Regina Real Estate News from Corrine Boivin-Englund July 2018   

Purchasing a home is an emotional time when serious mistakes can be made by even the savviest of buyers. This month's article highlights some common blunders that can cause a serious case of buyer's remorse.

We also examine the advantages of taking a staycation this summer as well as a few tips on how to naturally keep away those pesky mosquitoes.

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 
Home sales down compared to same time last year.

Although down from 2017, residential sales through the Regina and area MLS® System included some room for optimism, said the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.

There were 361 sales recorded during the month in all geographic areas, down 1.9% from last year when 368 sales occurred.

Although June marked the first time this year that there were two consecutive months with sales exceeding the 360 mark, it was below both the 5-year average of 398 and 10-year average of 385.

There were 284 sales recorded in the city, a decrease of 2.1% from 2017 when 290 sales occurred. The number of sales in the city was also below the 5-year average of 313 and 10-year average of 317.

For the June year-to-date there have been 1,571 sales recorded in all areas, a decrease of 5.4% from 1,660 in 2017. In the city, there have been 1,274 sales compared to 1,362 last year, down 6.5%.

For June, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), a much more accurate measure of housing price trends than average or median price, reported a composite benchmark residential price of $279,700 and index of 259.1 in the city, down 6.1% from $297,800 one year ago. This was up slightly from May’s $276,500 but is part of a price loss trend that began one year ago, and is now 8.3% below the composite price reported in 2013 of $304,800. The HPI measures residential price trends based on four benchmark home types, with the index set at a base of 100 for January 2005.

The majority of this price loss has occurred in the last twelve months due to slowing demand, elevated supply levels and the dampening impact of federal mortgage stress rules introduced in the fall of 2016 and a second round in January 2018. These rules have caused many buyers hoping to purchase a home to either look down in price range or leave the market altogether because they cannot qualify for mortgage financing.

The sales dollar volume of $114.5M posted in all geographic areas for the month was down 2.4% from 2017’s $117.3M. Dollar volume in the city of $91.2M was down 0.6% from 2017’s $91.8 M. In the city, there were 1,743 active residential listings on the market at the end of June, an increase of 10.5% from 2017’s 1,577 but only up slightly from 1,734 at the end of May. This marked the smallest increase in listings for sale on a month-to-month basis so far this year. It is hoped that this is an indication of supply levels stabilizing in the city rather than elevating.

There were 740 new listings placed on the MLS® System during the month in all geographic areas, down 15.1% from 2017’s 872. In the city, there were 583 new listings added, a decrease of 12.3% from 665 in 2017. This contributed to stabilizing the level of supply in the city.

The ratio of sales to new listings for the month was 48% in the city and 48% in all geographic areas. Balanced market conditions are generally in the 40-60% range. Below 40% is considered to be more of a buyers’ market while above 60% is considered to be a market favouring sellers, although this is more a result of the fewer number of listings being added to the system during the month than a shift to a balanced market.
Homes that did sell in the city sold in an average of 58 days in the city and 65 days in all areas. These compare to 34 and 40 days respectively last year.

“After a relatively slow start to the year, it was encouraging to see the second month in a row of sales over the 360 mark in June. Both a weaker level of local economic growth and rules making it more difficult for buyers to qualify for mortgage financing have had a cooling effect on demand for much of the year”, said Gord Archibald, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.

“Despite these economic and regulatory challenges, we are hoping that the momentum from May and June will springboard into more sales in the second half of the year”, concluded Archibald.

How to Avoid Buyer's Remorse 
A bit of advanced planning will help you avoid buyer’s remorse.

Buying a home can be an emotional roller coaster which is why it's so easy to make mistakes. Here are a few common buyer blunders to be aware of:

  1. Not Thinking Ahead - If you’re hoping to start a family in your new home one day, it pays to consider features like local parks and school zones.

  2. Buying a Home that's too Expensive - Buyers who overextend themselves are often forced to sell at a loss. Avoid temptation by only viewing homes that are in your price range.

  3. Bad Location, Bad Location, Bad Location - Determining the location that best suits your lifestyle is critical so consider proximity to public transit, schools and other amenities.

  4. Choosing the Wrong Home - Make a list of all the features that are essential to you. It's easy to be taken in by curb appeal, but walk away if it lacks anything that you’re unable to live without.

  5. Uninspected Circumstances - Just because a house looks solid doesn't mean all is well behind the scenes. Making an offer conditional on a home inspection will help eliminate any regrets.

  6. Acting too Slowly - The home you fall in love with could be gone tomorrow if you wait too long. Do your research ahead of time so you'll have the confidence to act swiftly when the time comes.

  7. Not Using an Agent - It's important to have an agent to help you make crucial decisions, negotiate the offer and explain the conditions in order to have a positive experience and avoid buyer’s remorse.

Buying a home can be an extremely emotional process so it's important to stay grounded in order to avoid errors that could cause regret. If you conduct your research ahead of time and are well aware of your wants and needs you'll be able to move forward with confidence and peace of mind. If you ever have any questions about real estate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

There's No Place Like Home 
Exploring your local area can be just as much fun as going away!

When you go on vacation, not only do you have to pack and plan but you also have to arrange for someone to collect your mail and look after your pets.

Gas prices also take a huge toll on vacation budgets so this year, consider unwinding locally with a staycation! Here are a few ideas:

  1. Be a Tourist - Contact your local tourist board so you can plan a trip as if you were visiting your area for the very first time.

  2. Take a Hike - Check out a couple of local community trails that you’ve never been on before.  Enjoy a hike, bike ride, picnic or geocaching experience.

  3. Overnighter - Head out to an unfamiliar place an hour or so from home to experience a true getaway.  Book a night at a campground to really get into the spirit!

  4. Dine Out - Visit a few restaurants that you've been meaning to check out and research  specials such as happy hours or 2 for 1 promotions so you can plan around the deals!

  5. Kids Stuff - Involve your kids by letting them each pick a new attraction to visit. Nearby amusement parks, museums and summer festivals offer endless hours of fun.

Staying home and seeing your area through the eyes of a tourist will give you a new appreciation of where you live. Not only will you save money but you'll also reduce your carbon footprint while supporting the local economy. Best of all, you won't need a vacation after your vacation!

Natural Mosquito Repellents 
A few natural alternatives for all you mosquito magnets out there!

It’s so unfair :(  Whenever the weather turns nice, we have to lather ourselves in chemicals so we don’t get chased inside by swarms of mosquitoes. Here are a few natural solutions to consider:

  1. Go Natural - Make homemade sprays and lotions with essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus, lavender, mint or tea tree oils.

  2. Not on My Watch - Eliminate breeding places by covering or flipping over backyard bowls, buckets, bird baths or any other spot where there’s stagnant water.

  3. Get your Garden On - Plant citronella, geranium, eucalyptus, rosemary, catnip and lavender in both your garden and in pots as they all help repel the little bloodsuckers.

  4. Gone Batty - Bats eat thousands of mosquitoes each night so attracting them to your yard by installing a few bat boxes is a great way to defend against skeeters.

It’s well worth giving some of these natural alternatives a try to avoid the nasty chemicals that come in spray cans. Don’t forget to also wear light or neutral shades as mosquitoes are attracted to people wearing dark clothing and avoid any heavy, perfumed scents.

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.