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Eco-Friendly Floors

Choosing new or replacement eco-friendly flooring is one of the emerging trends among house and condo owners. Eco-friendly flooring is made from, or with, more sustainable resources, such as materials that don’t deplete or permanently damage the environment (such as toxic laminates), or reusable or recyclable materials. Here are some examples:

  • Renewable and Sustainable - Bamboo, cork, hardwood, natural stone, linoleum, and wool carpet are just a few of the options out there. Before you buy natural flooring products, ask if the harvesting methods are verified through an accredited authority.

  • Repurposed and Reclaimed - Flooring made from old building structures (e.g., posts, beams, walls, and planks) is a viable alternative to grown and harvested resources. Likewise, recycled glass, plastic, and rubber provide ample raw materials for creative flooring effects. Using them also reduces landfill waste. These products can be found through decorative flooring dealers.

When purchasing any flooring, be it natural or synthetic, it is important to know how the product is manufactured, and that it can easily be recycled when it is beyond its usefulness, as opposed to ending up in a landfill.


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PRICE GROWTH CONTINUES AS NUMEROUS COMMUNITIES REPORT RECORD BENCHMARK PRICES IN JUNE

Saskatchewan reported 1,675 sales in June, a one percent year-over-year decrease but nearly 10 percent above long-term, 10-year averages. Sales levels improved in properties priced above $400,000, which nearly offset the pullback in homes priced below $300,000, as inventory challenges continue to prevent even stronger monthly sales.

New listings dipped by 14 per cent year-over-year and 21 per cent compared to 10-year trends, preventing any significant inventory relief, as inventory levels decreased by 19 per cent year-over-year and over 40 per cent versus long-term trends. Despite these persistent inventory challenges, Saskatchewan reported above-average sales for the twelfth consecutive month in June.

“While the recent Bank of Canada rate decision was welcome news, higher lending rates and rising home prices continue to spur demand for more affordable housing options,” said Association CEO, Chris Guérette. “This demand, when paired with falling supply in lower price ranges, limits options for prospective buyers and prevents even stronger monthly sales figures. There simply isn’t enough inventory to service this segment of our market right now.”

Saskatchewan reported a residential benchmark price of $343,300 in June, up from $340,400 in May and nearly five per cent higher than June 2023. Meanwhile, the communities of Humboldt ($272,500), Martensville ($398,800), Melfort ($250,100), Prince Albert ($251,700), Saskatoon ($403,500), and Warman ($463,500) reported record benchmark prices in June, with Saskatoon eclipsing the $400,000 mark for the first time.

“Housing demand remains strong in Saskatchewan, despite ongoing supply challenges placing significant stress on the more affordable segment of our market, especially in our two largest centres,” said Guérette. “While real estate is local and market conditions vary by region, it can be incredibly challenging for prospective buyers right now.”

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Regional Highlights
Regina-Moose Mountain and Prince Albert were the only regions to report year-over-year sales gains, while year-to-date sales remained above average in all regions outside of the Northern Region.

Saskatchewan’s two largest regions continue to report the tightest market conditions in the province, with 3.09 months of supply in the Regina-Moose Mountain region and 2.09 months in the Saskatoon-Biggar region.

Price Trends
Home prices trended up across many regions of the province in June, with the largest monthly gains occurring in the Saskatoon-Biggar (seven per cent year-over-year) and Swift Current-Moose Jaw (five per cent) regions.

With prices over 12 percent higher than last year, the City of Melfort reported the highest year-over-year price gain for the second consecutive month. Meanwhile, Saskatoon, Regina, Estevan, Weyburn, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Humboldt, Meadow Lake, North Battleford, and Prince Albert reported year-over-year price gains in June.

City of Regina
The City of Regina reported 380 sales in June, up four per cent year-over-year and 14 per cent above long-term, 10-year trends.

