Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (March 24-29 2008)

Residential listing activity picked up the pace this week with a total of 164 single family homes (houses) and condominiums being offered for sale on the Saskatoon MLS. Total active listings in the residential category finished the week at 470 units including 298 houses and 127 condos. An additional 50 properties are displaying the “conditional sale” flag. Though still a relatively small number, the Saskatoon real estate market didn’t see inventory build to this level until into August during 2007. In fact, at this time last year there was a total of 254 listings including both active and conditionally sold, so there are more than twice as many Saskatoon homes available now as compared to the end of March last year.


Saskatoon real estate sales remained brisk with 94 homes reported sold on the local MLS, up from 86 the week before. A larger number of sales in areas 4 and 5, combined with fewer sales in area 1 brought average selling prices back under the $300,000 mark.


Overbid activity was down some over the previous week with 46 of 94 Saskatoon homes (49%) reporting sale prices that exceeded the asking price. During the same week last year we were up around 55% but the average overbid was a little lower at $14,076, compared to $16,130. You may recall that the market really began to heat up through April and May last year with average overbids topping $20,000 and $25,000 respectively.


Should we expect more of the same in 2008? It’s a pretty tough call and most would admit that they’d have never dreamed that we’d be where we are today. Logic has failed us over and over during the last 18 months so I can’t say I’d be totally surprised by another insane spring. On the other hand, I think that the sales numbers over the next couple of months, perhaps beginning with March, will finally start to show some weakening in demand. If the current inventory trends continue on an upward swing, we should start to see the pressure coming off of prices earlier this year. Given the massive deterioration in affordability over the past two years, the troubled North American economy and the fact that most major real estate markets across Canada are starting to experience at least some weakness, I can’t say I’d be surprised if our “suddenly” isn’t looming just around the corner.

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (March 24-29)

Notable sales


  • Meadowgreen bi-level, 972’, very dated, no garage goes $53K over list at $248,500.
  • North Park bi-level, 820’ with a single garage, dated, sells $40K over at $280,000.
  • Avalon area 1.5 storey, 952’, no garage, a stone’s throw from the freeway sells for just over $267,000.
  • Massey Place apartment, 1,050’ goes 20K over at $220,000.
  • Confederation Park 4-level split, 940’ without a garage fetches $295,000.
  • Lakewood apartment, 868’ sells for $250,000.
  • Adelaide Churchill bungalow on busy street, 1,004’ and no garage brings just over $328,000.

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

Every real estate bubble in history has burst: Garth Turner

Garth Turners Greater Fool

Excerpt from a Globe and Mail story on Garth Turner and his latest book, Greater Fool.

Garth Turner has some unsettling news for Canadians who’ve tied their financial future to their homes – every real estate bubble in history has burst, and there’s no reason to think it will be different this time.

Mr. Turner’s new book, Greater Fool, The Troubled Future of Real Estate, argues that Canadians have been buying homes at inflated prices by taking advantage of expensive mortgages that last 40 years and signing up for incentive plans that allow them to forego the traditional down payment. As a sub-prime-mortgage crisis unfolds in the United States, with more than 400,000 families losing their homes in the past year and a million more said to be on the brink, should they smugly assume they are insulated because of high commodity prices and a strengthening dollar?

“When the average family can no longer afford the average home, how can so many people be deluded into believing a boom will last forever?” he asks. “How could we put so much money into something we might never be able to sell, except to a greater fool?”


This article is a very interesting read. Check it out here.


Garth’s blog is also worth following.

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 Milroy Apartments tenants offered first crack at converted units

Tenants of the Saskatoon Milroy Apartments received offers to purchase their units from the developer yesterday. Two of them kindly dropped me a note and I thought you might be interested in the details.


