Saskatchewan economy underperforms on expectations

Statistics Canada released its Gross Domestic Product numbers yesterday which show that the Saskatchewan economy underperformed on expectations and forecasts of RBC Economics, CMHC, and the Conference Board of Canada, all of which estimated higher growth of between 4% and 4.8% for Saskatchewan in 2007.


According to the report, Saskatchewan’s economy grew by 2.8% through 2007, just a smidge higher than the national average of 2.7% and well below the other western provinces, which saw growth ranging from 3.1% to 3.3%.


Doug Elliot of Sasktrends Monitor told the Star Phoenix that Statistics Canada’s numbers are a more accurate reflection of the provincial economy than those of private sector economists.


“I think the Conference Board (of Canada) and all of the bank (economists) have been overstating the strength of Saskatchewan’s economy.


“We’re doing fairly well, but we’re not this powerhouse that everybody seems to think we are.”


Hmmmm?


Read the Star Phoenix coverage here.

Read the StatsCan report 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

U.S. foreclosure rates see massive jump and worst not yet over

CNN Money is reporting today that the U.S. home foreclosure rate “spiked 112%” in early 2008, and the worst of it likely isn’t over, as some $362 billion dollars worth of adjustable rate mortgages will “reset” this year.

More than 155,000 families have already lost their homes this year. Approximately 1 in 194 U.S. households have received some sort of foreclosure filing.

Nevada is the hardest hit state with 1 in 54 households received foreclosure filings. Stockton, California tops the list for foreclosures in a U.S. municipality. Approximately 1 in 30 homes have received foreclosure notices.

Read the CNN Money article 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

Saskatoon ranks high on Canadian Business best places to live list

Saskatoon ranks 17th out of 154 Canadian communities that are rated in the third annual Canadian Business, “Canada’s Best Places to Live” list.

This particular report weighs a number of factors including house prices, incomes, crime rates, employment, weather and lifestyle.

View the results 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

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (April 21-25 2008)

Following a few weeks of unseasonably sluggish home sales, the Saskatoon real estate market took an upward bounce this week with 117 condominiums and single-family home sales reported as having firmed up. That compares to just 70 last week, and it even tops the 109 units reported sold for the same week last year. An additional 63 homes are flagged as “conditionally sold” on the Saskatoon MLS system.


New residential listings continued on an upward trend with a total of 220 properties being introduced to the market, including 146 houses and 58 condos. Total active residential listings closed the week at 739 units, up from 668 last week, and significantly higher than the approximately 255 homes that were available at this time last year.


Some cooling occurred in the overbid arena with just 34% of Saskatoon homes sold selling for more than the asking price, down from 41% last week, and dropping sharply from the whopping 73% that we experienced during the same week in April of 2007. The average overbid took a big hit falling 42% from last week and landing below the $10,000 mark for the first time in the last ten weeks.


After three weeks of pushing the $320K mark, average selling prices softened to $288,679, the lowest weekly number we’ve seen since the week of March 10-14. Sales at the upper end of the value range were down in most areas. Also notable is the fact that the average selling price of a Saskatoon home was lower than the average list price for the first time since the week of February 18-22.


It seems to me that all of the indicators are pointing towards a little more balance in the near future, assuming that new listings continue to outpace sales at the current rate. Total unit sales for the month of April will almost certainly show some softening over April 2007. These two factors should result in better conditions for home buyers.

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (April 21-25)

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 housing options still exist for first-timers: Remax

Remax Press Release – Kelowna, BC (April 22, 2008)


“While higher housing values and tight inventory levels have hampered home-buying activity so far this year, longer amortization periods and alternative housing types have offset the impact on most major markets across the country, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.”


“Despite a higher degree of frustration in the marketplace than in previous years, the RE/MAX Affordability Report found that first-time buyers, in particular, remain steadfast in their determination to purchase a home. In fact, entry-level purchasers are adjusting their expectations by sacrificing size, location, and even long-term financial freedom, to overcome challenges such as rising prices and serious supply issues. Innovative financing has become key to homeownership in today’s environment – with longer amortization periods gaining favour in 62 per cent of the major centres surveyed. Low or no down payments were popular with first-time buyers in 38 per cent of markets.”


In Saskatoon, the report indicates “A two-bedroom, 900 square foot bungalow in good condition can be purchased from $200,000 in areas such as Confederation Park, Fairhaven, Meadowgreen, Mayfair and Westmount. The least expensive home sold in the city to date was a 535 square foot bungalow which traded hands for $80,000.”


Remax Saskatoon agent, Ivan Toledo told Star Phoenix Business Editor Murray Lyons that “people looking for affordability are discovering neighbourhoods such as King George and Westmount, where some existing houses are for sale and Toledo is working with two different builders on in-fill projects, building semi-detached, two-storey houses.”


“They will buy a little drug house or whatever on a 50-foot lot, knock it down, subdivide it and put up new construction,” Toledo said. “We have the lowest cost new construction in Saskatoon.

“It’s basically a Stonebridge (style) house and if Stonebridge is selling for $360,000, we’re selling ours at $270,000.”


Read to Remax Affordabilty Study 2008 here.

Read the Star Phoenix 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