While conditions remain tight in the Queen City, month-over-month inventory levels improved slightly, resulting in 2.06 months of supply, up from 1.69 in May. Despite some relief, inventory levels were down 30 per cent year-over-year and remain nearly 50 per cent below long-term trends.

The City of Regina reported a benchmark price of $318,100 in June, down from $320,000 in May, and 0.5 percent above June 2023.

City of Saskatoon
The City of Saskatoon reported 540 sales in June, which were on par with June 2023 and 15 percent above long-term, 10-year trends.

Limited supply options are likely preventing even stronger sales in Saskatoon, as inventory levels reached their lowest point since June 2007. The Bridge City reported a 26 percent year-over-year decrease in inventory, which remains over 53 percent below the 10-year average.

The City of Saskatoon reported a record benchmark price of $403,500 in June, up from 397,200 in May and over seven per cent above June 2023.


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 How to Quickly Improve Indoor Air Quality

Unfortunately, air quality alerts are becoming a more common occurrence these days. Aside from that, there are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its best. Maybe it’s a faulty furnace or an aged carpet to blame. Until you get those issues addressed, how can you make your indoor air healthier – today?

Here are some ideas: 

  • Use an air purifier – Choose a device that uses a HEPA filter, the gold standard for indoor air purifiers. Also, look for one that has a CADR rating equal to at least two-thirds of the room’s area. You may also want to consider if the purifier’s energy costs and ongoing maintenance costs are within your budget. 
  • Check the furnace filter - This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes. 
  • Clean the drains - Drains are a surprisingly common source of odour in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least once a season. 
  • Turn on the bathroom fan - Not only do bathroom fans remove odour, but they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture; mould is the worst of these pollutants. Professionals recommend you keep your bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after a shower. 
  • Clean your doormat - Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer outside pollutants from their shoes to your mat. 

Hope these tips have you breathing a little bit easier.

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How To Make Your Home Sale “Smooth Sailing”

If you’ve ever been on a cruise ship, you know that rough waters can result in a miserable experience. Even on modern ships equipped with stabilizers, choppy seas and bad weather can leave you stuck below deck – and possibly seasick.

In fact, the expression “smooth sailing” comes from a desire for calm waters.

When you sell your property, you’ll want smooth sailing too. You’ll want the experience to be as nondisruptive as possible, while also having plenty of qualified buyers interested in your listing. In the end, you’ll want the transaction to be completed without a hitch.

So how do you ensure that happens? Here are some things you can do to help:

  • Think of your home as a product - Potential buyers are more likely to become interested in a product that looks clean, uncluttered, and well-maintained. Make sure the front entrance is inviting and keep closets half-empty and organized. If you are in a house, make sure the exterior is appealing (shrubs and flowers go a long way with this).
  • Price it right - If it’s listed too high, potential buyers won’t come. If it’s listed too low, you may leave money on the table (potentially thousands). Setting the price will be one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when selling your home.
  • Don’t be there during showings - As your real estate agent, I will take buyers through your property and show them all the great features. If you’re there, some buyers may not feel comfortable and may leave before they have had a chance to become interested.
  • Be flexible- This is especially important when it comes to showing appointments, negotiations, home inspections, closing dates, etc. It’s okay to be firm on some things, just not everything.

With these tips in mind, you can better tame choppy waters that may arise and hopefully smoothly sail into a sale.

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STRONG SALES CONTINUE AS INVENTORY LEVELS REMAIN AT LOWEST LEVELS SEEN SINCE 2008

Saskatchewan reported 1,841 sales in May, up six percent year-over-year and 24 per cent above long-term, 10-year averages. Sales levels remain strong across many regions of the province, with the largest year-over-year gains occurring in the Swift Current-Moose Jaw and Northern regions.

In line with seasonal expectations, the province reported a month-over-month gain in new listings. However, strong sales continue to prevent significant inventory relief, with inventory levels remaining at their lowest point since 2008. The sharpest decline in inventory continues to be experienced in homes priced below $300,000, as the more affordable segment of the market remains extremely competitive.

