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Strong Activity Ahead for the Saskatoon Real Estate Market – RE/MAX News



As Saskatchewan’s largest city and business hub, the Saskatoon market is energized with activity. The prairies were affected by COVID-19, but quickly rebounded to strong activity – notably, Saskatchewan has outperformed last year’s market.

The city of Saskatoon had fewer cases of COVID-19 compared to other urban centers and was able to control the virus early to avoid the devastation experienced by other provinces. As a result, this market is showing promising signs of resiliency and recovery.

Here are a few market conditions that show the activity ahead in the Saskatoon real estate market:

Buying and Selling in Saskatoon

The province experienced a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases in September, but this hasn’t deterred people from participating in the Saskatchewan real estate market. In fact, there was a 52 per cent increase in sales from last September.

Activity was evident during the summer months where some REALTORS® even noted the occurrence of bidding wars and homes selling within days. June was one of the busiest months in years. This was a sure sign of market recovery following slower Spring real estate activity due to coronavirus. The market has even outperformed last year’s figures.

Despite the pandemic, buying and selling of homes waged on in this prairie province. Sale prices continue to be high, while inventory is low, showcasing that this market has seemingly recovered from the instability the coronavirus caused.

It’s important to note that home prices in Saskatoon remain steady. Homes in the city stayed on the market an average of 40 days in September, which is a 27.3 per cent decrease from 55 days last year. All of these factors point to a seller’s market in this city.

Low Interest Rates

Across the country, low interest rates will offer more Canadians the opportunity to dip their toes into the real estate market. The Bank of Canada has slashed interest rates to the lowest they’ve ever been at 0.25%. The rates are expected to stay for a while in order to bolster the economy.

Saskatoon is an attractive real estate market for young people and first-time homebuyers due to its affordability, compared to other markets across the country. For homebuyers who previously had trouble borrowing amid pervious market conditions, these accessible rates make jumping into the market a little easier.

Leveraging Technology to Get Deals Done

For those who aren’t deterred by the coronavirus and are willing to adapt to new public health measures to facilitate real estate transactions, the market conditions are prime. Technology solutions are providing the opportunity for people to scoop up their dream home in the Saskatoon market.

From virtual tours to e-signatures, there’s been a few changes to the way home sales are occurring within the current climate. Real estate agents have pulled out all the stops to ensure their clients feel safe when attending open houses and conducting business. Their dedication to innovation and commitment to putting clients first has helped keep the real estate industry afloat, despite shaky economic conditions across the country.

Can We Expect Strong Real Estate Activity Ahead?

Will demand for Saskatoon real estate be sustained into 2021? The Saskatchewan Real Estate Board does expect some of this demand to fall off as fall winds down and transitions to winter. Yet, consumer confidence continues to be high…for now.

RE/MAX brokers and agents are estimating a three-per-cent increase in average residential sale prices for the remainder of the year. Research indicates that 56% of Canadians who feel confident in the real estate market are likely to buy or sell even in the event of a second wave.

Real estate professionals are cautiously optimistic that Saskatoon will see at least average activity during the fall and winter seasons. Although, as government funding tapers off, it remains uncertain as to whether this activity will continue to be as strong. Some people may not have strong financial power to purchase homes. Yet, some industry observers suggest that the affordability of this prairie market may still attract homebuyers regardless.

Saskatoon is a fast-growing city with a buzzing real estate market that has thrived despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the coronavirus affected the market early on, with increased confidence and improving market conditions, Saskatoon is expecting the strong market activity to continue through the winter season.

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Okanagan-Shuswap real estate boards merging to form 13th largest association in Canada – Kelowna Capital News



Two real estate boards in the Okanagan-Shuswap region will soon become one and together represent 1,600 Realtors from Revelstoke to the U.S. border.

Currently known as the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB), and the South Okanagan Real Estate Board (SOREB), come Jan. 1 they will be known as the Association of Interior Realtors.

Following the amalgamation in the new year, the Association of Interior Realtors will become the 13th largest Realtor association in Canada.

READ MORE: Demand continues to drive Okanagan real estate markets

The new assocation will represent Realtors from Revelstoke to the U.S. border, east to Rock Creek and west to Eastgate Manning Park. It will also encompass the communities of Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek.

Under OMREB there are 88 real estate offices within the southern interior, from Peachland to Revelstoke.

SOREB encompasses 34 real estate offices in the southern interior and six officers in northern B.C.

According to both organizations, this amalgamation will allow them to combine resources, and work together to, “form a more perfect union” to ultimately serve and promote, “the value Realtors bring to the real estate transaction.”

OMREB’s current President Kim Heizmann will remain as President of the new organization, and SOREB’s President Lyndi Cruickshank will take the position of Vice-President.

According to the board, the new Association of Interior Realtors will provide leadership and support to its members in their pursuit of professional excellence within the interior region of British Columbia.

“The Board of Directors and the dedicated staff team will continue to improve the services available to the organization’s Realtor members and further promote the value of using a Realtor, both provincially and nationally,” the board stated in an email.

READ MORE: Okanagan real estate board agrees with provincial call to halt open houses

READ MORE: B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

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Baker Real Estate Announces New President and Geographic Expansion – Canada NewsWire



TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2020 /CNW/ – Baker Real Estate Incorporated, Canada’s leading pre-construction residential and condominium sales and marketing company, today announced the appointment of Harley Nakelsky as President, effective immediately.

“Harley is a seasoned professional who has been a valued member of Baker’s senior leadership team for eight years, providing our clients with sound strategic advice and sales support,” said Baker CEO, Barbara Lawlor.  “This expanded role, along with our ongoing investments in talent and technology, provides us with a strong foundation to grow our business and serve clients across Canada.”

“I am very excited by the opportunity to reinforce Baker’s proven track record in the Toronto area and, increasingly, beyond,” said Harley Nakelsky. “Our successful experience with launching new developments and selling down current developments despite COVID-19, has positioned us well for 2021 and beyond.”

Building on Baker’s long-term success, Baker is expanding into the Greater Vancouver market with the launch of Baker West, providing the firm’s bespoke service to its clients and local developers.

Jeff Clark, Senior Vice President will continue to be responsible for our international initiatives, including the development of Baker West and the partnerships that will ensure our success in the Vancouver area, and Debbie LaFave, Senior Vice President, will continue to lead our successful business in the Montreal market.

About Baker Real Estate Incorporated:
Baker is a member of the Peerage Realty Partners group of companies. For over 25 years, Baker has been Canada’s leading pre-construction residential and condominium sales company. With offices in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, it deploys its deep experience to provide consulting on all aspects of a development, ensuring clients strategically customize their projects and optimize returns with the ideal unit mix, floor-plan, pricing, and marketing. With a growing market share, Baker has sold over 100,00 units and generated $80-billion in new home sales.

About Peerage Realty Partners 
Founded in 2007, Peerage Realty Partners, a subsidiary of the Peerage Capital Group, offers a unique professional partnership model for entrepreneurial real estate firms. Peerage transacts over C$16 billion in annual sales volume, with over 3,000 sales representatives and 78 offices. In addition to Baker Real Estate Incorporated, our partners include leading luxury brokerage firms:  Chestnut Park Real Estate (Ontario,) Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty (Chicago), Madison & Company Properties LLC, (Denver), as well as Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing, a leader in new development and condominium sales and marketing in British Columbia, and StreetCity Realty, a progressive brokerage in Ontario. 

Related Links:

SOURCE Baker Real Estate Incorporated

For further information: Barbara Lawlor, CEO, Baker Real Estate Incorporated, Tel: 416-923-4621, Email: [email protected]

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Commercial real estate: Trends to watch in 2021 – The Globe and Mail



Downtown Calgary skyline. The office vacancy rate in downtown Calgary in third-quarter 2020 was 28.7 per cent, according to CBRE statistics.

Illustration/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

The story of Canada’s commercial real estate in 2021 will depend on how many COVID-19 plot twists have caused permanent changes in leasing and transaction patterns.

Industrial and retail real estate trends that had already emerged in 2019 were greatly accelerated by the pandemic, say industry professionals. Warehousing and distribution centre construction and lease rates, already on the upswing, took off as e-commerce increased. Bricks-and-mortar retail has been hit harder as some retail chains founder and mall tenants struggle to make their rents during lockdowns.

The office sector has been thrown into disarray and forecasts are divided on where office vacancies and trends are heading.

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“One camp is predicting work-from-home could become the new norm and the other is saying we will return to how things were previously,” says Matt Picken, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.’s (JLL) national lead of capital markets.

“I think there will be a compromise. Clearly there’s some cost saving involved in work-from-home but to the detriment of collaboration and office culture.”

