Saskatchewan slated for largest growth in home prices, population

New reports this week by Re/Max and two Saskatchewan real estate boards both show significant home price gains.

According to Re/Max, average residential price in Regina rose the highest of any major market in Canada, by 9.56% annually in the past 10 years. Saskatoon was not far behind, ranking third at 9.25%. The national average was 6.82%.

Regina’s average residential prices set a new high for January, rising up to $260,000, according to the Association of Regina Realtors. That’s up 10% from the previous high set the month before.

The average selling price in Saskatoon rose 11% in January from a year earlier, going from $270,265 to $300,353. The city is home to the youngest and fastest growing population in Canada, according to a report last week by Statistics Canada.

Saskatoon surpassed Alberta’s major cities in growth for the first time in decades. Regina ranked third in population growth, behind Vancouver.

Statistics Canada said international immigration had a lot to do with the growing numbers of Saskatchewan residents.

That coincides with a drop in housing starts in Saskatoon, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

In January, construction began on 140 houses in Saskatoon, dropping 26% from the 161 starts in the same period in 2010, according to CMHC. In Regina, construction resulted in 127 housing starts last month, compared to 94 a year earlier.

But both cities will see home construction proceed at a slower pace this year, according to Michael Fabiyi, a market analyst with CMHC in Saskatchewan.

“Last year’s heightened pace of production fuelled an increase in supply, particularly units under construction in both Regina and Saskatoon,” Fabiyi said in a news release. “As a result, some moderation from last year’s elevated pace of activity can be expected in the early months of 2011.”

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