“Our housing market continues to report strong monthly sales figures despite persistent inventory challenges,” said Association CEO Chris Guérette. “An eleventh consecutive month of above-average sales is quite impressive when you consider how challenging it can be for prospective buyers in some markets in our province right now.”

Saskatchewan reported a residential benchmark price of $340,400 in May, up from $339,800 in April and over four per cent higher than May 2023. Prices rose across all property types in May, with the most significant gains occurring in apartment and row/townhouse-style properties.

“While the provincial months of supply fell below three months in May, conditions remain much tighter in our two largest centres – as Regina and Saskatoon are again reporting less than two months of supply,” said Guérette. “With further rate cuts on the horizon likely to spur additional demand – and no immediate inventory relief in sight – we expect tight conditions to continue to place upward pressure on prices across the province.”

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Regional Highlights
Year-to-date sales levels improved across all regions of the province in May, with significant gains being reported in the Regina-Moose Mountain, Saskatoon-Bigger, and Swift Current-Moose Jaw regions.

The province’s two largest regions saw further inventory declines due to strong monthly sales in May. As a result, the Regina-Moose Mountain (2.59 months of supply) and Saskatoon-Bigger (2.04) regions continue to report the tightest market conditions in the province.

Price Trends
Home prices trended up across many regions of the province in May, with the largest monthly gains occurring in the Saskatoon-Biggar and Swift Current-Moose Jaw regions.

With prices over 13 percent higher than last year, the City of Melfort reported the highest year-over-year price gain in May. Meanwhile, Saskatoon, Regina, Estevan, Weyburn, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Humboldt, and Prince Albert reported year-over-year price gains in May.

City of Regina
The City of Regina reported 440 sales in May, a five per cent year-over-year gain and 32 per cent above long-term trends.

A slight uptick in new listings was met with another month of strong sales, resulting in inventory levels remaining nearly 50 per cent below long-term trends, and 1.69 months of supply in the Queen City.

The City of Regina reported a benchmark price of $320,000 in May, up from 319,800 in April and two per cent higher than May 2023.

City of Saskatoon
The City of Saskatoon reported 573 sales in May, up seven per cent year-over-year and 28 per cent above long-term, 10-year averages.

Inventory levels decreased by 21 per cent year-over-year and continue to sit nearly 50 per cent below long-term, 10-year trends.  Market conditions remain extremely tight, as the Bridge City is again reporting the lowest inventory levels in the province.

The City of Saskatoon reported a benchmark price of $397,200 in May, down slightly from 398,600 in April and nearly six per cent higher than May 2023.

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7 Master Bedroom Staging Ideas

As you most likely know, staging involves setting up the furniture, art and accessories of each room to help make your home look as appealing as possible to potential buyers. It’s similar to what furniture stores do when they create displays of model bedrooms, kitchens, etc.

When you’re staging your home, the master bedroom is particularly important. Here are some simple staging tips worth trying:

  1. Mirrors - Consider using mirrors to make the bedroom seem larger and more comfortable.

  2. Give Your Bed a Refresh - Put a new comforter on the bed.

  3. Light it Up – Open curtains or add a lamp if the lighting is dim. (Make sure lights are turned on during viewings.)

  4. Declutter - Be ruthless when removing clutter from the room, particularly the closet. Don’t keep anything stored under the bed.

  5. Depersonalize - Remove personal items, such as portraits.

  6. Practice the Art of Minimalism - Be a minimalist when it comes to the nightstand. Only have two or three accessories on it and make sure they complement the theme, such as a book, vase, candleholder, etc. (Don’t leave anything on top of dressers.)

  7. Paint - Experts say a neutral palette works best. Neutral colours allow our eyes to rest, evoking a sense of calmness and serenity.

