Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (April 23-27 2007)

New residential listings dropped to 103 units this past week, compared to 122 the week before, and once again, unit sales marginally outpaced new listing activity. 109 single family homes and condominiums where reported sold on the Saskatoon MLS®.


The percentage of homes which sold at the list price or above the list price saw a bit of an increase to approximately 83%. The average overbid was $22,798 including all areas of Saskatoon. Area 3, where the average over bid reached $38,600 proved to be the toughest spot for buyers to make a deal.


Here’s a look at the numbers.

Notable sales.


  • Forest Grove 4 level split at 1,140 square feet with a double garage was listed at $267,800 and sells for $346,000.
  • Nutana Park bungalow at 995 square feet with no garage was listed at $224,900 and brings $275,000.
  • Silverwood 4 level split at 958 square feet with a double attached garage listed at $234,900 sells for $285,000.
  • Hudson Bay Park bi-level measuring 1,176 square feet with a single garage sells for $290,500.
  • Varsity View bungalow at 760 square feet and needing a ton of work was listed at $179,900 sells for $165,000 after 23 days on the market.
  • Buena Vista bungalow of just 560 square feet sells 10K under at $100,000. Again, the property appeared to be pretty rough.

See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here
Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Sellers beware: How an unconditional offer can work against you

Sellers beware

For a seller, the obvious allure of an unconditional offer is the certainty which it immediately provides. In the past, unconditional offers were typically made in rare instances when the buyer has the resources to finance the purchase themselves and does not require anyone’s approval. Today, we see many buyers submitting offers which contain no “subject to mortgage approval” clause in spite of the fact that they will clearly require a mortgage approval to complete the purchase of your home.


In this particular market, unconditional offers are being made in an effort to create an advantage for buyers when they are competing with other offers. It’s a gutsy move on the buyer’s part. Sellers should be aware that in most cases there are limited benefits to them in taking this kind of offer seriously. In fact, you may be accepting more risk than you ever imagined. You need to understand that at the end of the day, you still have a sale which is conditional upon the buyer receiving a mortgage approval. If a lender won’t lend the buyer the funds they won’t be buying your home. It really is that simple.


When a buyer appropriately includes the “subject to mortgage approval” clause there’s a short term “out” for the seller. If the buyer is unable to obtain financing you can move forward with your selling effort, normally within a short period of time. In this particular market you can likely expect your home to attract a level of interest which is similar to what you experience the first time it was offered for sale. The risk of accepting a finance condition is pretty limited and almost inconsequential.


Consider this; a buyer offers to purchase your home without a mortgage condition in spite of the fact that they’ll require mortgage approval. They provide a ten thousand dollar deposit. You’re happy.


The buyer then proceeds to see his lender and based on some change in his financial situation, or something which he failed to disclose to the lender during his initial “pre-approval” process he is rejected by the lender.


The buyer is distraught realizing that’s he has likely made a move which will ultimately cost him $10,000. He’s not ready to give up and decides that he is going to try to arrange financing some other way. Whether he chooses to tell you about his misfortune today, or 60 days down the road, the same $10,000 is at stake, so there is little incentive which might cause him to come forward so you can deal with a collapsed sale and move forward with your plans.


Meantime, possession date on the home which you’ve purchased draws near. Perhaps you’ve obtained bridge financing which would allow you to possess both homes for a short period of time so that you can move directly from one house to the other. As soon as the sale on your first home completes you’ll pay the lender out of the proceeds. Trouble is, your sale doesn’t close and suddenly you own two homes, and two mortgages. Ouch!


Now, you might say, “At least I’ve got the $10,000 deposit. That will be helpful in dealing with this mess.” Yes, if the buyer should agree to surrender that money you’ll probably be able to find your way out of it. You should be aware however that there is a provision in the Real Estate Act which forbids a real estate brokerage from releasing a deposit which is “subject to dispute.” If the buyer objects to its release, the deposit is staying right where it is until the matter is settled.


Clearly, this would be a sleazy approach for a buyer to take and I believe that contracts which we use in Saskatchewan would ultimately entitle you to the deposit, but you might have to drag this bum to court to make that happen and that can be a lengthy, costly and onerous process. The buyer could try other sleazy tactics like filing an interest in your property with the Land Titles Office making it difficult for you to sell it to someone else. These tactics would be used as a way of strong-arming you into returning all or part of the deposit. I would say that the larger the deposit the more likely it is that a buyer will throw down the gloves and fight.


