The whole economy changed with the advent of COVID-19 in March 2020. But prior to that, things were, well, more normal. And that’s why year-over-year realty sales figures in Saskatchewan for January 2021 stand out, because they are up – way up.
On Feb. 3, the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA) said in a release, “Building off the momentum seen in 2020, the Saskatchewan real estate market started 2021 off strong. Across the province, sales were up over 49 per cent from last January (going from 616 to 919), new listings were down just over five per cent (going from 1,855 to 1,758). Inventories were also down in 18 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks.”
“We haven’t seen a January like this since 2012,” said SRA economic analyst Chris Gbekorbu in the release.
With new listings down 10 per cent from their historical averages, there are fewer houses being put on the market. At the same time, the rising number of sales combined with falling inventory suggests strong demand for what housing is available. This could put upward pressure on prices and help to encourage potential sellers, according to the SRA.
“Although it is only one month and another COVID-like event could slow things down again like it did last March and April, this strong start should help us be optimistic for 2021,” said Gbekorbu.
The SRA noted that while some analysts have suggested that national housing numbers could suffer significantly this year, “most analysts project that home prices will rise and that the economy will see strong growth as we continue to recover from the effects of COVID. Most consumers are also optimistic about real estate, expecting the market to continue to grow and be a good investment opportunity.”
Samantha Krahn, director of external and government relations with the SRA, said by phone from Saskatoon on Feb. 4, “What is going on is pretty much across the entire province. People are still looking for homes, and there’s definitely less homes out there. So, the ones that are available, people are clamouring for.
“We saw a lot of pent-up demand that basically drove the market up and we had one of the best years ever, last year, in real estate probably the last five years in almost all of the markets that we actually keep track of things for.
“So it’s pretty extraordinary, considering the pandemic. You know, people really want to find a home and they’re spending more time there.”
This is happening despite an economy that saw thousands in Saskatchewan lose their jobs and businesses fighting to stay alive due to pandemic restrictions. Asked how that squares with the current realty market, Krahn said, “We had the lockdown in March, April and May. We were pretty stagnant; pretty much almost everything was on hold, it felt like in the market. And then June rolled around and things kind of just slowly picked up from there and even this month again, there’s definitely less stock on the market but there’s people out there looking for it.”
She said in Saskatoon, in particular, they are seeing something called a “delayed presentation of offers.” That’s were five to as many as eight potential buyers may view a home, a number of offers are accepted and then at a certain time, they’re all presented to the homeowner. Krahn said that hasn’t happened in probably 10 years, according to some of their members. “It’s definitely a sellers’ market now,” Krahn said.
Southeast Saskatchewan had some of the lowest numbers highlighted, but even they saw an increase, with sales up 13.3 per cent going from 30 in January 2020 to 34 in January 2021, up 27.8 per cent from the five-year average (and 12.2 per cent above the 10-year average). The total number of sales in Estevan was flat at 8 and fell 36.4 per cent in Weyburn, going from 11 to 7.
Sales in Estevan were 5.3 per cent above the five-year average and 22.3 per cent below the 10-year average, while they were 14.6 per cent below the five-year average and 20.5 per cent below the 10-year average in Weyburn.
The number of new listings in southeast Saskatchewan fell 1.1 per cent, going from 93 to 92.
Looking at commercial real estate more in depth in the fourth quarter of 2020, Krahn said their economist found that, “COVID has accelerated trends that were already happening; less need for retail space and way more need for warehouse space, things like that,” according to Krahn.
She added, “It’s definitely, I think, accelerated a lot of the trends that we’ve been seeing.
“You look at the southeast part, like Weyburn, Estevan, obviously things are a little bit less rosy down there, I think, probably because of resources and some of that. Same with Calgary, normally one of the hardest markets in Western Canada,” she said.
Asked if we’ve crested, Krahn responded, “That’s tough to say.”
She doesn’t see anything going downwards anytime soon. Right now, everyone is waiting for the COVID-19 vaccines.
These are the cheapest real estate listings in Calgary right now | Urbanized – Daily Hive
Good news for YYC house-hunters – you don’t have to break the bank to purchase your own home.
In this month’s roundup of Zoocasa’s cheapest real estate listings in Calgary, affordable properties can be found throughout the city for under $300,000.
A lower budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise your standards, as most of these properties offer updated kitchens and bathrooms, recently replaced flooring, and state-of-the-art appliances.
If you’re in the market for a new home, take a peek at these Calgary real estate listings.
