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Bidding wars and moving to the suburbs: Saskatchewan’s real estate market booming

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WATCH: More people are buying houses and moving to the suburbs, according to the Saskatchewan Realtors Association, with sales up 108 per cent in Saskatoon in March compared to 2020 – Apr 9, 2021

Across Saskatchewan the real estate market is booming amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re in the market for a new place, you may have noticed more competition for your dream home — and you’re not alone.

More people are buying houses and moving to the suburbs, according to the Saskatchewan Realtors Association.

Read more: Saskatoon mother evicted 11 days after childbirth struggles to find housing

Saskatoon saw sales jump 108 per cent compared to this time last year, according to the association’s March market statistics. Regina was a little more modest, up 70 per cent.

Other places, like Humboldt, saw massive jumps with 240-per cent growth in sales.

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Ashley turner is a realtor in Saskatoon. She said with more people at home, they’re looking for space.

“So if they were in a condo before, or maybe renting and they can buy, they want to get something where they can work from home, they can have that yard space,” she said.

“Across Canada we’re seeing the suburbs boom because people don’t have to live and work downtown.”

Read more: Numbers suggest people prefer city life in Saskatchewan: Statistics Canada

Turner and the realtors association said people are taking advantage of historically low interest rates for mortgages right now.

So what are people in the market for? The simple answer: everything.

“We’re seeing bidding wars on 700k houses, 850k houses are having multiple offers — entry-level markets, you know 200 and under, and it’s right up to luxury housing,” Turner said.

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association said there aren’t many houses on the market right now; meanwhile many are looking to buy, driving up prices and overwhelming sellers with offers.

The association suggests getting personal when making a bid.

“When you make an offer on a property, tell them who you are in your offer,” said Samantha Krahn, director of government and external relations with the association.

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“Let them know if you’re a family of four looking to gain a bigger home in a backyard or maybe you’re looking to downsize.”

Read more: Proposed loan program for home renovations in Saskatoon called unique

Grant Wilson is a business professor at the Edwards School of Business in Saskatoon. He said it isn’t just families wading into the market, but investors jumping on houses before prices go up even more.

“The consumer price index didn’t really change last year, and so I think this year we’re going to see a significant increase in inflation which should to some estimates be about five per cent,” said Wilson.

“Lots of people I think not only are looking to purchase a new home but to protect themselves from inflation purchasing homes as investments.”

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association said it expects the market to continue seeing record sales until the middle of 2021. It said from there the market should calm down and stabilize.

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