JLL’s third-quarter 2020 office report showed a total office vacancy rate in Canada of 10.8 per cent and the “largest negative quarterly net absorption in over a decade, totaling nearly 2.7 million square feet of occupancy losses.”

But Mr. Picken remains confident in an office rebound once a vaccine is in place. “It’s too early to write off the office market. Our vacancies were so low for such a long time, this is not necessarily such a bad thing.”

Scott Addison, president of brokerage services Canada for Colliers, says available space, including lease and sublease vacancies, in major downtown markets could increase to more than 10 per cent in the next 18 months.

“The amount of sublease space coming to market is dramatic – 350 per cent more sublease space came to market in the last quarter than last year at this time.”

Mr. Addison says companies may have taken more space than they needed, based on big growth projections, and firms with multiple locations may be consolidating as leases come up.

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According to Ray Wong, vice-president of data operations at Data Solutions for Altus Group, there are discussions between office landlords and tenants about downsizing, renegotiating rents and even increasing space requirements to accommodate physical distancing.

“On top of that, we’re seeing increased inquiries into the suburban markets, closer to where people live.”

Mr. Wong adds that some companies are looking into relocating further out of the big cities to markets such as Kelowna, B.C., Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., and Halifax to get more bang from the buck.

That drive to lower density locations might help Calgary, says Greg Kwong, regional managing director in Calgary for CBRE.

The office vacancy rate in downtown Calgary in third-quarter 2020 was 28.7 per cent, according to CBRE statistics. Mr. Kwong says the continuing crisis in the energy sector plays as big a role in Alberta as does COVID-19.

Vancouver is not experiencing the office vacancy woes felt elsewhere to the same extent, according to CBRE’s Vancouver managing director Jason Kiselbach.

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“We entered 2020 with one of the lowest vacancies and we still have that,” he said, adding that a diversity of business, including film production and health sciences, as well as constrained office supply has contributed to a favourable climate.

Industrial properties, particularly warehouse and distribution, are bright spots for all markets in Canada. A trend to low vacancies and increasing lease rates was boosted significantly in 2020 by COVID-19′s influence on the rise of online shopping. Experts say the trend will continue through 2021 with still more construction and higher rates.

Mr. Wong says he would tell investors that their most promising bet for 2021 would be industrial land with room for possible expansion on a major arterial road. There is little available space in the market, he says. Third-quarter 2020 figures show national availability at 3.1 per cent, with Toronto figures at 1.9 per cent and Vancouver at 2.3.

In Vancouver, where available land is at a premium, industrial is beginning to go multistorey. Oxford Properties Group’s Riverbend Business Park is the first multistorey facility of its type in the Vancouver area.

Frank Magliocco, real estate leader with PwC Canada, says there is also a trend to some “reshoring” of manufacture because COVID-19 revealed the disruptions that can happen to global supply chains because of a pandemic.

“That’s also driving wind under the sales of industrial.”

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Malls and power centres are another uncertain sector of industry. Some observers are seeing excess retail land being converted to residential and industrial uses.

There has been some increase in vacancy in downtown Toronto in multiresidential.

The Associated Press

“There is potential to convert some non-performing shopping centres to last-mile fulfillment centres,” JLL’s Mr. Picken says. “The numbers are going to start to break in favour of this type of development because there’s such a shortage of warehouse space in key urban areas.”

Mr. Addison predicts that big regional malls and local corner stores will return post-COVID-19, but consumers may still choose e-commerce over a trip to a power centre.

“Because of the pandemic, those who weren’t using e-commerce are finding ‘this is easy, it’s pretty good.’” Mr. Addison says. “In February, it’s snowing, you’re in Calgary. Are you going to drive out to a power centre or are you just going to order it off Amazon and have it delivered that afternoon?”

Investors show increasing interest in multifamily residential

Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2021, an annual survey of real estate professionals conducted by PwC and the Urban Land Institute, showed 61.4 per cent of survey respondents favoured buying moderate income apartments; 48 per cent rated single family rentals as a buy and 42 per cent recommended lower income rentals, the top three commercial real estate categories in the survey.

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According to Ray Wong, vice-president of data operations at Data Solutions for Altus Group, there has been some increase in vacancy in downtown Toronto in multiresidential, but that is because of a conversion of Airbnb units to longer-term rentals.

Canada has also missed a cycle of immigration because of COVID-19, he adds.

“Hopefully, immigration will start to come back, and I think a lot of those vacancies will start to dry up again,” Mr. Wong says.

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