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City of Saskatoon to consider proposed changes to condo conversion policy

Saskatoon city council’s executive committee will consider proposed changes to our condo conversion policy at its February 25th meeting. The proposal, brought forward by city administrators recommends a number of changes which they say would be helpful in keeping a supply of rental units available in the city.


Administrators have suggested that the city refuse applications to convert apartments to condominiums when Saskatoon vacancy rates drop below 1.5%. They further suggest that investors should pay a fee of $10,000 per unit when vacancy rates are between 1.5% and 3%.Finally, administrators would like to see conversions involving more than 50 living units actually go to city council for review. Currently, only those projects involving 100 or more living units require approval of council.


“While your administration remains of the view that condominium conversions have an overall positive impact on the community during normal market conditions, the drop in vacancy rates does raise the question as to whether the City of Saskatoon should continue to approve condominium conversion applications in the foreseeable future,” the report says.


Saskatoon developer Ken Achs, president of Midwest Development Corporation argued in a letter to council opposing the proposed changes that people may be overlooking the benefits of condo conversions, which include needed upgrades, which improve safety and quality of life for residents. He also notes that typically 30% of converted units are returned to the rental pool in an improved state.


“If there were suitable tax incentives and lower-priced land, more apartments would be built and the market would self-regulate through supply and demand,” says Achs in his letter.


The city received 54 applications to convert a total of 1,544 rental units to condominiums during 2007. That’s more units than were converted over the previous ten years combined. Saskatoon rental vacancy rates plummeted from 3% in the first quarter of 2007, to .6% by the third quarter. Rents saw significant increases over a short period of time while tenants, displaced by ongoing conversions scrambled to find a new place to live.


Read the story in today’s Star Phoenix here.



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

Norm Fisher, Author of the TeamFisher Saskatoon Real Estate Blog

About Norm

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 650 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.Less...

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 650 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.

Norm is known for his passion for technology and can most often be found exploring and experimenting with the next big thing in real estate marketing. He was the first Saskatoon real estate agent to promote a home online and has been an early adopter of new technologies ever since. “Everything about this business has changed over the past 20 years, and it will happen again in the next ten. An open mind and a curious attitude are all that’s needed to continue to find new ways to serve our clients by delivering a faster, smoother, worry-free transaction,” says Norm.

In his spare time, Norm enjoys Crossfit and cycling, some years accumulating over 2,000 kilometres on the road. He’s a strong supporter of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and enjoys raising funds by joining fun, fitness-related initiatives like the Grouse Grind for Shelter. In 2015, he trekked the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. In 2017 he walked the southern highlands of Iceland across mountains, sand, snow, ice, lava fields and forest for seven days. Collectively those initiatives raised over a million dollars for Canadian women's shelters.
 

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