Building on final piece of property for needed for Pleasant Hill Village demolished

The Kubica Glassworks building at 1407 20th Street West has finally been demolished after a lengthy public negotiation that failed and set the stage for a rare expropriation by the City of Saskatoon. The property was the last of several required to free all of the land for a 72-unit seniors complex being built as part of the Pleasant Hill revitalization project.

The city has purchased all of the adjacent properties and already demolished several houses but had been unable to settle with the owners of Kubica Glass who lived and worked out of the 20th Street building.

The City of Saskatoon took possession of the property on April 30. Following an environmental assessment of the land and any necessary remediation, it’s hoped that construction of the senior’s complex can begin by fall of 2010.

Uptown Market, Saskatoon’s only downtown grocer closes

The Uptown Market, Saskatoon’s only downtown grocery store has closed its doors after less than three months of operation.

The store, operated by British Columbia businessman Rexy Silva and his daughter Tabitha, opened its doors on April 5th of this year in the retail level of the 2nd Avenue Lofts. Saskatoon had been without a downtown grocer since Extra Foods closed their 3rd Avenue location in 2004.

News is difficult to come by on the closure but Lyndon tells me he heard that the owners are seeking investors and hoping to reopen the store after some “re-vamping.” I’ve also heard that product selection and merchandising were both weaknesses for the store. Perhaps the Uptown Market can find a second life with some help in those areas.

Thanks to Ginger for the heads up on this.

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: June 21-25 2010

Saskatoon real estate sales for the week matched the pace of the previous week with eighty-three homes trading. On a year-over-year basis sales declined roughly twenty-five percent from the 110 offers that went unconditional during the same week last year.

New MLS® listings grew to 123, up eight from last week to finish higher than the same period in 2009 when 110 Saskatoon home sellers listed their home on the Multiple Listing Service®.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The inventory of residential listings crept up again gaining eleven units over the course of the week to finish at 1427, just eight units fewer than were available at this time in 2009.  Most of the gains were recorded in the single-family detached house category, which moved higher to 853 homes while active condo listings fell below the five hundred mark to finish at 495.

I found it interesting that for three consecutive years inventory numbers were essentially the same during this particular week. Of course, in 2009 they were already headed for lower ground. In 2010, they continued to swell taking another three months to reach peak numbers for the year.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Cancelled and withdrawn listings came in at forty-two with twenty-five of those being reprocessed as a new listing the same day they came off. Price adjustments crept higher again reaching eighty-six properties.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home bounced higher to once again break the $300,000 mark. The six-week average moved up nearly two thousand dollars to $298,951 and gained more than twenty thousand dollars over the same week last year. The four-week median slid lower for the second week in a row losing fifteen hundred dollars to close at $285,000, up just eight thousand dollars from the same time in 2009.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Overbid sales continued to be sparse with just three of this week’s sales recording an above list sale price. The average overbid is heavily skewed by one sale that went over list by forty-four thousand dollars. It was a new house so additional improvements are likely included in the final sale price. Seventy-six of the sales for the week were reported as selling below the asking price by $8,981 on average for a discount of 2.7 percent.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Canada not immune: Central bank
Debt lessons haven’t sunk in for many
Reading the mortgage fine print
Five things to ask before you sign a mortgage
It may burst your bubble, but buy within your means

A map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas is here.
An overview of data collection and calculation practices for our statistical reports is 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.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS® listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Is your real estate agent about to sell you out?

The Multiple Listing Service® is a system that real estate brokerages use to share information with each other about properties that are for sale. It provides us with opportunities to quickly share details about our listings with all local agents who participate and it also provides us with a large inventory of homes that we can introduce our buyer clients to.

One of the characteristics of an MLS® listing is an “offer of compensation.” The listing brokerage agrees to share the negotiated commission with any other brokerage that might bring a buyer who agrees to purchase the property. That offer of compensation is published with the listing data on the member based MLS® system.  In most cases, the compensation offered gets lower as the price of the home goes up. Most commonly, we’ll see something like what you see below.

3% on the first $100,000, 2% on the second $100,000 and 1% on the balance of the sale price.

Recently, I noticed an MLS listing priced at $399,900 with the following compensation offer.

0% on the first $350,000, 25% on the next $50,000 and 3% on the balance of the sale price.

If you were about to make an offer on this house would you want to know that your agent could be earning nearly two times the commission available on most listings in this price range? Would you want to know that your agent would earn an extra $250 for every additional $1,000 you agreed to pay?

Should you be entitled to full disclosure on this extraordinary and unusual compensation offer?

I think most buyers would want to know and I’m also of the opinion that they’d be entitled to know. Don’t be afraid to ask your buyer’s agent how he or she is paid and instruct them to advise you if you’re about to make an offer on a property that has any selling incentives or extraordinary compensation offers available on it. Better yet, understand that you’re really paying the fee and agree up front on how much it will be.

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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

TeamFisher.com welcomes a new contributor

First off, I’d like to say hello to everyone and formally introduce myself. My name is Riel Syrenne and I am the in-house Mortgage Broker at Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate and happy to be a part of TeamFisher! I have been working in the office for just over 4 years providing financing for not only those looking for the best rate or product, but also those who have had difficulties finding financing elsewhere.  I have access to over 20 lenders who consistently compete to provide lower rates and more products than you can receive walking into your own bank.

I’m here for everyone on the site and able to answer any financing questions you may have or come across during your home shopping. Feel free to ask about rates or bring forth any questions you may have as I am happy to help. My service is always free and I look forward to helping anyone with their current or future home purchases!

I’d also like to thank Norm for giving me this opportunity to post on his always informative and growing site!

I’m always happy to answer your mortgage related questions. Please leave me a comment below or call me at 306-260-9918.

Riel Syrenne
The Mortgage Group