Ideally, you want to make the bedroom look like a calm and welcoming retreat.


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Let the Light Shine In: Home Lighting for Health
Recently, researchers discovered that the lighting in your home can have a much greater impact on your health and well-being than originally thought. Better lighting can boost your energy, increase alertness, and help you sleep better.

So, it pays to ensure the lighting in your home is optimal. Here are 3 ways to get started:

  • Go Natural - Start by enhancing sources of natural light, such as windows and sunroofs. Study each room of your home and replace as much of the artificial light as possible with sunlight. For example, reposition a favourite reading chair next to a window. 
  • Install Dimmer Switches – Dimmer switches allow you to adjust the brightness of your light based on the time of day. There are manual switches, as well as ones you can control remotely with your phone and/or automate with smart technology. Dimming the lights in the evening will help promote better sleep.
  • Avoid Over-Lighting - This is common in rooms where there are few windows. Over time, excessive light can cause headaches and even mood changes. Lighting that is sufficient to see everything clearly is all you need.

Following these lighting tips will improve not just your overall health, but also the health of your investment when it comes time to sell.

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STRONG SALES, SUPPLY CHALLENGES PUSH INVENTORY TO LOWEST LEVELS SEEN SINCE APRIL 2008

Saskatchewan reported 1,642 sales in April, up 32 percent year-over-year and compared to long-term, 10-year averages. April marked the fourth consecutive month of above-average sales to open in 2024, resulting in year-to-date sales nearly 17 percent above last year. Sales levels improved across all larger regions of the province, with the most significant gains being reported in the Regina-Moose Mountain and Swift Current-Moose Jaw regions.


Despite a slight uptick in new listings, which supported a modest monthly gain in inventory across the province, inventory levels are down 16 per cent year-over-year and 40 per cent below long-term, 10-year trends. As seen in prior months, the sharpest decline in inventory is reported in products priced below $300,000, with some supply relief in homes priced above $500,000.


“Economic growth, employment gains, and record population numbers continue to support strong housing demand in Saskatchewan, resulting in a tenth consecutive month of above-average sales in April,” said Association CEO, Chris Guérette. “These factors are, without question, boosting housing demand – as evidenced through rising sales in the resale market and falling vacancy rates in the rental market.”


Saskatchewan reported a residential benchmark price of $339,800 in April, up from $334,500 in March and nearly five per cent higher than April 2023. Prices rose across all property types in April, ranging from a five per cent gain in detached and semi-detached property types, to a 13 per cent gain in apartment-style properties.


“With just over three months of supply provincially, our market continues to experience significant supply challenges. However, the conditions are far tighter in Saskatoon and Regina, with both markets reporting under two months of supply in April,” said Guérette. “We’re approaching uncharted territory in our two largest markets right now - it’s an incredibly challenging time for prospective buyers out there. If supply challenges persist, as expected, we will likely see further price gains in these markets.”


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Regional Highlights

Sales activity improved across the province's larger regions in April, with the most significant gain (60 per cent year-over-year and 23 per cent above the 10-year average) occurring in the Swift Current-Moose Jaw region.


Meanwhile, the two largest regions of the province (Regina Moose-Mountain and Saskatoon-Biggar) saw further inventory declines due to strong monthly sales. The Regina-Moose Mountain (2.61) and Saskatoon-Bigger (2.15) regions continue to report the tightest market conditions in the province.


Price Trends

Home prices trended up across nearly all regions of the province in April, with the largest monthly gain occurring in the Swift Current-Moose Jaw region, followed by the Saskatoon-Biggar region.


With prices over 11 percent higher than in April 2023, the city of Moose Jaw experienced reported the highest year-over-year price growth. Meanwhile, Saskatoon, Regina, Estevan, Weyburn, Melville, Humboldt, Meadow Lake, and North Battleford reported year-over-year price gains in April.
 

City of Regina

The City of Regina reported 424 sales in April, a year-over-year gain of over 50 per cent and 52 per cent above long-term trends.


