spot for the world’s most infamous gangster Al Capone. The tunnels beneath the city once used as his hiding spot, now act as a major tourist attraction.

Important industries in the area are potash mining, agriculture, tourism, transportation, NATO flying training, and health care. Just south of town the 15 Wing Moose Jaw, houses the world-renowned Canadian Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron. The magazine also featured the amazing downtown which features numerous coffee shops and unique shopping options.

The other four cities were Surrey, B.C., St. Johns, Nfld., Thetford Mines, Que,, and New Glasgow, N.S.

In conclusion, Moose Jaw is a very affordable place to live but has a limited housing supply. Guerette adds that current housing trends are going to continue increasing in the coming months.

More details on the housing information provided in this story can be found HERE.