Archive for the ‘Canda Real Estate News’ Category

Century 21 Conexus Changed to Century 21 Fusion

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

I should write about a change in Century 21 Saskatoon that took place on July 1. We went from working under a bank, Conexus Credit Union, to becoming owned by Saskatoon real estate agents in less than a month. This was a good move for everyone I feel. We had our hands tied with the beauracracy of working under a banking system since I became a real estate agent in Saskatoon over 4 years ago. Conexus has now, I believe, sold off all of the Century 21 franchises across Saskatchewan.

Three Saskatoon real estate agents (and 1 spouse) purchased the Century 21 Saskatoon franchise and we are now called Century 21 Fusion. We take pride in advancing with technology while excelling at Saskatoon real estate sales. Gary Busch and Barry & Sandy Chilliak are the new agent/owners of Century 21 Saskatoon (Century 21 Fusion).

Some people ask me if it is a conflict of interest to have our Saskatoon real estate company owned by realtors in Saskatoon but little do they know Century 21 was one of the only ones that was not owned by Saskatoon real estate agents. So, is it a conflict of interest? Only if the owners are cherry picking the best listings when people call our company and are looking for a Saskatoon real estate agent to list their home for sale in Saskatoon.

Do I mind? If I minded I would have packed up my bags and left! With my 4 year annivesary having just passed as being a Realtor in Saskatoon I have not wavered from Century 21 Saskatoon as I enjoy my colleagues and I see the advantage of working with such a cohesive company. We have different things to offer than other brokerages in Saskatoon so I’m proudly sticking with them.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Mortgage rules to change in March

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

This is a long overdue post mostly because I have been so busy showing Saskatoon homes for sale due to the change that I have not had time to write about it! I have also been busy showing houses for sale around Saskatoon as there are lots of great new homes for sale in Warman and Martensville.

As of March 18th, 2011 buyers will no longer be able to take advantage of a 35 year amortization period for their mortgage. This has meant an increase in Saskatoon first time home buyers and busy times for Saskatoon real estate agents.

While some people are opting to wait, there are others who will wait themselves out of being able to get into the Saskatoon real estate market. The Saskatoon real estate market is not so busy right now that we are seeing many competing offers, but it has certainly occurred when a great property comes up.

If you haven’t already done so, get down to see a Saskatoon mortgage broker so that you can take advantage of this. The mortgage rates are still low so it is a win-win for first time buyers in Saskatoon. There is still a lot of great product out there as well as plenty of new homes for sale in Saskatoon that a first time buyer can build sweat equity with.

If you don’t already have a Saskatoon real estate agent or you are not happy with the level of service from your Saskatoon realtor(r) give me a call and I would be happy to help you, whether you are buying a house for sale in Saskatoon or looking to put your Saskatoon house for sale I am here to be of service.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus

Saskatoon Growing Faster Than Any Other Canadian Region

Friday, February 4th, 2011

As I am a Saskatoon real estate agent I see the amount of people coming in to look at homes for sale in Saskatoon but with my web presence I also get a lot of inquiries about rentals in Saskatoon (which I do not deal in as I am not licensed as a property manager).

Reading this article today in the Star Phoenix was no surprise to me. We passed Alberta for the first time in decades last year according to Stats Canada and Saskatoon is also now the youngest metropolitan area in Canada which bucks the Canadian trend of an aging population. I could add that it may have something to do with our older population heading out to warmer areas! Two of the other reasons cited are young families immigating here from other countries as well as our high aboriginal birth rate. Saskatoon’s average age is now 35.6 while the average age across Canada is 40. The oldest city is not where you would expect (British Columbia?) but actually Saguenay, Quebec with an average age of 45.

The Saskatoon region (which includes Warman, Martensville, Dundurn, and Dalmeny) has now reached over 265,000 people which is up 30,000 people since 2005. Vancouver was second for growth and Regina was third with their population now over 215,000.

One of the main reasons for Saskatoon’s growth is a large spike in international immigration with 3300 added just last year.

