Moving can be extremely stressful if you don't plan out the details ahead of time. This month's article offers a pre-move checklist that will help you prepare for the big day!
Our real estate market update is inluded as our second article. If you are interested in the value of your own property, or a property you may want to purchase, give us a call - we are happy to provide you with the information you need.
There's also some advice on how to create a fire escape plan for your home as well as a few tips on how to help get the kids back into the school sleep routine.
With saskatoon berries now available, I've included one of my families favourite recipies. We hope you will enjoy one of these with yourr morning coffee!
Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- we would be glad to hear from you!
Your Market Update
The month of July saw a significant increase of over 25% in the year-over-year Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales activity with a total of 390 unit sales in the month. This compares with 310 transactions in July of 2017. Total MLS® transactions for Saskatoon year to date was down 3.3% with 2,082 home sales compared to 2,152 to the end of July 2017.
It is very encouraging to see such a significant increase in activity during a month when many buyers typically leave town on vacation! Other positive indicators are a decline in the number of new MLS® listings coming on to the market.
A total of 710 new MLS® listings in July represented a decrease of 10% over last year and well below the five year average of 830 listings. Fewer new listings combined with an increase in sales reduced the number of active listings from 2,109 in June to 2,048 at the end of July. The five year average for active MLS® listings is 1,977 units. Lower inventory levels will help move the market from a buyer’s market towards balance and stabilize home prices.
MLS® sales below $200,000 totaled 57 transactions in July, 55% higher than July of 2017, while year to date sales increased by 26% with 307 transactions. Homes that sold between $300-400,000 on the MLS® in July showed an increase of 27% over the previous July while year to date the number of sales in this price range totaled 1,229, a decline of 5%. Home sales in excess of $400,000 totaled 540 transactions year to date, a decline of 12% over the previous year.
The Home Price Index (HPI) Value for single family residential home sales in Saskatoon took a slight decrease in July of 0.1% to $315,400 compared to $315,800 at the end of June. The HPI measures the change in value over time for a typical single family home with a standard set of attributes. This rate of change reports similar to the Consumer Price Index and is the most accurate indicator of home pricing.
The HPI value for townhouse style residences continued on its upward trend, increasing by 1.2% for the month to $234,400. Year-to-date, the average sale price was $334,676, a 4.1% decrease from the same period last year. Average prices can be misleading as outlier sales can skew the average sale value one way or the other over a short period of time. This is why the median price of HPI value is a better indicator of the market.
Last month, the average home in Saskatoon took 49 days to sell in Saskatoon last month. The five year average for days to sell in the month of July is 48 days.
*Information provided by Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer – Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®
Cut the Stress with a Moving Checklist
The key to keeping calm during a move is to plan in advance.
Moving to a new home is an exciting life change but it can also be very stressful if you're not properly prepared.
It's important to create a detailed checklist a few months ahead of time in order to ensure things go smoothly. Here are some points to help get you started:
Two Months Before
- Itemize all of the major items you'll be moving.
- Get estimates and book the movers or a rental truck.
- Have a garage sale or donate items to charity to get rid of excess clutter.
- Start sucking up to friends and family for help!
One Month Before
- Switch your insurance, medical and school records to your new location.
- Arrange to disconnect and reconnect utilities and phone/internet services.
- Notify any other important parties of your new address.
- Start stockpiling various sizes of boxes.
Two Weeks Before
- Start packing up room by room.
- Plan meals so food in your fridge and freezer gets used up.
- Arrange for someone to look after your pets on moving day.
- Return library materials and other rental items.
The Final Week
- Water your plants a few days before you move.
- Put together a small bag of clothes and toiletries for the first few days.
- Gather valuable items such as legal documents and family photos so you can transport them yourself.
- Pack a box with essentials such as cleaning supplies, chargers, light bulbs, soap, garbage bags, etc. for the first week in your new home.
Day of the Move
- Make sure you have your new keys.
- Double check the movers have your new address and cell phone number.
- Have lots of refreshments on hand for your busy helpers!
Moving can cause a wide range of emotions from sadness to extreme excitement. Although moving can be stressful at times, a little bit of planning will provide you with some very valuable peace of mind. With the help of this checklist, you can now breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy this exciting new phase of your life!
Planning a Family Fire Escape Plan
It’s important to be prepared in the event of a fire.
Planning for a house fire isn't something most people want to think about but if such an event occurred, you’d need to act fast. Having a fire escape plan is critical so here are a few points to consider:
- Floor It - Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows at least two ways out of each room.
- Keep it Clear - Ensure there aren’t any obstacles in front of windows, doors and escape routes.
- Practice Makes Perfect - Crawl through escape routes with your family during annual practice drills.
- Window of Opportunity - Family members need to know how to open all windows and remove screens.
- Climb on Down - Make sure escape ladders are accessible and not buried in the back of closets.
- Rendezvous - Designate a special meeting place for all family members once you've evacuated.
- Get Out & Stay Out! - Remind children never to re-enter a burning home under any circumstances.
If you live in a condo or apartment building, ensure you know the evacuation plan and do a few practice drills. Knowing what to expect and how to act is key in any emergency situation so practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
Back to School Sleep Tips
Ditching the lazy days of summer doesn’t have to be a drag.
As summer winds down, we need to start getting the kids back into the school time routine, starting with bedtime. Here are a few tips to help them adjust:
- Screens Out - Don’t let your kids play video games before bedtime as screens can affect their sleep.
- Get Moving - Exercise improves sleep considerably so try and sneak in extra activities throughout the day but avoid it two hours before bed.
- Gradually Adjust Bedtime - Don’t wait until the night before school. Instead, gradually take it back 10 - 15 minutes early until you reach the desired time and get up at the same time each morning.
Being sleep deprived will affect both your kids and your own ability to focus and learn. It’s therefore important to adopt good sleep habits to help increase your energy levels during the day which will in turn help you sleep better at night.
Saskatoon Muffins with Crumb Topping
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh Saskatoon's or blueberries (you can add more)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400F, and line or spray muffin pans. Add flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Measure out veggie oil but don't pour it in the mixture, add the egg to the oil, and then add enough milk to fill the cup (a little more, I found was better, but not much). Mix into flour mixture until well blended, don't over mix! Fold in berries and vanilla. For the lemony ones, just add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon lemon zest when you mix in the berries.
This batter will be like glue, so your berries wont sink to the bottom! Genius! Fill each muffin tin to the top. In a seperate bowl, add all the ingredients for the topping and mix with a fork, until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.