We did it again

Regina selected by MoneySense as one of best places to live in Canada
MoneySense ranks Regina as one of the “Top 25 Best Places to Live” in Canada in 2014.

MoneySense measures the quality of life in 201 cities across the country. Regina climbed eight spots from last year’s ranking to ninth. Saskatchewan faired well overall with nine cities making the list:

Regina – #9
Saskatoon – #13
Moose Jaw – #66
Lloydminster – #71
North Battleford – #88
Yorkton – #93
Estevan – #96
Swift Current – #114
Prince Albert – #184
Various categories are rated to determine which urban area offer the best places to live, work and play. Categories include: weather, affordable housing, household income, discretionary income, new cars on the road, job prospects, population growth, health care access, low crime and ability to walk or bike to work.

Here are some of the reasons why Regina is high on the list:

Average household income – $91,328.02
Average amount of discretionary income in residents’ pockets yearly – $43,014.39
Average house price – $372,355.00
Number of days annually above 20 degrees Celsius – 107.46
Number of days yearly below -20 Celsius – 45.04
Percentage drop in crime rate over five years – 24.28
Percent unemployment rate – 4.8
Percent of new cars, 2011 model year and up, on the road as of July 2013 – 15.36
Percentage of people that walk to work – 5.38
If you’re planning to move to Regina, one of the best places to live in Canada or currently live in this great city and are considering buying or selling, give me a call 306-535-3455.


Saskatchewan land sales for 2014

Five key agricultural issues in 2014
Posted by prosperitysaskatchewan
2 Jan 2014
BRUCE JOHNSTONE bjohnstone@leaderpost.com

Land values could flatten

Five key agricultural issues in 2014

Flattening land values, trade deals and disputes, U.S. politics and economy, sagging equipment sales, and the bounce-back in beef are the five key agricultural issues to watch in 2014, says Farm Credit Canada chief agricultural economist J. P. Gervais.

Leader-Post U.S. beef herds have been reduced over the past five year, but the Canadian herd is stable and appears ready to rebound.

Land values

North American farmland values have increased rapidly over the past several years, but they could soon plateau, Gervais said in his annual look-ahead. A record-setting harvest in 2013 means increased world supplies and prices retreating closer to their average. Reduced commodity prices could mean many producers will be less aggressive in expanding their operations, resulting in lower appreciation of land values.

“Many producers will be surveying the landscape to determine if they should buy more land or pay off some debt,” Gervais said.

Trade deals

The tentative agreement between the European Union and Canada on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) may be generating the headlines, but Canada is also negotiating other major trade deals, including the TransPacific Partnership (TPP).

Both trade deals represent a concerted effort to lessen our dependence on the United States, which accounts for 30 per cent of Canada’s agriculture exports and two-thirds of agri-food exports. CETA, once ratified, will open up a market of 500 million consumers for Canadian agriculture products, while TPP negotiations involve 12 countries, including New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan and the United States.

U.S. politics and economy

The ongoing “fiscal cliff-debt ceiling” dispute between Democrats and Republicans resulted in a partial government shutdown this year and continues to pose a risk that the U.S. will default on its debt. However, Gervais predicts the U.S. economy will continue to improve, citing the U.S. Federal Reserve’s recent decision to start scaling back its aggressive monetary policy due to strength in the labour market and household finances.

“This change in the U.S. monetary direction can have wide impacts in the financial markets — mostly on the value of the emerging markets’ currencies — impacting the competitiveness of Canadian agricultural commodities.”

Disputes also distract U.S. legislators from coming up with a long-term plan for the U.S. Farm Bill, which indirectly impacts Canadian producers by influencing the crops planted in the U.S. and therefore world prices. Legislators recently passed a short-term extension of the 2008 Farm Bill and are confident a new farm bill will be enacted in early 2014.

Bullish on beef

Canadian beef producers should expect healthy returns over the next couple of years, according to Gervais.

Stronger beef prices are the result of supply and demand. Cattle numbers have been declining as a result of drought in the U.S. and financial conditions that forced many producers to reduce their herds or leave the sector. The U.S. herd was reduced by five per cent over the past two years and will take several years to recover, while the Canadian herd is stable and appears ready to rebound.

“In the short-term, Canadian producers are in a much better position to serve the North American market, which has seen an end to the decline in per capita red meat consumption. The demand for animal proteins is also growing in emerging markets, such as China,” Gervais said. “The European Union trade deal has the potential to give Canadian beef the advantage in other global markets, including Europe.”

However, U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation has hurt Canadian cattle producers, especially the new rules recently issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The coming year will determine if the U.S. government backpedals on this legislation, either voluntarily or through pressure from its trading partners.

Equipment sales gearing down

Farm equipment sales have been on fire for the past five years. From 2006 to 2012, an average of 2,100 tractors were sold every month in Canada, according the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, while sales are expected to be equally as strong for 2013.

With slightly lower crop prices, 2014 could see a retreat in equipment sales closer to the 2001-2005 average, when 1,540 tractors were sold monthly. A weaker Canadian dollar will also make buying imported equipment more expensive.

“In the short-term, we will likely see equipment prices staying steady, but they could soften somewhat if supplies remain high and producers decide to retain their old equipment or buy used equipment,” Gervais said.

I’ve posted a new listing!

I’ve posted a new listing!.

Regina’s population cracks 230,000

REGINA — Spartak Latska moved to Regina in June of 2013 from Albania for job opportunities and with the help of friends from home, he easily found a job in construction — and his story isn’t all that unique.

Regina is now the fourth fastest growing census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. Immigration is the largest factor to the population growth, which is higher than the national average.

The CMA of Regina grew to 232,090, a population growth rate of 3.085 per cent, between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013. The average rate of growth nationally for all CMAs was 1.5 per cent.

The Regina CMA is made of 17 census subdivisions, including Regina Beach, Lumsden, Balgonie, Pilot Butte and White City.

Immigration makes up 65 per cent of the increase or more than 4,500 people. Other reasons include a natural increase of 18 per cent, intraprovincial migration of 11 per cent and interprovincial migration of 6 per cent.

Neelu Sachdev, executive director of Regina Immigrant Women Centre, said people are immigrating to the Regina region for economic opportunities. She said many immigrants are coming to Regina through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which allows employers to hire foreign workers to fill positions that Canadian residents can’t fill. If requirements are met, temporary workers are later able to apply for permanent residence.

Sachdev noted other reasons for international migration to the area includes newcomers seeing opportunity to buy into businesses in the area and families moving to reunite with family members who have already came to the region.

Sooyoung Park came to Regina in July of 2013 from South Korea. Her decision to move was motivated by her three children. By moving to Regina, she hoped to provide her children with more opportunities for education.

Moving to the Regina area isn’t without its challenges, though.

Cold weather combined with a language barrier can cause isolation for many immigrants, Sachdev said.

“Integration is on all of these levels a challenge,” she said.

Park and Latska both find Regina weather and language their biggest challenges. Currently, both are taking English classes.

“If you don’t speak English very well, it’s hard. But, now we are learning,” Latska said.

For those residents who didn’t move to the area through the TFWP, finding a job can be difficult too.

Due to the language barrier, Park and her husband have had difficulties getting and maintaining a job in their fields of accounting and architecture, respectively.

For the second year, the top four fastest growing CMAs were on the Prairies. Calgary saw an increase of 4.263 per cent, Saskatoon saw 3.868 per cent and Edmonton saw 3.78 per cent.

Unlike all other CMAs, Regina and Saskatoon are not seeing the 65 and older population growing.

More than two-thirds of Canadians live in a CMA.


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Very cold January temperatures were consistent with a cool start to the residential real estate market with 168 homes sold which is down 7% from January 2013 when 181 sales were reported by the Association of Regina REALTORS®. The number of homes sold was also below the five-year average of 199 and the 10-year average of 184 for the month. There were 143 sales in the city, a decrease of 8% from 2013 when 155 residential properties sold.

The average sales price in the Regina area, including bedroom communities, was $309,656, a new high for January and an increase of 3% from $299,852 recorded in January 2013. The average price in the city was $323,203, also a new high and up 8% from $300,372 posted last year. This increase is entirely attributable to a larger proportion of higher valued homes selling in 2014 compared to 2013, rather than an increase in home prices.

During the month homes which sold were on the market for an average of 52 days before selling at an average of 96.6% of asking price. This compares to 40 days and 97.3% in 2013.

At the end of January there were 1,379 active listings on the market, an increase of 36% over 2013’s 1,017. In the city there were 833 homes for sale, an increase of 54% from last year’s 558. There were 542 new listings placed on the multiple listing service (MLS) system during the month, compared to 441 a year ago.

The level of activity during the month was a continuation of a slower market which began in the second half of 2013. Increasing supply levels are providing more choice and selection to buyers in most price ranges and locations.

Despite the slow start in January, all economic indicators such as economic and job growth support continued steady demand for housing during the year. It is expected that market activity will pick up as we move into the late winter and early spring months.

As local market expert with CENTURY 21 Dome Realty I am uniquely trained and qualified to help home buyers navigate the opportunities that exist in the local real estate market and provide sellers with excellent marketing and exposure for their properties. To view property listings, please visit our website at http://www.century21dome.ca/kevin.peter.


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