Tenants burned by hot Saskatoon real estate market

Saskatoon renters feel the heat

The front page of today’s Star Phoenix says, “Tenants feel pinch: Heated market driving increases in rental charges.”


The story references the predicament of a Saskatoon woman, Marilyn LePage who faces her third rent increase in the last twelve months. She has written a letter to city council asking, “What can be done to keep rent increases and frequencies under control for myself and other Saskatoon citizens?”


The answer she received was sure to disappoint as council made it clear that “rent controls” fall outside of the local jurisdiction. City solicitor Theresa Dust reminded those present of past attempts by the province to place controls on rents and noted that it produced “poor results.”


This is one of the sad realities of a real estate market which is experiencing a growth spurt. It affects almost everyone, and those who don’t own their own home can be affected the most. They not only move further away from owning a home due to increased cost of housing, but they inevitably pay the price in higher rental costs as market values increase.


I expect that we’ll hear many more stories like Ms. LePage’s over the coming year. East-side apartment style condos are now selling in excess of $130,000. An investor who purchases such a unit with 25% down will face carrying costs of over $850 per month not including maintenance or insurance. At present, that same unit has a market rent of about $700. Assuming the unit is occupied every month of the year, the landlord is a couple of thousand dollars shy of covering expenses. They won’t be excited about that for very long.


At the same time, vacancy rates are falling across the city and that trend is expected to continue as more people move back to Saskatoon. Condo conversions will likely remove a number of units from the rental market over the next two years.


Ultimately, rents are subject to the principle of supply and demand just like resale real estate is. More renters and fewer rental units equal higher rent payments. It’s pretty much unavoidable.


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

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (March 5-9 2007)

The Saskatoon real estate market continued at a frenzied pace with average sale prices exceeding average asking prices in every area of the city. A full 70% of the 82 residential sales reported to the Saskatoon Multiple Listing Service® sold either at or above the asking price. The average “overbid” which was recorded in instances where a home sold above the asking price increased substantially to $12,144 from $6,950 the week before. Here’s an overview of the numbers.

Saskatoon real estate statistics for week ending March 9

Notable sales from last week include:

  • Lakeview condo sells $29,000 over list price at $132,000.
  • Lakeview bungalow sells $30,100 over list price at $218,000.
  • Erindale town home sells $30,100 over list price at $210,000.
  • City Park two and one half storey sells $41,100 over list price at $261,000.
  • City Park bungalow (720 square feet) sells $30,100 over list price at $210,000.

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

Woman sentenced to…Saskatoon

Woman Sentenced to SaskatoonI really got a chuckle out of this story and couldn’t resist sharing it.


It seems that a British Columbia woman has been sentenced to serve two years of probation in Saskatoon after she pleaded guilty to seven counts each of credit card fraud and possessing stolen credit card data, one count of theft under $5,000, two counts of breaching an undertaking and two counts of failing to appear.


A judge ordered her to “board a bus” and head for Saskatoon. Apparently, he wants her as far away as possible from her former boyfriend and he thought Saskatoon would be the perfect spot for her to begin addiction treatments and rehabilitate herself.


Saskatoon really is a great place to live. You can’t help but wonder what the rest of the world thinks when they start sentencing people to live here. 🙂


Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon home prices to rise through 2008: CMHC

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) is predicting that the price of resale homes in Saskatoon will continue to rise through 2008. Citing lower inventory levels, an increase in demand, and low mortgage rates CMHC expects to see the Saskatoon resale real estate market maintain a “brisk pace” through 2007 and 2008. According to the government housing agency, several factors will play a role in maintaining the growth trend which Saskatoon is experiencing.


  • Low vacancy rates in rental properties
  • Pressure on rents resulting from increased demand and low supply
  • Employment and earnings gains will continue to attract people to the area
  • Escalating prices in Alberta will discourage some from seeking opportunities there
  • Large equity gains for Saskatoon home owners will encourage people to upgrade to more expensive homes
  • Escalating construction costs for new homes will continue to make resale homes attractive

Yesterday, Scotiabank released their annual Canadian Real Estate Trends report. They note that “Saskatoon has the tightest housing conditions in Canada” and predict that while there will be some cooling off in many areas of Canada they “anticipate pockets of buoyancy in housing markets across the country in 2007, including Saskatoon…”

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

Keeping water out of your basement

Water out of your basement

It’s starting to look like spring has arrived. Following a winter with precipitation levels which were 40% above the average, and with plus zero temperatures predicted for most days over the next couple of weeks, it’s about to get wet. The City of Saskatoon has issued a warning that a little preventative maintenance is in order if you’d like to keep the spring melt off from ending up in your basement.

Here are the tips they’ve provided to prevent a basement flood.


  • Remove snow from around your foundation and window wells.
  • Most lots drain along the outside edges. Remove snow from these areas.
  • Keep the snow in your yard because shoveling it onto streets or lanes could block drainage.
  • Clear snow and ice from around the bottom of your downspouts and extend downspouts at least two metres so water drains away from your foundation.
  • Where possible and safe, help clear snow, ice, and debris from the catch basins in your area.
  • Check your roof and eaves troughs for excessive snow.
  • Consider hiring a professional to clear snow from your roof.
  • A roof rake may help you to clear snow and debris from the edge of your roof.
  • Consider using sandbags to block water from entering low lying areas beside your foundation.
  • If water is getting close to your foundation, use an appropriate pump to drain it to the gutter or back lane.
  • Please use all equipment properly and follow safety guidelines.

Best wishes for a dry spring.