Where has the time gone! It's hard to believe that we are less than 2 weeks away from Christmas! As you prepare for the holiday season we want to take a moment to let you know how much we appreciate your business. As you relish the goodies, decorate every nook and corner of your home, and enjoy the get-togethers, may the joy and festivities continue to radiate in your lives, long after the holiday season is gone.
A new year brings new ideas on how we can be happier and healthier but it’s also a great time to set goals for our home. This month's article offers some advice to help you get your home in order.
The current real estate market update is included to ensure that you have up to date information on what is happening in Saskatoon. If you have questions regarding your own property or a property you are interested in, please don't hesitate to get in contact.
There are also a few ideas that will help you reduce your carbon footprint this holiday season as well as a delicious recipe for candied pecans that will have everyone coming back for more!
We've shared one of our families "decadent desserts" this time of year. The house smells like holidays when we are making this pudding. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
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 -- it'd be great to hear from you!
Home Sales Soften in November
The total number of residential home sales for the month of November in Saskatoon on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) totaled 203 units. This represents a 22% decline compared to the same month last year. The highest total for sales to the end of November was in 2014 reaching 4,203 transactions. This total has been steadily declining since with year to date sales at the lowest in ten years. At the end of last month there was a total of 3,167 residential MLS® transactions in the city, this is a 25% decline from the high of 2014.
Total new residential MLS® listings has also been declining since 2015 when there were 9,411 by the end of November. The total number of residential MLS® listings for Saskatoon as of November 30th was 7,646, a 12% decline compared to last year and a 19% decrease from 2015. Total active residential listings at the end of last month was 1,716, comparable to the five-year average and slightly higher than the 10-year average of 1,388. At the current rate of sales, it would take just over 8 months to liquidate the current active listing inventory. The months of inventory has been steadily increasing from 3.8 months in November of 2012. Even though homes in November were selling at 96.2% of the asking price, it still took two months for the average home to sell in Saskatoon. The sales to new listing ratio helps to determine if it is a sellers or buyers’ market. It is considered to be a balanced market when the ratio is at 50%, a lower percentage than this is considered a buyers’ market and above, a sellers’ market. The sales to listing ratio in Saskatoon for November was 38%, favoring buyers.
Typically, when referencing home prices, the focus in real estate is often on the average price. The danger in this is that the average can be misleading and is easily skewed. Case in point, if there are more, higher priced homes that sell in a certain period than another comparable period, the average will be higher. The opposite could occur the following month resulting in a lower average. A better indicator of what is happening with home prices is the Home Price Index. The Home Price Index establishes attributes for a typical single-family home with a base value in 2005. From that starting point, changes in value are recorded over time to get a better sense of what is happening to pricing and where prices may be trending. The value for the typical single-family home in January of 2005 was $140,400. This value reached its peak in May of 2015 at $329,500. Currently this value is at $310,900. Even though this is up 0.8% from a year ago, it has been trending downward in the past 6 months very slightly.
“It’s important to remember that even in a buyers’ market sellers can be successful in realizing a sale on their home. The most important step in selling is pricing a specific property to the current market conditions.
Statistics provided by: Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer – Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®
New Year's Resolutions for Your Home
Think outside the box this year by setting resolutions for your home!
January opens up new possibilities for our health and wellbeing but have you ever thought about making resolutions for your home? Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Just Do It! - Tackle a major item on your to-do list such as cleaning out the basement or painting the bathroom.
- Cut Back - Seal and insulate your ductwork then set goals to reduce bills such as turning off lights and reducing water consumption.
- Plant It - There are many ways to improve the quality of your indoor air but start off by adding plants to naturally filter the air you breathe.
- Basket Case - Purchase baskets to organize everyday items such as remotes and controllers so they don’t just get tossed around the room.
- Keep it Clean - Take just 10 minutes each day to walk through and put everything back in its home. Get the entire family involved!
- Safety First - Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are in good working order and that you have a family escape plan in place.
- The Purge - Go through your home one room at a time each month and purge any items you no longer have interest in and instead, fill your home with things that make you feel good.
In addition to the above tips, you can also introduce a new resolution for your home each month to help break up the year. For example, in January you can declutter, in February you can brush painting off your list and so on. Home is where the heart is, so it makes sense that a harmonious home will lend itself to a happier overall life.
Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season
A few small changes will have you dreaming of a green Christmas!
The holiday season is a magical time of year but it can also be a time of great waste. It’s easy though to enjoy Christmas cheer and still cut your carbon footprint. Here are a few ideas:
- Decorate Naturally - Bring the scent of nature into your home with evergreens, fir cones and cranberries.
- Think Outside the Box - All those gift bags, ribbons and bows account for an incredible amount of waste so try and reuse old wrapping paper.
- Light Up Mindfully - Everyone loves the twinkle of holiday lights but for the sake of the environment, use LED lights and remember to turn them off before going to bed.
- One, Two, Tree - Real trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen all while sustaining the local economy. Artificial trees, on the other hand, can't be recycled and may contain toxins.
The holiday season is a great opportunity to start eco-friendly family traditions that will hopefully be passed down for many generations to come. Better still, these methods are as easy on your wallet as they are on the environment!
Wildly Addictive Candied Pecan Recipe
Not only are they delicious, but your home will smell amazing too!
Candied pecans are delicious! They’re so good that they’ll likely disappear before they make it to the salad, cake, gift jar or dessert they were intended for. Here’s how you make them:
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp water (or substitute vanilla extract)
- 1 pound of pecan halves
Preheat oven to 250°F and mix the sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Whisk the egg white and water together in another bowl until frothy. Next, toss the pecans in the egg white mixture then coat the pecans with the sugar mixture. Finally, spread the coated pecans onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for an hour, making sure to stir every 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Sticky Toffee Pudding
20 pitted Medjool dates (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 c. water
3 tbsp. fresh brewed espresso or 1 tsp espresso powder dissolved in 3 Tbsp hot water
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 lb. dark brown sugar (about 2 1/4 cups)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 c. pecans, toasted and chopped
Whipped cream, for serving
- Make date puree: In medium pot, bring dates, water and espresso to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to blender and puree dates and liquid until smooth. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, make date cake: Heat oven to 325°F. Coat 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Using electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in eggs 1 at a time. In three additions, alternate flour and date mixtures, mixing until just combined.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make toffee-pecan sauce:Melt butter in large, heavy pan. Add brown sugar and stir to combine. Stir in lemon juice, then cream, stirring slowly, until fully incorporated. Cook on low until bubbles have slowed and sauce is thick, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then fold in pecans.
- To serve, cut cake into pieces and transfer to plates. Spoon some sauce over top and serve with dollop of whipped cream if desired.