If you are looking to buy a house for sale in Saskatoon give me a call. I work with a lot of first time home buyers in Saskatoon so if you need the right direction I am here to help you.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd

Interest Rates Have Gone Up

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

We have had some warnings the past few days that rate hikes were coming and I just got confirmation from Centum Canada Mortgages (the Century 21 affiliated mortgage brokers) that rates have indeed gone up to 3.79 for a 5 year term. If you are thinking about buying a house for sale in Saskatoon it doesn’t hurt to get your rate locked in and held.

The alarm was sounded on Monday by Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney as household debt has reached an all time high. These low interest rates are not here forever so he warns that we need to be more cautious. The tone indicates that he may be setting the stage for a rate increase next year.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says they will keep tightening mortgage lending rules as needed to keep credit growth in check.

As a Saskatoon Real Estate Agent I think it is great to take advantage of the current low rates to build your retirement portfolio and to get started in the Saskatoon real estate market but only if you feel secure in your job and in your earning potential as when it comes time to renew your mortgage after 5 years and you have been living close to your means or slightly above your means those rate changes will have a huge and sometimes life changing affect on you. Some people are forced to sell while others just look at different options like getting a room mate or a boarder. If you are thinking of putting your Saskatoon house for sale let me know.

There are other risks in our economy and the high dollar is not helping the Canadian economy. As consumers we like it (especially with the Saskatoon winter we are experiencing it is nice to vacation in the southern US with the dollar being at par!) Debt worries in Europe also affect us here so rate hikes may be held off according to some analysts as they believe there are bigger fish to fry.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd
Saskatoon, SK

Fears of Housing Bubble-Overblown?

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Housing bubble or no housing bubble? It seems the debates never end on these topics lately and it comes down to differing opinions and research techniques. In a recent article in the Star Phoenix it appears that rumblings are overblown. They use words like “seem” and “could” to protect their assets. There are some left-leaning groups who look at worst case scenarios and publish that we “could” see prices plummett by 20-38% in Canada’s major real estate markets with a best case scenario of 19-29%. Really? The catastrophic US meltdown saw a national drop of about 30%. One of our leading think tanks, the Conference Board of Canada, thinks no bubble, instead just a return to normal as salese were too high to be sustainable according to Mario Lefebvre.

Prices rose in July from June in 19 of the 28 Canadian cities studied and all had prices that were above last years levels. One has to keep in mind though that average house price in Saskatoon, and everywhere else, is simply determined by adding the cost of each home and dividing by the units sold. In Saskatoon in any given month we may see a greater number of high end houses for sale in Saskatoon that sell vs small basic condos for sale in Saskatoon. These change the average house price in Saskatoon drastically so I would imagine it is the same across the country.

Overall the actual experts find little cause for concern, but that doesn’t stop the negativity and part of my job as a Saskatoon real estate agent is to educate. There will always be negative people in the world and even in the Saskatoon real estate community who believe everything they read, but it must get exhausting as there are so many contractions in the media!

I cannot stress enough how unfair it is to look at the entire country of Canada and lump each community under one heading. There are so many factors even in Ontario and BC but unfortunately they are still seen as the beginning and the end of our great country. The prairies and especially Saskatchewan are starting to stand their ground as confidence grows. The 2 agreed upon places where prices may come down are Vancouver and Montreal as the prices have shot up out of control. Saskatoon real estate is still strong thanks to our many resources.

Interest rates also play a role as the 80’s and 90’s saw home prices staying between 3 and 4 times the median income yet now they are between 4.7 and 11.3. Interest rates should not be reaching 20% like they did back then as they are only increasing slightly. If you are in that 11.3 group though I would hope you have some extra money coming in! If you need information on getting a mortgage in Saskatoon let me know!

If you are thinking about buying a house for sale in Saskatoon and you have questions about the Saskatoon real estate market I would love to speak to you and help you in your Saskatoon home purchase (or Saskatoon condo!)

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd Saskatoon

Saskatchewan to Lead Canada in Economic Growth in 2010

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Finally! Some location appropriate news after all the doom and gloom CMHC newscasts lumping all of Canada under one heading. The Saskatoon Star Phoenix has printed an article today from Regina that sheds better light on our local markets and will reflect upon Saskatoon real estate markets.

