…and suddenly, like someone turned off the tap, it was over: Jay Thompson

It was another exciting week in the Saskatoon real estate market, and breakfast today ranks as one of the highlights. It wasn’t the eggs, the bacon or those crispy little tater thingies, though they were all very good; it was the company. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jay Thompson, the one and only “Phoenix Real Estate Guy.”

Jay is well known as one of the most tech-savvy real estate agents in the world. His website is ranked number 1 out of close to 105,000 websites on the Point2 Performance Index. If you’re curious about the odds of that happening, it’s about 1 in 105,000. :)It’s an accomplishment to be proud of, and curious as I am, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pester him for a meeting once I heard he was coming to town. He graciously obliged me and in spite of the fact that he’d just been through one of the longest travel days of his life, including a three-hour stopover in stormy Minnesota, only to arrive in stormy Saskatoon, Jay dragged his butt out of bed and met me for a 7:15 breakfast.

Most of what we discussed would be lost on my local readers, I’m sure. Internet marketing, search engine optimization, blogging, blah, blah, blah. It was largely shop talk which could only be appreciated by a couple of tech-geeks with a burning desire to dominate the Internet.

There was one thing that Jay said which was particularly relevant to the Saskatoon real estate market. I thought you should hear it.

After filling Jay in on the state of the Saskatoon market he said, “Wow! This sounds just like Phoenix a couple of years ago. Properties were selling within hours of hitting the market. Most listings attracted multiple offers and almost everything sold over the asking price, some by tens of thousands of dollars. Investors were pouring in from all over the country buying up real estate in hopes of making a big profit…and then suddenly, like someone turned off the tap, it was over.”(This is not exactly what Jay said. A note pad seemed over the top so I’m paraphrasing.)He went on to share how it “suddenly” seemed like everyone had a property to sell, nobody was buying and values started to decline. While things seem to be leveling out in Phoenix, a fair amount of equity was lost in 2006 and many of the out-of-state speculators have put their properties back on the market hoping to get out. Today, there are 37,000 active MLS® listings in Phoenix. That would be like Saskatoon having 2,000 properties for sale, instead of 200. It would certainly change the climate.

I remain convinced that Saskatoon is much closer to the beginning than it is to the end of this rising market. Most of us realize that this won’t last forever but I must admit I hadn’t even considered that it could end “suddenly like someone turned off the tap.”I’m only certain of two things; this fast-paced market will eventually end and it will produce some casualties. It’s rare that an out of control real estate market makes a soft landing.

Proceed with caution.

Jay, thanks so much for meeting me this morning. It truly was one of the high points of my week. I appreciate the time and the ideas which you shared with me. Next time, let’s do it in Phoenix. 

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra


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