Despite an increase in new listings, surging sales prevented any significant inventory relief. Regina reported a 30 per cent year-over-year decline, with inventory levels over 46 per cent below long-term, 10-year trends.


The City of Regina reported a benchmark price of $319,800 in April, up from $313,100 in March and nearly three per cent higher than April 2023.


City of Saskatoon

The City of Saskatoon reported 522 sales in April, a year-over-year gain of nearly 29 per cent and 34 per cent above long-term, 10-year averages.

Inventory levels decreased by 21 per cent year-over-year and continue to sit nearly 50 per cent below long-term, 10-year trends.  As a result, market conditions remain extremely tight in the City of Saskatoon, placing upward pressure on prices and likely preventing even stronger April sales numbers. 

The City of Saskatoon reported a benchmark price of $398,600 in April, up from $394,300 in March and nearly seven per cent above April 2023.

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Selling your Home when You’re “Crazy-Busy”

Let’s face it. We all get busy at times. Sometimes we get “crazy-busy.” The trouble is, if you’re thinking of selling your property, having a jam-packed schedule might make you want to put off listing until a later date.

And, who knows what the market will be like later in the year?

The good news is, you can sell your home, even if you’re busy. There are plenty of ways to reduce the time, effort and stress involved.

The first step is to find out what needs to be done. Make a list. Turn that list into a plan and get that plan down on paper. That way, the process won’t just live in your imagination — where it might seem much bigger and more intimidating than it really is. Instead, it will be realistic and practical.

The next step is to see what can be done by others. If your schedule is already hectic, you want to minimize what you do on your own and outsource where possible. For example, you could hire a cleaning company, junk removal service, professional stager, and/or tradesperson. Of course, you’ll need to weigh that expense against the time you’d save, but it is often worth it.

Staying organized is also essential. When you’re busy, effective organization tools — to-do lists, calendar, scheduling app, etc. — will be your best friends. The more organized you are, the more you’ll feel on top of things.

Finally, get talking to professionals who are going to be able to help you — and even shoulder some of the heavy lifting.

The bottom line? Don’t let being “crazy-busy” prevent you from taking advantage of the opportunity to sell your home.

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 Fix it or Leave it As Is?

When you’re preparing your home for sale, you obviously want your property to look its best for buyers. That means fixing things that are broken, and, possibly, making a few improvements.

But, how do you decide whether to invest in fixing or improving something versus just leaving it as is?

Say, for example, the walls throughout your home are a bit faded. (They’ve gone through a lot of living!) You can get all the dents and holes filled and repaint the entire place. That would definitely make a huge difference in how your property looks to buyers. Or, you can choose NOT to do that project in the hopes your home will “show” well regardless.

There are a few things to consider before making that decision:

  • How much will the fix or improvement cost?

  • How much better will your home look to buyers?

  • Will the fix or improvement help sell your home faster?

  • Will the fix or improvement help sell your home for a higher price?

Once you have those answers, you’ll be in a much better position to make that decision.

By the way, painting is almost always a smart move when preparing your property for sale. The impact can be dramatic, and the cost is relatively low.


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ABOVE-AVERAGE SALES CONTINUE IN MARCH DESPITE INVENTORY WOES

Saskatchewan reported 1,183 sales in March, a 2 percent year-over-year decline and nearly 6 percent above long-term, 10-year averages. Despite a slight year-over-year dip in March sales, year-to-date sales remain 10 percent above levels seen last year. The strong start to the year was primarily driven by gains in the Regina-Moose Mountain, Saskatoon-Biggar, and Swift Current-Moose Jaw economic regions.


A ninth consecutive month of above-average sales in the province was met with declining new listings, preventing supply growth in March. As a result, inventory levels dipped by 15 per cent year-over-year and remain nearly 40 per cent below long-term, 10-year trends.