A tenant living on the 12th floor writes, “We got a package in the mail last night with the price and upgrades they are doing. Ours is priced at $315,888.09 – we have 30 days to buy and if we buy before April 10 we save a whopping 2000. This includes a surface parking spot as well. Sounds a little (alright a lot) steep for this place. They are planning on “gutting” the suite – replacing plumbing fixtures, kitchen cabinets, flooring, windows and appliances and upgrading the electrical service to the building and each suite. Replacing the air chiller, moving to in-suite laundry and upgrading the elevator(s).”


I love the .09 cents thing.


According to another tenant residing of the 17th floor, it will set you back considerably to move up five floors. He states that his unit is offered to him at $351,502.32.


Let’s assume that the gentleman on 17 is interested in purchasing this property and he coughs up a 10% down payment and mortgages the balance. At 5.1% over 25 years, and assuming condo fees of roughly $290 per month and taxes of $200 (a guess, but probably somewhere close), he’ll have monthly payments totaling $2,385.13. An annual income of $95,000 will be required to qualify. Thankfully, we have 40-year mortgages that allow him to qualify with just $82,000 in annual income. 🙂


Average annual income of a Saskatchewan resident – $38,636.

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 (March 17-20 2008)

New listing activity cooled significantly in the Saskatoon real estate market this week with just 116 properties being offered for sale, down from 156 last week. Still, active listings on the Saskatoon MLS managed to creep up slightly to 423 units including 274 single-family homes (houses) and 112 condos. 63 additional homes are showing as “conditionally sold.”


Sales activity also took a bit of a slide, though not as sharply as the drop in new listings. 86 properties were reported sold on the MLS compared to 97 the previous week, and 100 during the same week last year. With nearly three fourths of the month behind us, it is conceivable that unit sales could come in below the levels seen during March 2008. Given the rapid changes in “affordability,” I think we can likely expect some down months soon.


Buyer attitudes remained aggressive. I heard of many instances where the old “delayed presentation of offers” strategy failed to produce results, but 55% of the Saskatoon homes that were reported sold achieved selling prices that exceeded list. They knew what they wanted and they went after it hard with the average overbid exceeding $15,000. While this particular stat has been on the grow in recent weeks, it hasn’t been above 50% since the week of August 20-24.


Average selling prices went through the roof breaking a new weekly record at $312,470 compared to the previous high of $275,825. This massive increase can be explained by a smaller than normal number of sales in areas 4 and 5, while areas 1, 2 and 3 were all quite active.

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (March 17-20)

Notable sales


  • Meadowgreen bungalow at 1,070 square feet with a double garage fetches $285,000.
  • River Heights one-bedroom apartment (624’) goes for $161,000.
  • Lakewood Pine Creek town house breaks a new record for this development at $285,000.
  • Caswell Hill one and one half storey in really rough shape and listed at $99,900 sells $63,000 over list.
  • Varsity View bungalow (1,080’) with no garage brings seller over $411,000.

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 Milroy Apartment tenants lose court challenge to halt condo Conversion

Tenants of Saskatoon’s Milroy Apartments learned Thursday of their lost court challenge aimed at stopping the condo conversion project at their building, which was approved by Saskatoon city council on January 14, 2008.


“The decision was that the court is not interfering with city council’s decision. The application to set aside the decision approving the condominium plan was denied,” said Andrew Mason, lawyer for the Milroy tenants. Mason presented his case before Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Mona Dovell on March 12 arguing that council did not correctly interpret or apply provisions in the provincial Condominium Property Act which gives municipalities discretionary wiggle room to deny applications based on low rental vacancy rates. The latest Rental Market Report released in December by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation pegged the vacancy rate in the area at just 1%, and at .6% across the city of Saskatoon.


The Milroy Apartment tenants will now have to decide if they are willing to bear additional costs, which would have to be incurred if they choose to appeal the court’s ruling.


The City of Saskatoon has agreed to undertake a review of its condominium conversion policies and city administrators have already brought a proposal of potential changes forward. The administration will present the court decision to the city’s executive committee on March 31, and according to city solicitor Theresa Dust, a policy debate will likely ensue at the committee’s April 14 meeting.

Read the story from today’s Star Phoenix 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.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate