Oh, boy!

A Texas real estate agent apparently thought it was cool to bring her date over to one of her vacant listings at 5:00 am in the morning for what Dallas News described as a "passionate rendezvous."

Alerted by roving flashlights, a neighbour called 911 naturally assuming something untoward was going on in this vacant home.

Man! He had no idea!

Police arrived to find REALTOR® Kayla Seloff and her companion doing the horizontal bop on the living room floor. The lovers tried to pass themselves off as newlyweds christening their new home but the whole gig began to fall apart when the cops searched their car and turned up weed. As it happens, the two entered the recently sold home without permission (no doubt!) and were charged with criminal trespass. Oops.

This will be a hard lesson for this young couple to learn but having access to someone's property is obviously a position of great trust. As a home seller, you have the right to expect your home to be accessed only on your terms. In Canada, I believe the crime would be "unlawful entry". No, I'm serious now.

Have a great weekend, Norm


Saskatoon real estate week in review: August 21-27, 2016

For the fourth consecutive week, the Saskatoon real estate market has recorded firm sales that met or beat the numbers for the same week in 2015. Over the past seven days, local REALTORS® firmed up 93 residential deals. That’s an increase of nine from last week, and up four from the same period last year. To be clear, these are not huge gains but during a year that has shown declines in sales in all of the first seven months of the year, it might be a bit encouraging for some sellers to see August close up on last year. So far this month, local agents have reported 318 deals. Last year, the total for all of August was 329. It’s a win and we’ll take it.

At the same time, the number of new listings that were added to the MLS® system plummeted to just 160, down from 212 for the same period last year.

For the second consecutive week, the total number of active residential listings on the multiple service® came in below levels recorded a year ago. Again, the difference isn’t large, but given that we have seen consistent annual gains for roughly 165 weeks, it’s a welcome change. Today there are 2048 residential listings showing an active status on the MLS®. That’s down just four from last week, and 11 fewer than were available a year ago. With just over 100 listings set to expire in the next few days, next week will most likely show some larger drops.

Taking a closer look by housing category, there are 1107 single-family homes available to local buyers, well below the 1210 houses that were up for sale last year at this time. Condo inventory made some small gains this week as the inventory grew to 770 and closed well up from 688 a year ago.

There were strong sales towards the upper end of the Saskatoon real estate market this week. With 14 sales recording prices at or above $500,000 the average price paid for a Saskatoon home grew to $362,599. There was a lot going on in the $200,000 to $300,000 range as well, enough to bring the weekly median price down sharply to $298,350. That’s just the second time this year that the median fell below $300K. At the same time, the longer-term measures both inched lower, perhaps telegraphing a similar trend to last year when prices began to slip lower in late August. In 2015, that continued through September and October which ultimately recorded some of the lower prices for the year. The six-week average price slipped to $358,391 to record an annual increase of just over one thousand dollars while the four-week median price slipped to $338,000 to show an annual loss of just more than ten thousand dollars.

After a couple of weeks with no overbid sales, three sellers found themselves accepting offers above their asking price. Those deals paid an average bonus of $1100. Meanwhile, 83 buyers made off with a discount averaging $10,629 while six buyers and sellers agreed to deal at the listed price.

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.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra


Saskatoon real estate week in review: August 14-20, 2016

Saskatoon real estate sales took a small upward swing this past week as local REALTORS® reported a total of 83 firm residential deals to the MLS® system, up three from last week, and even with sales for the same week last year. The number of new listings processed through the multiple listing service® fell to 168, down from 198 a week ago. There were 199 Saskatoon homes listed during the same week last year.

For the first time in well over three years the week closed with fewer active real estate listings on the MLS® than there were a year ago. The total number of residential listings fell by 15 over the course of the week to settle at 2052 this morning, down from 2060 at the close of the same week last year. Interestingly, the losses were all recorded in the condo inventory numbers which fell from 775 last week to 765 today, up from 674 a year ago. The number of single-family homes that are available on the MLS® grew by two this week to 1118, which is down from 1195 at the close of the same week in 2015.

With a little more than 25 percent of this week’s deals being condominiums, and only four sales with a price exceeding $500,000 both the weekly median price and the weekly average fell lower to $329,000 and $337,831 respectively. The six-week average price came off of its peak as is slipped a bit more than four thousand dollars from last week to $362,140 ahead of where it was a year ago by a few hundred dollars. Meanwhile, the four-week median price increased by one thousand dollars from last week to reach $339,000. At the close of the same week last year the four-week median was one thousand dollars higher than it was this week.

In spite of strong sales and softening listing inventory sellers found little love at the negotiating table this week. Not a single above list price sale was recorded. Seven buyers did agree to pay the seller’s full asking price while 76 insisted on a discount that averaged $12,180 off of the asking price.

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.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra


The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of July, 2016 this week. According to the CREA, “The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 1.3 percent month-over-month in July 2016. With similar monthly declines having been posted in May and June, national sales activity in July came in 3.9 percent below the record set in April 2016...Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was down 2.9 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) in July 2016, marking the first y-o-y decline since January 2015 and the largest since April 2013. In line with softening activity in the Lower Mainland, y-o-y increases have been losing momentum since February 2016. Sales were down from levels one year earlier in about 60 percent of all Canadian markets, led by Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Calgary and Edmonton.” Highlights of CREA's report    

      • National home sales fell 1.3% from June to July.
      • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 2.9% below July 2015.
      • The number of newly listed homes rose 1.2% from June to July.
      • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 14.3% year-over-year in July.
      • The national average sale price climbed 9.9% in July from one year ago; net of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver, it advanced 7% year-over-year.

  Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for July, 2016.

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.

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra


Saskatoon real estate week in review: August 7-13, 2016

After falling completely flat last week, Saskatoon real estate sales surged upwards as 80 new firm sales were reported to the multiple listing service®, an increase of 17 from the previous week and up by 16 when compared against sales recorded during the same week last year. Listing activity saw some slight gains as they grew to 196, ahead of last week by two, to finish showing fewer new listings than were processed during the same period of 2015 by five.

The inventory of residential MLS® listings took a turn upward as well. By this morning, buyers could find 2067 Saskatoon homes for sale, up from 2044 a week ago, just 19 more homes than were available a year ago today. That is the smallest year-over-year increase to the inventory that we’ve seen all year. Today, there are 1116 single-family homes for buyers to select from, well down from the 1181 detached homes that were available a year ago. Condominium inventory continued to grow and reached 777 by the close of the week for an annual increase of 116 units.

More high end activity caused the median sale price for the week to grow by almost 20K as it reached $343,000 while the average sale price fell a fair bit lower to $348,418. Remarkably, the six-week average price continued to grow reaching a new high for the year at $366,472 for an annual increase on more than six thousand dollars. That’s actually the highest point that it has been at since late 2014 when sales were still red hot. On the other hand, the four-week median price fell by seven thousand dollars from last week. It settled at $338,000 to find itself down from a year ago by seventy-five hundred dollars.

Only one buyer made an offer of more than list price with that seller netting a $3,100 bonus while another five deals closed at the seller’s asking price. The remaining 75 sales went for less than asking price winning those buyers an average discount of $11,353.

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.

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra


Nobody likes real estate agents!

We probably all know an agent whom we like, sure, but when they think about this business as a whole, real estate agents are not well liked and there are some pretty good reasons for that. This story is a perfect illustration.

Just when you thought the real estate industry couldn’t earn a lower reputation than it already has, this happens.

The headline reads, "Grieving family approached by realtors after funeral"

A man loses his 72-year old wife and shortly after her death he receives what “looked like a card expressing condolences.”  In it, two business cards and a note that reads, “We’re sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. Please let us know if we can help in any way with your real estate needs when the time is right.”

I mean, WTF? Right?

Truly cringe worthy.

But is it shocking?

Hardly, and that’s unfortunate in itself.

I doubt that too many people will actually be surprised to hear that a real estate agent would do such a thing, seemingly oblivious to the fact that this could not possibly be seen as anything but selfishness, masquerading as kindness.

I’m certainly embarrassed by it, but shocked? No, not really.

Unfortunately, a culture that focuses primarily on getting the sale does little to help agents develop business acumen. Pretty much every bit of training offered in this business is focused on one thing, closing the sale. Present, close, use your scripts kids.

Earlier this year, our national association’s own commissioned study found, “A growing number of incompetent, poorly trained, or part-time salespeople destroy industry credibility,” as one of it’s largest concerns.

I bet that's not news to you, though, right? It's a problem that's been hounding us for years with little progress. Perhaps studies like this one will move our industry to address these shortcomings. The public deserves better.

We’ll talk about this problem more in the weeks ahead.



Saskatoon real estate week in review: July 31 - August 6, 2016

Just as they did during the same week of last year, Saskatoon real estate sales took a huge dip, perhaps due in part to a shortened work week. Local REALTORS® reported just 63 firm residential sales to the multiple listing service® for a weekly decline of 25 units, but still high enough to beat sales over the same period last year by one unit. With a high number of expired listings in the mix over the past two weeks, new listings spiked higher to 194, up from 170 last week from an annual increase of 15 homes.

The number of active MLS® listings available to buyers continued to trail lower, however slightly. Residential inventory sat at 2044 this morning, down from 2055 at the close of the previous week for a year-over-year increase of just 40 units. Today there are 1097 single-family homes for sale on the MLS® in Saskatoon, down from 1166 at this time last year. Condo inventory is higher, of course, growing from 646 at the close of the same week of 2015 to 768 today.

The luxury housing market continues to do quite well in Saskatoon with a remarkable number of sales in occurring above $800,000. This week there were three and those three listings contributed an average of over one million dollars each to the sales volume, skewing prices higher. The average sale price for the week reached its highest point this year at $382,792 even while the weekly median price fell to $325,000. Meanwhile, both the six-week average price and the four-week median sat at their annual peaks. The six-week average price grew by five thousand dollars from a week ago reaching $362,719 to finish ahead of where it sat a year ago, also by about 5K. The four-week median stayed steady at $345,000 to see a year-over-year decline of twelve hundred and fifty dollars.

Only one buyer made an offer of more than list price with that seller netting a $7,100 bonus while another five deals closed at the seller’s asking price. The remaining 57 sales went for less than asking price winning those buyers an average discount of $14,662. That number was skewed higher by a $120,000 on the highest priced sale of the week.

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.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra


The following is a media release issued by the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® regarding residential sales and listing statistics for the month of July, 2016. The charts are brought to you by TeamFisher of Royal LePage Vidorra.

The number of properties introduced to the Saskatoon real estate market continued to decline in July. Although new listing numbers have been down every month since February, July's decline of 14 percent year-over-year was the most significant decrease this year. Overall, the number of new listings for 2016 has totaled 5,683 units compared to 6,142 for the same period last year, a decrease of five percent.

"This is a positive sign for the market and has an impact in two significant areas," comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “ First, it helps to reduce elevated inventory levels and secondly it helps to move the market closer to a balance."

Currently, there are 1,986 active listings in Saskatoon, still considerably higher than the five-year average of 1,641 units. The high-water-mark for active listings occurred in June of 2015 with nearly 2,100 active listings for sale in the Saskatoon market. The sales-to-listing ratio is determined by dividing the number of sales for the month by the number of new listings. It is said to be a balanced market when this ratio is 50 percent. Anything less than that is considered a buyer's market, while a ratio in excess of 50 percent is considered to be a seller's market. The sales to listing ratio was 47 percent at the end of July, its highest point since December of 2015.

Sales volume for July of this year was 16 percent lower than it was for the same month in 2015 with 370 home sales compared to 442 last July. A reduction in sales volume year-over-year has been the trend since January of 2015. June and July of this year showed the most significant decline in sales volume so far in 2016.

In spite of a reduction in sales and dollar volume, the average and median selling prices continued to remain largely unaffected with a one percent decline over the previous year. (Norm’s note: The “average sale price” actually increased 2.8 percent to $367,359 in July, compared to July of 2015 when it was $357,459. Remarkably, it's at its highest point ever on the chart directly below. One should not conclude that prices are higher than they were a year ago. They are almost ceratinly not. While, single-family homes have taken some increases over the spring and early summer, the mix of sales which includes far fewer low-priced condos is skewing the average price higher. Further, there were four sales that exceeded one million dollars in July, also a contributing factor to an inflated average. The Home Price Index numbers strike me as more accurately reflecting market price changes.)

"All in all, the reduction in inventory is a move in the right direction," adds Yochim. "It is still a great time for buyers to be in the market with a decent selection, stable pricing, and low-interest rates. However, as inventory levels continue to decline so will selection for buyers."

Homes are selling for 97 percent of their asking price. Sellers that need to sell must consider the market and price their homes strategically. Buyers are also more educated today than at any other time with access to information on sales and the expert advice of a REALTOR®.

The average days on market for a home in Saskatoon is 52 compared to 50 last July. The five-year average for days on market is 41. If inventory levels continue to decline so should the number of days needed to sell. At the current level of sales activity, it would take just over five months to liquidate the current number of active listings. The five-year average is just over four months.

Jason Yochim
CEO, Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®

The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in accordance with SRA's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA).
The above information is from sources deemed reliable but should not be relied upon without independent verification. The information presented here is for general interest only, no guarantees apply.
Trademarks are owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Used under license.
MLS® System data of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) displayed on this site is refreshed every 2 hours.