Hello everyone. I thought it would be best to start a separate thread for the economic fundamentals of each province. I will post all the news articles I come across in this thread and welcome everyone else to also participate.
The 2008 housing market in Saskatoon is starting to resemble the one that took off like a rocket a year ago in March, according to Harry Janzen, executive officer with the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors.
February brought more listings onto the market, but it also brought with it more multiple offers on houses being presented to a deadline set by the vendors. The result in many cases is the final selling price has been bid up over the asking price, Janzen said.
The Regina real estate market continues to fire on all cylinders, according to a report released by the Association of Regina Realtors on Tuesday.
And the market doesn`t look like it will be cooling off anytime soon, said Gord Archibald, the association`s executive officer.
"Assuming the economy continues to do well (and) generates jobs (and) attracts newcomers and expatriates back to the city, we`re going to continue seeing high levels of demand," he said. "It`ll take some time for the supply side to catch up to that," he said.
Saskatchewan was the weak sister of provinces in employment creation during the first part of this decade, but business observers and the minister in charge of economic development say momentum has picked up considerably since the last census was completed in June 2006.
Employment growth is following the migration of people and investment to Saskatchewan as a result of the commodities boom, says Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart.
As the grand rulers of the planet make their mighty predictions, they sway their wands and it is as good as gold! The Royal Bank predicts Regina housing is to jump 26 per cent. Tadaaa! All the MLS listings jump by between $20,000 and $50,000 in a matter of seconds -- even houses that haven`t sold in a "red hot " market in over six months.
The Saskatchewan Party has plenty of cash on hand as it prepares to deliver its first budget March 19, with the province raking in $1.5 billion more in revenue this current budget year than originally forecast. But just months after the new government warned of "stark" financial times ahead, Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer said there won`t be a spending spree when the new budget is unveiled in two weeks.
Inflation that has pushed food prices to record highs is likely to continue until at least 2010, Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations` World Food Program, said on Thursday. "Our assessment is that the current level will continue for the next few years ... in fact rise in 2008, 2009 and probably at least until 2010," she said.
REGINA -- The lull in condominium conversions in the Queen City may be about to end.
The first conversion application in roughly a year is expected to come forward to the Regina Planning Commission later this month.
"Regina and (its) city planning (department) has done a wonderful job of having a very good process in place, unlike our partners to the north, Saskatoon," said realtor Brooks Findlay, whose company Rock Bridge Realty is handling the sales and marketing for five properties that are currently the subject of conversion applications.
There were 499,800 people working in Saskatchewan in February, an increase of 7,300 from February 2007, and a significant jump from the 2,600 jobs added in January, according to Statistics Canada.
The Saskatchewan Party government touted the job numbers as proof of the province`s economic strength, but a recent report suggests Saskatchewan`s labourforce is failing to keep pace with economic growth, leaving thousands of jobs unfilled.
Polygeneration project will light up about 300,000 Sask. homes
A $6 billion polygeneration plant near Belle Plaine will increase Saskatchewan electric power production by about five per cent when it comes on stream in 2013.
"That`s enough to provide electricity to about 300,000 Saskatchewan homes," said John Jenkins, project manager for the owner Trans-Canada Energy of Calgary. He spoke at an open house in Belle Plaine Tuesday.
REGINA -- In the city`s tight rental market, it was challenging to find accommodations for a dozen Filipino nurses who recently arrived in the Queen City. And now more are on the way.
"What helped us is that all the nurses who came are single women and most of them wanted to live together so as a result they rented a three-bedroom townhouse for five of them -- that really made a huge difference," said Getachew Woldeyesus of the Regina Open Door Society, an agency that offers support and settlement services for newcomers. "If they had come with family, it would have been a different story."
Housing starts in Saskatoon hit a 30-year high in February as builders in the city and area began work on 175 new housing units -- almost evenly split between single-family homes and condo-style dwellings.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said the 89 single-detached housing starts were the best February numbers since 1978. There were also 86 starts for townhouse or apartment-style condos in CMHC`s multi-family category. The 175 total starts was 94 per cent higher than the 90 recorded in February 2007.
Saskatoon continues its distinction of being the new home inflation capital of Canada.
Statistics Canada`s new housing price index, released Tuesday, showed Saskatoon continues to lead the country in both year over year price increases - 51.7 per cent - and the highest increase between December and January at 4.5 per cent rise.
REGINA -- Saskatchewan`s economy will grow by 3.6 per cent in 2008 -- just behind Manitoba`s nation-leading 3.7 per cent growth -- thanks to high commodity prices, large capital projects and strong consumer spending, the Conference Board of Canada said Tuesday.
Saskatchewan will continue to lure people back from neighbouring provinces, bolstering the domestic side of the economy, the Ottawa-based economics forecasting agency said.
Premier Brad Wall told rural leaders the government will deliver in next week`s provincial budget on increased property tax rebates and funding for infrastructure.
In an address to the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities annual convention, Wall said the government will outline changes in the March 19 budget to education property tax rebates just as was promised in the election.
In the leather-appointed atmosphere of the Chambers room at Saskatoon Court of Queen`s Bench, it`s rare for a judge to warn spectators in the public gallery against making emotional outbursts.
But the matter placed before Justice Mona Dovell Tuesday afternoon was a dispute over the recent city council approval of a proposed condo conversion of the downtown Milroy Apartments. It cuts so close to home for some of the elderly renters who attended the hearing, she felt compelled to stress the need for decorum, even though they hadn`t made a sound.
Gov`t set to unveil five-year road projects plan: Elhard
REGINA -- Saskatchewan residents will soon see the provincial government`s five-year plan of attack for fixing crumbling highway infrastructure.
Highways and Infrastructure Minister Wayne Elhard made the commitment Wednesday as delegates at the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities convention spent two hours questioning members of the Sask. Party cabinet in a bear pit session.