Housing affordability improves in all areas of Canada through third quarter: RBC

RBC Economics released its Housing Trends and Affordability study this morning and reported improved affordability in all areas of the country. Here’s what they had to say about Saskatchewan, which saw “significant improvement,” albeit slightly less so than the national average.

Spurred in part by a decline in homeownership costs, Saskatchewan home buyers resumed house hunting in recent months with home resales in the province rebounding since August and reversing most of its slide in the first half of this year. The earlier softening of activity, nonetheless, had a linger- ing effect on home prices in the third quarter, which fell across all housing types relative to the second quarter. In turn, this lingering effect, along with lower mortgage rates, contributed to a significant improvement in affordability. The RBC Affordability Measures dropped between 1.8 and 2.2 percentage points, which was the most since early 2009. While lower than they were a year ago, the measures are still modestly above their long-term average, thereby suggesting to us that current market conditions are stretching homebuyers’ budgets to a degree. However, those budgets are likely to be boosted from a strong expected rebound in the provincial economy and, thus, family income this year and next.

Read the full RBC Housing Trends and Affordability study 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.

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Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon churches pledge fundraising support for inner city grocery store

A group of Saskatoon churches have pledged support to work together to assist in fundraising for the proposed “Good Food Junction,” a full service co-operative supermarket that would operate at Station 20 West, assuming that private funding goals are met and the “cluster of community services” becomes a reality. Pleasant Hill and Riversdale, two of Saskatoon’s poorest neighbourhoods have been without a grocery store for more than a decade. The low-income residents in these communities already face mobility challenges making it difficult to seek services in other areas.

$650,000 is needed to fund equipment for the store and church leaders from a number of Christian denominations have pledged to promote the cause leading up to the Christmas season.

More details from CBC here.
More from the Star Phoenix here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Council approves land purchase to relocate bus barns & city yards

Saskatoon city council has just approved the purchase of 180 acres of land that will serve as a new location for the Saskatoon Transit Service bus barns, the public works department and the city yards, according to Sean Shaw who is live blogging from tonight’s council meeting.

The parcel is located west of the Saskatoon landfill, south of Montgomery Place and north of Valley Road. The location may have once been considered impractical, but when completed, the new Circle Drive South bridge will provide easy access to the east side of the city for buses and snow plows.

The relocation of the public works department and the city yards will free up twenty-four acres of prime land in north downtown. A new home for the bus barns was the next major step in moving the South Caswell Concept Plan forward. The plan calls for the redevelopment of two whole city blocks including a number of affordable housing initiatives, some commercial space, a dog park of approximately 8,000 square feet and a 65,000 square foot neighbourhood park space. This move will come as great news to Caswell Hill residents who have had to deal with the noise and the smell of the public transportation facility for years.

Read also: City eyes land for bus barns – Star Phoenix

View MLS® listings in Caswell Hill.

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

Christie’s Il Secondo a wonderful addition to Broadway Avenue

Christie's Il Secondo a wonderful addition to Broadway Avenue & Nutana

The owners of Christie’s Mayfair Bakery opened their second store early this month at 802C Broadway Avenue and it appears to be a big hit already. It’s no wonder, really, given Christie’s longtime reputation in Saskatoon for quality and value. This store, Christie’s Il Secondo, serves as an outlet for goods produced at the 33rd Street bakery and it also brings another excellent coffee and lunch bar to the Nutana area. A simple menu, presented on chalkboards, offers a selection of about a half dozen Panini bread sandwiches and six or seven authentic Italian pizzas, cooked on location in a wood fired oven.

My wife I made our first visit to Christie’s Il Secondo on Saturday afternoon. When we arrived at about 2:30 p.m. all of about three dozen seats in the place were full. Fortunately, by the time we reached the walk-up counter to place our order a table for two had opened up for us. We shared a Shevchenko sandwich (chicken and vegetables on toasted Panini) and a Margherita Pizza, both of which were excellent. With two cups of fresh brewed coffee, the total tab was twenty-eight bucks, a price that struck us as reasonable.

Christie’s Il Secondo is a perfect fit for the Broadway business district.

Check Craig Silliphant’s review of Christie’s Il Seconda for Planet S here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate