Regina Real Estate News from Corrine Boivin-Englund October 2018   

Selling your home involves many important decisions, one of which is determining the right asking price. This month's article explains why overpricing your home can potentially lead to disaster.

There are also a few tips that'll come in handy if you plan on flying with your kids as well as some great ideas on how to build a bit of community spirit this Halloween.

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 
Recent mortgage rules continue to dampen sales.

Home sales through the Regina and area MLS® System in September were the lowest since 2005 and well below five- and ten-year averages.

Recent federal mortgage qualification rules continue to have a dampening impact on demand, said the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.

There were 238 sales recorded during the month in all geographic areas, down 19.3% from last year when 295 sales occurred. This is the lowest level of sales since 2005 when 228 sales occurred and well below the past 5-year average of 318 sales and 10-year average of 316.

There were 195 sales recorded in the city, a decrease of 19.4% from 2017 when 242 sales were posted. The number of sales in the city was also below the 5-year average of 258 and 10-year average of 263. For the September year-to-date there have been 2,433 sales recorded in all areas, a decrease of 7.1% from 2,619 in 2017. In the city, there have been 1,957 sales compared to 2,140 last year, down 8.6%.

For September, 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 $277,000 and index of 259.3 in the city, down 4.7% from $290,700 at the same time last year. This is part of a price loss trend that began one year ago and is now 8.8% below the composite price reported in September 2013 of $303,700. 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 cooling impact of federal mortgage stress rules introduced in the fall of 2016, with a second round in January 2018. These rules have distorted and weakened demand locally by causing many buyers hoping to purchase a home to seek lower price ranges to qualify for a mortgage or leave the market altogether. The sales dollar volume of $72.0M posted in all geographic areas for the month was down 22.6% from 2017’s $92.9M. Dollar volume in the city of $57.6M was down 25.9% from 2017’s $77.6M.

In the city, there were 1,652 active residential listings on the market at the end of September, an increase of 11.1% from 2017’s 1,482 but down roughly 100 listings from the summer months. There were 502 new listings placed on the MLS® System during the month in all geographic areas, down 16.2% from 2017’s 599.  Homes that did sell in the city sold in an average of 61 days in the city and 68 days in all areas. These compare to 54 and 61 days respectively last year.

“With demand already below recent levels due to economic factors, it has been impacted even further by federal mortgage rules making it more difficult for buyers to qualify for financing. These rules, primarily intended to cool off overheated markets in Vancouver and Toronto, have been applied to all markets in the country whether needed or not, including ours,” said Gord Archibald, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc. “The rules should be applied on a regional basis where needed, not with a broad-brush across all Canadian markets. As a result, many local buyers have been unnecessarily put on the sidelines.”

The Principles of Pricing 
Your asking price can either make or break your sale.

Pricing your home correctly is critical to a successful sale as it will help ensure that your home sells for the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time.

Determining a home's asking price involves comparing similar homes in nearby areas that have recently sold while also taking past, present and future market trends into account.

Although you may have your own personal opinion of what your home's worth, it's important to be unbiased and realistic. At the end of the day, it’s the market that determines your home's true value.

There's always a huge buzz when a new property hits the market but if the price is too high, it will quickly become stale and there won't be any incentive for buyers to make a swift, strong offer. Worse yet, if it sits on the market too long, it’ll develop a stigma. We’ve all walked past a home that’s sat on the market for ages and wondered, “what’s wrong with it?”

Having your property sit on the market is also very inconvenient as you'll constantly have to keep it in a show-ready state which can be extremely stressful, not to mention exhausting. Furthermore, carrying costs such as mortgage interest, insurance, taxes and utilities will quickly add up if you get stuck carrying two homes at once.

Overpricing your property will actually help your competition as buyers will see other homes in your area as much better deals since they're less expensive. If, on the other hand, your home is priced close to fair market value, those same buyers will consider your home much more seriously.

Pricing a home is part art and part science. Market factors such as the economy, time of the year and interest rates can all make a huge difference. Your home only gets one chance to make a great first impression so it's important to enlist the services of a highly-qualified real estate agent to help you get things done properly from start to finish. Please don’t ever hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

Things to Know when Flying with Kids in Tow 
When you take to the skies with little ones, be prepared for anything!

If you have young children, flying has likely taken on a whole new meaning, and fun probably isn't a word that springs to mind!

Flying with little ones can be somewhat bearable though if you're properly prepared. Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind:

  1. Call Ahead - Get details on seat selection and stroller storage. Reserve the bulkhead section if you're traveling with an infant and ask for a cot.

  2. Supply & Demand - Bring extra snacks, a variety of sticker books, lots of crayons and a few small toys to help hold their interest.

  3. Back-up Pack-up - Pack diapers, wipes and a few extra clothes in a separate, smaller bag so you don't have to lug your entire backpack to the bathroom.

  4. Get a Move On - Keep them on the move before the flight to tire them out so they won’t end up kicking the seat in front of you the whole time.

  5. Fasten Your Seatbelts - Have a few important items on hand in case you’re unable to access the overhead compartment and always have a drink ready to help relieve their ear pressure.

It always takes a little longer to do anything with kids so be sure to allow a bit of extra breathing room. Also, flying definitely isn’t the time to worry about your kids being on their screens so bring along a fully charged device (and a portable charger) to help distract them during the flight. Oh, and don’t forget the headphones!

Halloween in the 'Hood 
Halloween's a great way to get to know the people on your street!

It’s not often that the people on your block are out roaming around in full force so why not use Halloween as an opportunity to build some community spirit! Here are a few fun ideas to consider:

  1. Scariest House on the Block - Hold a competition for the best-decorated house, get everyone involved by voting and have a small prize for the winner.

  2. Open House - Forge new friendships by hosting an open house. Serve a few simple drinks and snacks and invite everyone on your block either before, after or during trick or treating.

  3. Grossest Grub - Have all the families on your street bring a Halloween-themed food item and then vote on the grossest, scariest food to see who wins!

It’s easy to avoid contact with those who live close by, so this Halloween, why not help build up your community with some spooktacular fun and make some new friends!

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.