- Three bedrooms
- One bathroom
- 826 sq ft
This Pineridge home is close to schools, playgrounds, and shopping, making it a convenient location for anyone. The property offers a detached garage and a fully-fenced yard.
- Four bedrooms
- Two bathroom
- 1,132 sq ft
Located in Copperfield, this townhome features a fully developed basement, spacious tiled front entryway, and upgraded appliances in the kitchen. This is an end-unit property boasting tons of natural light and electric fireplaces.
- Two bedrooms
- Two bathrooms
- 1,174 sq ft
This bungalow-style condo is located in The Highbury building in Evergreen Estates-Shawnee Slopes. The unit was recently updated and has stainless steel appliances, a spacious master bedroom, a walk-through closet, and luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout. Condo fees include everything except electricity.
- Two bedrooms
- One bathroom
- 441 sq ft
In this Mayland Heights bi-level home, house-hunters will find large windows, a dining area with a cozy built-in bench, and a spacious balcony with downtown and mountain views. The unit has been freshly painted and boasts new laminate floors.
- Three bedrooms
- One bathroom
- 1,099 sq ft
Live in this new Fonda condo, featuring a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a main floor office, and laminate-engineered hardwood flooring throughout. The upper level is home to a spacious master bedroom and recently renovated four-piece bathroom.
Real estate company says demand for housing in Niagara will continue to grow – NiagaraFallsReview.ca
A Hamilton-based real estate company says Niagara’s economy as well as its real estate market are poised for continued growth.
After placing a renovated 12-unit apartment on Drummond Road on the market, Crescendo Equity secured a total sale of $2.9 million. That translates to $247,000 per unit, compared to a previous benchmark of $176,000 for units in the area.
The company predicts demand for housing in Niagara will continue to grow through 2021.
”Market conditions are being strengthened by interprovincial migration, as home buyers and renters from the Greater Toronto Area, Peel and Halton regions look to Niagara for more space and better affordability,” said Mathew Moxness, Crescendo Equity’s founder.
The Drummond Road property is part of the company’s larger strategy to take older, underperforming stock and reposition properties for maximum occupancy and potential.
“With growing demand for multi-family housing throughout Ontario, repositioning aging and underperforming assets will help to supply the segment and provide housing for those who need it,” Moxness said.
The company, which offers opportunities to private and group investors, purchased a shuttered retirement home in Niagara Falls last year, and plans to convert the property into apartments.
BCREA: BC Government Proposes Changes to Real Estate Services Act Paving Path for Single Regulator – Business Examiner
BRTISH COLUMBIA – On March 2, Bill 8: Finance Statutes Amendment Act, 2021 was introduced in the BC Legislature. With its introduction, the BC Government’s intention to create a single financial services regulator, including real estate, announced in September 2019, was finally made clear.
The bill creates the path for the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC) to become part of the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA). According to the government’s news release, this is expected to happen “later in 2021.”
We welcome a more cohesive regulatory structure, which is something we asked for early in 2019. Unfortunately, the legislative changes introduced yesterday don’t include the creation of the Professional Standing Committee BCREA proposed more than a year ago.
When the BCFSA becomes the real estate regulator, administration of the Real Estate Services Act (RESA), Real Estate Development Marketing Act and parts of the Strata Property Act will be added to the BCFSA’s current regulatory responsibilities, which include credit unions, mortgage brokers and insurance. BCFSA’s Chief Executive Officer will become the new Superintendent of Real Estate.
As a result of the omission of the Professional Standing Committee, BCREA is concerned that real estate licensees will have fewer opportunities to provide input into rules and policies that impact the practice of real estate. Although the Professional Standing Committee isn’t included in the proposed amendments to RESA, we hope it will be implemented in the practical application of the new regulatory structure. We will continue to work with the BCFSA, OSRE and RECBC to this end. Our goal is to ensure a consistent, meaningful process for practitioner input.
At a high level, the government also proposes the following changes, among others:
- expanding the administrative penalty system, including the option of requiring further education and doubling the maximum penalty (currently $50,000),
- eliminating discipline committees, and
- strengthening the new superintendent’s options for handling urgent circumstances.
BCREA is carefully reviewing the proposed changes to RESA, including seeking legal analysis and meeting with government staff.
This bill – like all bills – will be debated in the legislature and subject to further changes as part of that process. Once it’s passed, it won’t take effect right away. Instead, the government will implement it at a later date by regulation.
As BCREA learns more about the proposed changes to RESA, we’ll provide updates in future blog posts. If you have any concerns, please contact Senior Policy Analyst Norma Miller.
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