Real estate market in Regina heats up after pandemic pause

Realtors, buyers and sellers are experiencing a hot market in Regina after a pause caused by the pandemic.

More than twice as many homes sold in April 2021 than in April 2020

Tyler Koda says it was easier selling his house than buying a house. (Brian Rodgers/CBC)

Realtors, buyers and sellers are experiencing a hot market in Regina after a pause caused by the pandemic.

Tyler Koda sold his house in Regina in March. He said it was on the market for 25 hours before it was sold.

"Buying a house was definitely more troublesome than selling," Koda said.

Koda said he and his wife looked at a dozen houses before purchasing the one they are currently living in.

"It was frustrating in a way that every time we would look at a place, something wasn't exactly what we needed or what we wanted. There would always sort of be a missing element," Koda said. "Beyond that, when we would go inquire about purchase or even possibly make an offer, it had already been sold."

Tim Otitoju is a Regina realtor and a former chairperson for the Saskatchewan Realtors Association. He said the housing market in Regina is hot.

Otitouju said April 2020 saw a slight pause in the market due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdown.

This year, there were 392 homes sold in April, more than double the 144 homes sold in April 2020.

"It's a sellers market, so we're seeing a lot of movement in different price ranges," he said. "Right now, supply is down because we're seeing an increase in sales [and] as new listings are coming on the market, they're not staying on the market."

Koda said his current house went on the market at 1 p.m., he viewed the house at 3:30 p.m. and they had closed the deal by 10 p.m the same day.

He said he accepted an offer for his former home that was one per cent less than asking price, but when it came to buying a house, he knew he had to offer more than the asking price.

Otitoju said realtors are seeing bidding wars and some situations where there are 20 showings of a house within the first 24 to 48 hours of it going on the market.

"Sometimes they're getting five offers, 11 offers, we've seen multiple offers and homes selling above asking price," Otitoju said.

He said last year the average price for a home was $305,000 and this year the average price is $344,000.

"One thing to keep in mind is that the Regina market weaves. Over the last five, six years, we've been seeing a slight decline year over year in prices," he said. "It's been about [a] two to three per cent decline year over year in prices, so it's just bringing things back up to where it was maybe a few years ago."

He said some buyers will write letters with pictures of their families along with their offers to persuade the seller's agent into accepting.

"I had a property that had multiple offers a few days ago here and I got letters from the buyers," he said.

"For some sellers, they want the home to go to a good family or a good person, and sometimes they make those decisions based on that, but not all the time. Because at the end of the day, people say 'money talks.'"