Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (October 22-26 2007)

The Saskatoon real estate market continued to move at a pace which was remarkably similar to the previous week. A total of 61 houses and condos were reported sold and prices were pretty much spot on with what we’ve been seeing most recently. New residential listings fell slightly from 122 to 112 units but active listings still managed to move ahead slightly to 689 properties, up from 675 last week.


The percentage of homes selling below list price increased again to 77%, but above list sales also managed to see a bit of an increase to 15%. More and more sellers are pricing their properties at, or above market value providing buyers with a bit of negotiating room in most instances.


The condo market has certainly slowed. Today, there are 139 condos available on Saskatoon’s east side. Only 12 condo sales were reported last week. Anyone seeking a townhouse style condo in Saskatoon’s east end will be pleased to find a number of good options, and probably some motivated sellers. There are quite a few new, never lived in homes ranging in price from the low 240’s to the mid 260’s. The demand for good single family homes priced around or below the average still seems to be quite high. Most of what comes available will find a buyer pretty quickly if it’s realistically priced and showing well.


Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (October 22-26)

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

Saskatoon City Council approves condo conversion policy change

Saskatoon City Council approves condo conversion policy changeSaskatoon City Council approved proposed changes to policies governing the conversion of existing rental apartments to condominiums at last night’s council meeting.


City administrators presented their report which was prepared in response to a request brought forward by Councillor Pat Lorje during the meeting of City Council held on August 13, 2007 to “provide a report to the executive Committee on a review of our existing condominium conversion bylaw, together with suggestions for improvements to ensure an adequate supply of affordable rental housing while still maintaining an orderly investment market for multi unit accommodation.”


The report highlighted the positive and negative “implications” of condo conversions including the reduction in the supply of rental housing, the disruption and displacement of existing tenants, the creation of opportunities for affordable home ownership, investment and upgrading of older properties and the opportunities condo conversions create for small investors to enter the market.


The current condominium conversion policies offer the following protections for tenants occupying the apartments to be converted:

1) tenants must receive at least three months notice prior to an application being submitted;

2) tenants must receive a reasonable opportunity to purchase a converted unit in the building; and

3) tenants, at the time of application, may stay for up to two years after the date of application.


The report, written by Tim Stueart, Manager of the City’s Development Review Section noted, “In recent months, a number of investors have been undertaking measures to remove tenants from buildings in order to circumvent the requirement to allow tenants to stay in place for up to two years after the date of application. This has been done by giving tenants notice to vacate their units prior to condominium conversion application, or by significantly increasing rental rates.”


Both of these practices are allowable under Saskatchewan’s Residential Tenancies Act, in spite of the hardship that they can cause at a time when vacancy rates are low and alternate accommodations are difficult to find.


The new policy, approved last night brings the following changes:

1) increase the notice period for tenants from three months before an application is made for conversion to six months before an application is approved;

2) delete the provision which allows tenants to stay in place for up to two years after the date of application;

3) add a new clause which will provide that during the six month notice period, no rent increases shall take effect and no construction related to the condominium conversion shall be undertaken;

4) add a new clause which will provide that should the rent be increased or construction related to the condominium conversion be undertaken during the notice period, the applicant will be required to begin the notice period again from the date that the rent increases take effect or the date that the construction work is completed; and

5) add a new clause which will provide that where an applicant has vacated or substantially vacated a residential building prior to submitting a condominium conversion application, the application shall not be approved for twelve months from the date which it is submitted. This requirement shall be waived where a building is vacant as the result of significant damage or where t has been vacated as the result of a Health or Fire Order.


Clearly, these changes provide a strong disincentive for investors to attempt to circumvent policy. Hopefully, they will provide a fair balance for both tenants and landlords when it comes to notices to vacate.

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 (October 15-19 2007)

I am officially declaring an end to the Saskatoon real estate “boom.” 🙂


It’s not like it was a terrible week for real estate sales, or for sellers of Saskatoon homes. Unit sales were up over the previous week with 63 houses and condos changing hands. The average list price of the homes which did sell reached an annual high of $264,430 and average selling prices were also among the highest recorded at $259,990. It’s looking almost certain that October will produce a new “average price” high with month to date sales coming in at a whopping $266,000, up sharply from $241,537 in September.


On the other hand, it appears likely that October may see a decrease in total unit sales when compared to October, 2006. There’s no question that decreased demand and increased supply is providing active buyers with more options and less competition in the Saskatoon market. Total active residential listings closed the week at a new high for the year (and last year); 675 units.


Most notable though was the sharp decline in aggressive overbidding. A full 70% of the homes which sold last week went for less than the asking price, and by $7,658 on average. Only 13% sold above the list price which is almost half as many as the previous low. The decline was sharpest in areas 1, 2 and 3 where only 3 of 38 sales managed an above list selling price. The average overbid declined to its lowest level since the week of February 26 at just $7,150.


So while it may not say “boom,” it’s certainly not a bust. To me, current activity levels look pretty typical of what we normally expect of October in Saskatchewan.


Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (October 15-19)

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

Saskatchewan Federation of Indian Nations Pow-Wow 2007

Saskatchewan Federation of Indian Nations Pow-Wow 2007

If you have some spare time on your hands this weekend, you might consider spending some of it at the Credit Union Centre, where the Saskatchewan Federation of Indian Nations (FSIN) is hosting Pow-Wow 2007. Five bucks will get you through the door, and provide an opportunity to experience a truly beautiful “cultural celebration” expressed through song and dance with the people of Saskatchewan’s First Nations.

If you’ve never been to a pow-wow, you’re in for a real treat with this one as hundreds of singers and dancers pack the venue to honour residential school survivors and compete for over $80,000 in prize money. This really is a great Saskatoon event.

More details at the FSIN website

What is a Pow-Wow?

My Flickr slideshow of the 2006 Pow-wow

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (October 8-12 2007)

Saskatoon real estate sellers continued to show their enthusiasm offering 122 single family homes and condos to the market, bringing total active listings to an annual high of 663 units (also higher than any month end in 2006). You could almost hear the buyers yawning as only 48 Saskatoon homes were reported sold, the lowest number for any week in the history of the “Week in review.”


While average overbids were less than half of what they were last week, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home came in at one of its highest levels this year, topped only once before, the week of September 10-14.


Though demand is obviously showing signs of weakening, properties valued well below the average continue to attract substantial attention. Two properties which I listed Friday, one at $214,900, the other at $219,900 had both received acceptable offers by the end of the day on Saturday. One of the two properties attracted approximately 16 showings and seven offers, most of those above the asking price.


Here are the numbers for your review.

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