I know of one instance where a buyer changed their minds on a purchase after removing all conditions. They flew back home to England and they used the very tactics which I just described. The seller had to jump through all sorts of hoops to get their home back on the market and it has been difficult locating these people to serve them with a summons. The sale fell through over two years ago. The seller will have her day in court this May. The deposit was a mere $5,000 which clearly tells me that some people will do just about anything to try to save a buck.


Sellers beware!

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Premier “takes credit” for Saskatchewan housing boom

Saskatchewan Starter Home

Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert says that his government is “gearing up” for another advertising blitz in Alberta to promote our province as a great place to live, according to a front page story in today’s Star Phoenix.


While it’s hard to argue that a province shouldn’t promote its benefits abroad, someone seems to be unaware of the fact that Saskatoon home buyers are reaching their wits end trying to find a good home to buy. Many have made offers on a number of properties, often tens of thousands of dollars above the asking price, and they still find no love.


MLS® housing inventory dropped to a critically low level of approximately 250 listings by the end of 2006. Today there are 249 single-family homes and condos on the system, most of those already conditionally sold. We’re seeing sharp price increases in every category of housing with some increasing as much as 70% since the start of the year.


My question to Mr. Calvert? Where are we going to put them when they get here sir?


Somehow, it just seems like the wrong time to be “gearing up” with this particular campaign. Let’s hope that the government updates their creative message, at the very least. Premier Calvert’s claim, “If you have any home ownership in Calgary these days, you can sell here, buy in Saskatchewan and be free and clear with your mortgage, likely own a cottage, and maybe one of two rental properties” is getting a little old.


Read the story here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Average price of Saskatoon home will be $300,000 by next spring: Percy

Dwight Percy

Dwight Percy has an interesting article in the business section of today’s Star Phoenix titled, “High local housing prices are still below average” which is definitely worth reading.


Percy points out that while Saskatoon house prices have seen sharp increases over the last quarter, local homes are still trading well below the national average of $294,880 reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association at the end of February. The average selling price of a Saskatoon home topped $200,000 for the first time in March.


He asks, “Does it make any degree of sense that this market sits at only about two-thirds of the Canadian average?”


Check his article out here. He makes some interesting points. If his prediction is accurate, the average price of a Saskatoon home will have doubled in just two years. The idea may have seemed outrageous just a few months ago but one now has to wonder given the momentum which this market seems to have. Consider that the averages we’re seeing now are likely skewed down by the large amount of activity in the entry level condo and house market and the possibility seems even more realistic. It seems to me that there are a large number of pretty “average” homes trading at or above the quarter million dollar mark already.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (April 16-20 2007)

A total of 122 new residential listings hit the Saskatoon real estate market this past week, while 118 homes were reported sold on the Saskatoon MLS®. Close to 80% of those units sold at or above their list price. Properties which sold above list price attracted offers which were on average, $23,403 higher than the asking price. Area 5 recorded the lowest average over bid at $15,761 while buyers of Area 3 homes came in at an average of $34,122 over asking price.


Here’s a quick look at the numbers.

A total of 122 new residential listings hit the Saskatoon real estate market this past week, while 118 homes were reported sold on the Saskatoon MLS®.  Close to 80% of those units sold at or above their list price.  Properties which sold above list price attracted offers which were on average, $23,403 higher than the asking price.  Area 5 recorded the lowest average over bid at $15,761 while buyers of Area 3 homes came in at an average of $34,122 over asking price.

Notable sales

  • Parkridge 4 level split (1,030’) with double garage goes $41,000 over at $261,000.
  • Lakeview condo (953’) in wood-frame, walk up sells for $172,000.
  • Sutherland bungalow (858’) with no garage at $232,000.
  • College Park 4 level split (1,250’) with double garage sells $40,000 over at $340,000.
  • Nutana bungalow (877’) in need of updating tops quarter million at $254,200.
  • Nutana bungalow on 30’ x 140’ lot with a river view sells $47,000 under list. Priced at $449,000, this would have been a tough sell at only 1,080 square feet.
  • Montgomery 2 storey (1,880’) sells $20,000 under list price after a month on the market, slowed primarily by its “cottage-like” look which has limited appeal in urban areas.

See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here
Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate