The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association is pleased to announce it has added two dynamic new staff members to the team. Chris Gbekorbu, the SRA’s new Economist in Regina, and Samantha Krahn, SRA’s new Director of Government and External Relations in Saskatoon. A key goal of the amalgamation was to increase the strategic effectiveness of the SRA’s communications and to bring depth to the market reporting. Chris Gbekorbu “The SRA has lacked the ability to tell the full story when it comes to statistics and Saskatchewan’s economic picture. Chris’ education and skills, provide an important foundation and unique insight into the current and future housing market for both members and external groups.” – Jason Yochim, SRA CEO Chris joins the SRA from his previous post as an Adjunct Professor with the University of Regina, the First Nations University of Canada, and Carleton Trail Regional College, [...]
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant economic impact across all sectors of the economy. As unemployment levels continue to rise (nationally going from 5.9% in February to 13.5% in April, while provincially, going from 6.2% to 12.4%), many individuals are concerned about their financial solvency. This is particularly true in the accommodation and food services sector which saw unemployment levels rise to 35% in April. Concern Over Finances and Economy A recent MNP survey found that 49% of respondents were $200 or less from insolvency while a TransUnion survey found that “an overwhelming majority” of respondents were using money from their RRSPs, TFSAs, and various government support programs to meet their financial obligations. Combined with rising personal and business loan defaults (and a subsequent increase in credit risk which should prompt higher lending rates in the future), this could lead to a small reduction in homes sales as some people [...]
June 4, 2020 For immediate release Across the province, year-over-year sales were down nearly 14% from May of last year (nearly 13% year-to-date), new listings were down almost 20% (both year-over-year and year-to-date), and the median sale price was down 5.7% (down 2.2% year-to-date). Despite this negative performance, however, considering a pandemic that has led to a global recession, Saskatchewan’s real estate market is performing quite well and will likely get better as the province continues to re-open. New listings and sales closely tracked last year’s numbers until the province declared a state of emergency in mid-March. Based on previous epidemics and the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the outbreak, “we expected transactions to fall dramatically in April,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim. “But we also expect transactions to return to normal levels once restrictions are lifted”, and we see that happening with new listings and sales up significantly from where they were this April. And while sales prices have fallen (also consistent with evidence from [...]
Today the SRA informed its members and the public that open houses can resume, with certain restrictions in place. When COVID-19 struck the province, the association asked all members to cease hosting open houses in the interest of public health and safety for members and homeowners. Now that the government of Saskatchewan has set a date for phase three of The Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, the SRA feels confident that open houses can begin again. SRA members will take the following measures to keep buyers and sellers safe: All visitors will be required to conduct a verbal health waiver and provide their contact information to the attending REALTOR®. This will allow for contract tracing should someone who attended an open house report back after the showing that they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are ill. All homeowners will be required to sanitize their home before an open house. Incidences of [...]
COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work and how we socialize with family and friends. While it has been at times overwhelming, the association and real estate industry have really come together to show leadership, support for the community, and a major dose of optimism. In mid-March, the SRA mandated that open houses were prohibited, and the rest of the country followed that lead. Given that the province has extended the state of emergency to mid-May, the SRA board has mandated that open houses will not be permitted until further notice. We will re-evaluate this position at the end of May. The association has taken (and continues to take) steps to ensure that members have access to necessary resources to conduct essential business practices and earn a living while respecting the restrictions imposed by government and that they are able to maintain personal health and safety. Our approach [...]