According to the RBC, Saskatchewan is set to lead the country and a lot of that is due to the huge increase in Potash production. Our economic growth rate is predicted to be 6.3%. Potash production in Saskatchewan has increased 130% in the first 5 months of 2010 and is expected to make up for weakness in the oil and natural gas production sectors in our province. Due to the large cutbacks in potash production in 2009 Saskatchewan’s economy did see a contraction. As a Saskatoon real estate agent people from other parts of the world often ask what makes us so different. It is our diversity! These cutbacks hurt us but didn’t render us as bad as oil did to Alberta.

Had agriculture in Saskatchewan not been so negatively impacted by mother nature’s rains this year our growth would have been even higher. It is expected the growth in Saskatchewan will moderate in 2011 as GDP is still expected to rise 4.8% with continued growth in the global economy leading to an increase in energy production and agricultural output.

It seemed like there were less parents coming to buy condos for sale in Saskatoon for their kids for the school year this year than in previous years and a lot of that had to do with the bad farming year we experienced. Real estate in Saskatoon in general slowed down this summer but that is not abnormal for our summer months. Realtors in Saskatoon and Saskatoon home buyers/sellers all like to try to enjoy the short summers that we have!

Kari Calder
Century 21 Saskatoon

CMHC-lumping all of Canada into one brief article seems hardly fair!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

While I hate waking up to read reports from CMHC about sales to slow, housing starts to weaken, and prices to possibly lower as they lump all of Canada into one brief report that scares people. Saskatoon real estate is healthy at the moment with people back from summer holidays and starting to buy more of the houses for sale in Saskatoon than throughout the summer. As a Saskatoon realtor I noticed less farmers purchasing condos for sale in Saskatoon this year than previous years for their kids attending the U of S but that was due to the record breaking rain falls in our province this year.

The Star Phoenix printed an article from Ottawa about CMHC commenting on sales and prices to go down. Most people are informed enough not to jump on the ‘oh my CMHC says it so it must be true’ bandwagen but there are a lot of consumers who still put their faith in everything the news says. If you listened and believed everything in the media you probably wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning!

While there are certainly cities that have forced the numbers down there are also many cities and provinces that keep the numbers from crashing entirely. Ontario and BC aren’t helping the Canadian real estate forecast as the introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax have negatively affected the market.

You have to take all media with a grain of salt, especially when they continually lump all of Canada in one short article. It would be similar to stating that the crime rate in Canada is the same in every community…across the country! Or that the weather in Saskatoon is the same as the weather in Yellowknife.

We are in a balanced real estate market in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan continues to buck the trend. We have felt the impact of the global economic market but our industries keep us going strong. There are still investors looking for investment properties in Saskatoon who look to purchase real estate in Saskatoon (as growth, while moderate, is still expected). With the decrease in mortgage rates once again it is advisable to find a Saskatoon mortgage broker to get you set up and locked in as that mortgage decrease makes a big difference in the long run.

Before the Saskatoon real estate boom in 2007 if a home for sale in Saskatoon sold for more than the buyer originally paid a few years prior, Saskatoon home sellers were ecstatic. After Saskatoon real estate fees if people made $5000 they were more than happy when they sold their houses for sale in Saskatoon. I think that the general public needs to go back to how things were and not necessarily expect to have enough money for a big mortgage jump/down payment to purchase their new house in Saskatoon. It often takes buying and selling houses in Saskatoon several times to get into your dream home, not from your starter home in Saskatoon to your dream home in Saskatoon in one leap.

Some people think it is cheaper to rent than buy a house for sale in Saskatoon. If you do the math and you spend an average of $900/month on rent that works out to be almost $11,000/year so if you ended up buying a house in Saskatoon and then having to put your Saskatoon house for sale in a year if you bought and sold for the same price you would more than likely break even.

If you are considering getting into the Saskatoon real estate market as a first time buyer in Saskatoon or you are new to Saskatoon give me a call. If you are thinking of listing your house for sale in Saskatoon contact me to discuss my marketing and my Saskatoon real estate services.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd
Saskatoon, Sk

Province Hits a Record High in Population

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The province of Saskatchewan population has hit an all time high in 2010 with 1,038,018 people living in the province. We have seen an increase of 15760 people since the same time in 2009. The largest factor is the net international migration which was 8571 people. This is the highest number of immigration to Saskatchewan from international areas since records were started in 1946. I have been working with several first time home buyers in Saskatoon who have come from areas like Russia and the Ukraine. They are looking for houses for sale in Saskatoon that will accomodate themselves but also their families at a later date. Some of my first time home buyers in Saskatoon from the Ukraine are bringing over their parents in the next few months.

