Over the last 20 months, Regina has been really feeling the effects of a downturned real estate market. There are several factors that have contributed to this, a few of these factors which are most notable are: the oil industry came to a grinding halt and as a result we saw layoff after layoff, which has driven people out of town and province. The film tax credit was cancelled which drove swarms of people out of Regina and area as well as halting dollars coming into the province from these companies coming to work here. Builders built, and they built a lot, too much in fact, which really affected the prices of brand new homes as well as the price of resale homes.
The gloom and doom news stories about our economy had people scared, in fact still may have a few people scared to buy in this market. It certainly did not help that CMHC had flagged Regina as a high-risk city to buy real estate in, while I may add was totally unsubstantiated, but still it seemed scare buyers to death! This problem was spread across all aspects of real estate in Regina. It affected new homes, resale homes, condos, townhouses, rentals, and investment properties and of course a few jobs in and related to the industry. All of this being said we still saw an active market through all of this and houses continued to sell and buyers continued to buy and nothing has been so bad to take us back to what the market was almost ten + years ago. The reality is people will always need to buy and sell real estate no matter the market conditions because that’s life.
So, what do we do? How will we ever make it through this nightmare? Well as all Saskatchewanians do, what we do is grind it out! We put our heads down and work until we turn the ship around and of course we do it with a smile. Everyone involved in the industry saw the situation before them and reacted accordingly by adjusting their business plans and strategies for the market conditions at hand. And while some days have been a struggle, it seems like as a collective group we have made it back. We have gone from a heavy, heavy buyers market to a balanced market. Even the home price index (HPI), which measures residential price trends based on four benchmark home types, reported a composite residential price of $286,300, up 0.5 per cent from $284,800 in 2015. Which would indicate that residential property values are very comparable to what they were one year ago. But more importantly, the composite price which is a more accurate measure of housing price trends than average price — is also up three per cent from three months ago, indicating a recovery from the price losses that occurred during the past year – according to the Association of Regina Realtors. Prices have stabilized in most markets, average days on market are slowly decreasing and buyers are seeing that they need to act on a home that they like a little faster than recent months.
I am a firm believer that there is never a bad time to buy real estate and while a buyers market is optimal, you can still find some good deals in a balanced market as well. In my opinion a balanced market typically means it’s fair for both buyers and sellers. What could be so wrong with that? You either buy low sell high or vice versa and it washes out for most on one side or the other. So the idea and forecast of a balanced market in Regina for a little while should make people more calm and comfortable with buying and selling… and as I said, it’s all about balance!