Regina Real Estate News from Corrine Boivin-Englund November 2017   

Having your home broken into is a traumatic experience that you definitely want to avoid so this month's article shares some tips on how to increase your home's security.

There are also some great feng shui ideas to help you create a harmonious home environment as well as a few tips on how to build a more close-knit community.

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!

Enjoy the day!

In this issue...
Regina Real Estate Market Update 
Residential market slower than usual in October.

The total number of residential sales reported through the Regina and area Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in October was down from 2016, and was also well below five and 10-year averages, said the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.

There were 255 sales reported in all geographic areas during the month, down 8% from 2016 when 277 sales were recorded.

This is the lowest level of sales since 2008 and was below the immediate past five-year average of 290 and 10-year of 296.  In the city, there were 206 sales posted, down 10% from 229 last year.

For the year-to-date (YTD) 2,878 sales have occurred in all areas this year, a decrease of 5% from 3,016 in 2016.  There have been 2,349 sales in the city, down 6% from 2016’s 2,497.

The number of residential listings for sale at the end of the month in the city continued at historical highs with 1,444 homes for sale at the end of the month, an all-time high for October.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) reported a composite residential price of $320,000 and index of 296.5 in the city, up 8.9% from 2016’s $293,800 and 272.3.  This is an indication of underlying strength and stability in house prices.  The HPI measures residential price trends based on four benchmark home types, with the index set at a base of 100 for January 2005 and is a much more accurate measure of housing price trends than average or median price.

The average residential price of sales in October in the city was $297,458, down 1% from $300,225 last year.  For the YTD, the average price was $320,225, virtually identical to last year’s $320,338 for the same period.

The ratio of firm sales to new listings for the month was 45% in the city and 46% in all geographic areas.  Balanced market conditions are generally in the 40-60% range -- below 40% is considered to be a buyer’s market -- above 60% is considered to be a market favouring sellers.

Homes which did sell during the month sold in an average of 61 days in the city -- this compares to 53 days in 2016 and is the highest for the past 10-year period.

There were 548 new residential listings received on the MLS® System during the month, including 454 in the city.  This compares to last year when 451 new listings were posted in all areas and 335 in the city.

“Almost all key market measures point towards a slow month in October.  We continued to see the number of active listings on the market at a historical high for the month, a pattern for much of 2017 so far.  This, combined with a drop in the number of sales, has affected balance in the market between sellers and buyers.  Sellers are well advised to have their listing priced accordingly”, said Gord Archibald, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.

“With two months left in the year, we are projecting sales below last year’s level and possibly the lowest number over the past 10-year period”, concluded Archibald.

Smart Home Security Made Simple 
A fully secure home will provide you with peace of mind.

Whether you’re at home sleeping or away on vacation, it’s important to know that your home is secure.  A secure home is also much more attractive to potential buyers when it comes time to sell.

Smart lighting, remote locks and wireless cameras can all make your home safer; however, the issue of cyber criminals hacking into smart home systems is a valid concern so homeowners shouldn’t forget about the basics.

Eliminate potential hiding spots by trimming down bushes that are around your windows and doors.  Most thieves are opportunists who see an open door or window and decide to take a chance and see what they can make off with.

Next, install strike plates on your doors to help protect the deadbolt from crowbars or kick attacks.  Thieves want to get into your home as quickly as possible so if one forceful kick doesn't work, they’ll likely turn and run.

Windows are also popular break in points so install heavy sash or keyed locks.  Installing an eyebolt in window corners also prevents the window from being opened from the outside.  Glass block windows are an excellent choice as they look attractive, can't be opened and are extremely difficult to break.

Give the impression your home is lived in while you're away on vacation by installing a dusk-to-dawn porch light.  Although technology allows you to control blinds and lights right from your smartphone, you'll still need to find someone to rake your leaves as there isn’t an app for that yet!

When it comes to home security, paying attention to the little things can often make a huge difference so take time to "case the joint" and list all the security failures that burglars would appreciate.  Potential buyers will prefer a secure home as it's one less thing for them to worry about so you may as well do it sooner than later so that you can enjoy the benefits as well.

The Feng Shui Way 
Creating good feng shui around your home is easier than you think!

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that helps achieve a harmonious living environment in order to promote happiness and prosperity.  Here are a few ideas to enhance the energy flow around your home:

  1. Think Outside the Nest - Birds bring great energy so add a few feeders and a bird bath in your backyard.

  2. The Right Path - Place a few plants and wind chimes on your porch and make sure the path to your front door is unobstructed.

  3. Fire & Ice - Essential oils, crystals, candles and water features such as fountains and fish bowls will bring calm and balance into your home.

  4. Mirror, Mirror - The strategic placement of mirrors helps improve feng shui by drawing more sunlight into otherwise murky rooms and by expanding narrow areas such as hallways.

  5. De-clutter - Clearing your home of clutter will introduce a smoother flow of energy.  Clutter is a sign of trapped energy so be ruthless and get rid of everything you don’t need.

Feng shui emphasizes that our physical surroundings have an impact on our emotional well-being so it’s important to be aware of how we arrange our space.  Buyers often feel certain vibes when they enter a home so a "harmonious feel" could be the difference between a quick sale and one that drags on.

Building a Better Community 
Getting to know the people living around you offers plenty of benefits!

Research shows that there are many physical and mental health benefits to enjoying a sense of belonging.  Here are a few ideas to help you build community spirit:

  1. Rags to Riches - Organize a garage sale or clothing swap in your ‘hood.  It’s also a great way to get rid of clutter!

  2. Clean Green - Coordinate a park clean-up and then enjoy drinks and snacks that will hopefully be donated by a local business.

  3. Book Smart - Build a “Little Library” at your local park or on your front lawn and enjoy watching people gather to exchange books.

Getting to know people who live close by will really improve your quality of life and foster a sense of belonging.  Social media can also help build a safe, connected, friendly place to live by providing a platform to share events and ideas.

PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Drop me a quiet note with your parameters I'll set you up on my Matrix program with the MLS board. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. This service is free and there's no obligation!

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.