Home ownership dream alive and well in Saskatchewan
Call it the Great Saskatchewan Dream — work hard, save your money, spend wisely, and someday you'll own your own home.
And it's a dream that's alive and well in this province, according to a new poll.
Two-thirds of the people surveyed by the University of Saskatchewan in March said they agreed or strongly agreed with the idea that home ownership is available to everybody, provided they're sufficiently frugal, thrifty and hard-working.
But does the dream match the reality?
Housing prices have been growing faster in Saskatchewan than in other provinces in recent years.
Saskatoon real estate agent Mike Boychuk says whether it's a new development or an old character house, everything costs more.
Home ownership is attainable for everyone in Saskatchewan, as long as they work hard, save money and spend wisely. Do you agree or disagree?
That means he has to get creative to help people's home-ownership dreams come true.
"Prices have increased. A lot of the buyers have responded by looking for different opportunities to make home ownership more affordable," he said.
Among those trying different approaches is Fawad Ali Muzzafar, a home builder who moved to Saskatoon from Vancouver six years ago.
In that city, the high cost of housing means many people build rental suites in their homes.
"This was going to be a potentially very good opportunity for the home buyers to own a house that they want and later on down the road or right from the get-go have a rental income, depending on the size of their family," he said.
Taking The Pulse reflects the views and opinions of 1,750 people in Saskatchewan. The University of Saskatchewan's Social Sciences Research Lab conducted the telephone interviews of randomly selected adults March 5-19. With a sample size of 1,750, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.34 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
So when Muzzafar moved here, he brought that concept with him.
"In Saskatoon, initially, up till about a year ago there wasn't much demand for it," he said.
But that's changed. Muzzafar says he gets weekly calls about the suites.
The bottom line: getting the home you want in Saskatchewan is possible, but it may mean sacrificing something — like a little of your privacy.