The only 2 provinces that saw a higher increase in growth were British Columbia and Nunavut. PEI was the only province that saw a loss of people (152 people lost).

With the number of houses for sale in Saskatoon that we started with in January 2009 compared to the number of houses for sale in Saskatoon in January 2010 the net migration is evident here.

It seems people are moving out west as the highest rate of growth was in the four Western Provinces which recorded higher than normal growth, obviously including Saskatchewan.

We welcome these new home buyers in Saskatoon and I look forward to helping more people buy houses for sale in Saskatoon in 2010. Unfortunately, as a realtor (r) in Saskatoon I cannot speak Russian or Ukrainian but I do have some previous clients who have purchased a home for sale in Saskatoon through me who would likely help if needed! I enjoy being a real estate agent in Saskatoon and love helping people find their ‘new’ house in Saskatoon.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd
Saskatoon, Sk

Announcement:Century 21 Saskatoon #1 Firm in Canada since 1995

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Century 21 Conexus shines again in 2009. We have sold more houses in Canada than any other Century 21 firm since 1995 and since 2006 we have had the highest production in all of Canada. What does this mean? Century 21 Saskatoon realtors(r) are selling more houses than anywhere else in Canada and this hasn’t only been since the Saskatchewan real estate boom as we have been selling more houses in Saskatoon since 1995.

This year our awards gala will be held in Regina on April 6th and Century 21 Conexus Realty from Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw are the proud recipients of this award.

“It is with great dedication, knowledge and commitment to quality service that CENTURY 21 Conexus Realty Ltd. has so duly earned this recognition. Rod Spence and the CENTURY 21 Conexus Realty Ltd. team are innovators in the real estate industry and this has led this company’s success in the Saskatchewan community,” said Don Lawby, President of Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership. 

“I sincerely congratulate Rod Spence and the entire staff of CENTURY 21 Conexus Realty Ltd. for this well deserved achievement,” adds Lawby.

“CENTURY 21 Conexus Realty Ltd. along with its offices and sales people have received many awards but to achieve the TOP RANKED FIRM in Canada for the 4th consecutive year is an amazing accomplishment and certainly shows the strength of our organization”, says Rod Spence

If you are interested in learning more about Century 21 in Saskatoon or about Saskatoon real estate contact me.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd Saskatoon
653-8222 (offic)

70% of Century 21 Saskatoon Agents Receive Awards for 2009 Production

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Every Tuesday morning Century 21 real estate agents in Saskatoon get together for our weekly sales meeting to go over recent sales data, recent trends in Saskatoon real estate and just get caught up to date in general on the happenings in the world of fellow realtors(r) in Saskatoon.

Amongst the data last week were the announcements of the awards for production in 2009. I am proud of my fellow Century 21 Real Estate Agents in Saskatoon as 70% of us have been recognized for sales achievements in 2009.

With the slowing of the global markets, 2009 was slower than 2007 and 2008 so it is great to see so many real estate agents with Century 21 in Saskatoon doing so well.

Awards are broken down into 7 categories; Masters Silver, Masters Ruby, Masters Emerald, Masters Diamond, Centurion, Double Centurion and Grand Centurion. I am excited to say that I was awarded the Century 21 Centurion award for the second year in a row. There are 9 of us from our company who achieved Centurion status. Only 1 agent in the company was awarded the Double Centurion and this year we didn’t have any Grand Centurions, but I am sure 2010 may see someone achieve this.

Century 21 agents are also recognized for their donations to charities such as Easter Seals Canada and our Saskatoon real estate agents in Century 21 have been the most generous in the country with fundraising efforts and personal donations. It is a great company with wonderful values and I am a proud Saskatoon Century 21 Realtor(r). We have a great family of agents, managers and support staff.

If you are looking to buy a house in Saskatoon or to sell your house or condo in Saskatoon contact me!

Kari Calder
Residential Real Estate Specialist
Saskatoon Century 21 Conexus

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.