“Our province continues to report above-average sales despite persistent inventory challenges, which are approaching concerning levels in some of our major centres,” said Association CEO, Chris Guérette. “The busy spring market has arrived, and there simply isn’t enough supply in the more affordable segment of our market right now. Without question, it’s a difficult time for prospective homebuyers, specifically those searching for properties priced below $400,000.”


Tight market conditions across many regions of the province continue to support price growth, as Saskatchewan reported a provincial benchmark price of $334,500 in March – up from $330,800 in February and nearly 4 per cent higher than March 2023. While prices rose across all property types, the largest year-over-year gains occurred in apartment and row/townhouse-style units.


“While it’s important to note that real estate is local and market conditions vary throughout the province – the inventory crunch in certain markets is significant right now,” said Guérette. “It remains to be seen whether new listing relief is on the way, but all signs currently point to a challenging spring and summer market in Saskatchewan.”


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Regional Highlights

First-quarter sales activity improved across the province's larger regions, with the most significant gains (14 per cent year-over-year and 26 per cent above the 10-year average) occurring in the Regina-Moose Mountain region.

Meanwhile, in the two largest regions of the province (Regina Moose-Mountain and Saskatoon-Biggar), declines in new listings continue to be met with strong sales, resulting in steeper inventory declines and tighter market conditions.


Price Trends

Home prices trended up across most regions of the province in March, with the largest monthly gain occurring in the Swift Current-Moose Jaw region, followed by the Saskatoon-Biggar region.

With prices nearly 9 percent higher than in March 2023, the communities of Moose Jaw and Humboldt experienced significant year-over-year price growth. Meanwhile, Saskatoon, Regina, Estevan, Weyburn, Swift Current, Melville, Meadow Lake, and North Battleford all reported year-over-year price gains in March.
 

City of Regina

The City of Regina reported 312 sales in March, a year-over-year gain of over nearly 7 per cent and 23 per cent above long-term trends.

Strong monthly sales were met with a year-over-year decline in new listings, preventing any significant change in inventory levels. With just over two months of supply in the Queen City, persistent inventory challenges and above-average sales continue to place upward pressure on home prices.

The City of Regina reported a benchmark price of $313,100 in March, up from $310,600 in February and nearly 2 per cent above March 2023


City of Saskatoon

The City of Saskatoon reported 364 sales in March, a year-over-year decline of 8 per cent and 2 per cent above long-term, 10-year averages.

Inventory levels decreased by 21 per cent year-over-year and continue to sit nearly 50 per cent below long-term, 10-year trends.  As a result, market conditions remain extremely tight in the City of Saskatoon, which is placing upward pressure on prices and likely preventing even stronger sales numbers. 

The City of Saskatoon reported a benchmark price of $394,300 in March, up from $388,300 in February and over 5 per cent above March 2023.

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4 Golden Rules to Finding a Home You’ll Love

If you want or need to sell your current home, one thing you might be wondering is, “How will we find and buy our next dream home?” Fortunately, there’s no mystery to how to do that. Simply follow the “golden rules”!

1. Create a profile. Decide what kind of home you want to buy. Consider the type of building, size, number of bedrooms, property features, and other details. When you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to find it. You’ll also be less likely to waste time seeing listings that aren’t a good fit.

2. Target ideal neighbourhoods. Where do you want to live? What areas are likely to be a good fit with your desired lifestyle? What sort of neighbours do you want? What area features, such as schools, do you need close by?

3. Pre-arrange any required financing. Will you need a mortgage? Make those arrangements in advance. That will give you peace-of-mind in knowing you’ll be able to buy the home you want. Also, a pre-arranged mortgage makes your offers stronger.

4. Get on an alert list. Not all new listings are advertised or posted online right way. So, arrange to be immediately alerted to new listings that match your criteria. That way, you’ll be first in line.

Following these tips will go a long way toward getting you into the home of your dreams.

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