September 2014 Prairie Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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#2
Saskatoon home prices more affordable in Q2





Saskatchewan's housing affordability improved in the second quarter of 2014, thanks to a rebound in the housing market following poor weather that stifled activity this past winter, according to RBC Economics Research's latest housing affordability report issued Thursday.





"Saskatchewan's housing market had a convincing snapback in the second quarter from the winter slowdown, with resales jumping to a new record high of 4,500 units for this period of the year," said Craig Wright, senior vicepresident and chief economist for RBC.





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Ally

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#3
High number of homes for sale in Saskatoon





The number of homes listed for sale in Saskatoon is more than 10 per cent higher than the five-year average.





According to the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR) at the end of August there were 1,595 properties available in the Saskatoon real estate market. That is an increase of 16 per cent from the same period in 2013 and nearly 11 per cent higher than the five-year average.





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Ally

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#4
Regina home sales and prices down, listings up in August





The real estate market remained cool in August as the number of homes sold and average selling prices in the Regina area were both down from the same period last year, but listings were at near-record highs, according to the Association of Regina Realtors' monthly sales report released Wednesday.





Last month, 348 home sales were reported in the Regina area (including bedroom communities), down eight per cent from 379 reported in 2013. This was below the five-year average of 365, but above the 10-year average of 336, the report said. However, the number of sales inside the city proper was down 14 per cent at 263, compared with 307 for the same period last year. This was the lowest number of sales in the city since 2008 when 217 homes were sold.





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Ally

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#5
Twenty straight months of lowest unemployment rate in Canada





Saskatchewan`s unemployment rate has been the lowest in Canada for 20 consecutive months. According to new labour force data released today for August 2014, the unemployment rate was 4.2 per cent (seasonally adjusted). Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.0 per cent in August.






Saskatchewan`s labour force reached 604,100; a historical high in the province. The increase in the unemployment rate can be attributed to strong labour force growth, which saw 6,100 new workers (seasonally adjusted) added to the province`s labour force in August.





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Ally

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#6
Manitoba sets new rent guideline





Manitoba's rent guideline for next year has been set at 2.4 per cent.





Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux said Friday the increase is based on the consumer price index and within the Bank of Canada's inflation-control target range. The new formula is based on regulations passed this summer.





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Ally

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#7
August 2014 Housing starts in Saskatoon





Housing starts in the Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 3,535 units in August compared to 3,090 in July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1) of total housing starts.





"The trend in total housing starts moved higher in August after local home builders increased production of both single-detached and multi-family units. A higher absorption rate at completion and declining inventory of complete and unabsorbed units have supported the rise in housing starts this year," said Goodson Mwale, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Saskatchewan.





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Ally

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#8
August 2014 Housing starts in Winnipeg





Housing starts in the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 5,222 units in August compared to 4,596 in July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1) of total housing starts.





"The trend in total housing starts continued to rise in August for the fifth consecutive month, climbing to the same pace of construction as in August 2013. The increase in total starts was supported by an elevated pace of construction for multi-family units, where builders are responding to demographic demand," said Dianne Himbeault, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Winnipeg.





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Ally

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#9
Saskatoon student housing pricey, but available





Despite ranking among the top 10 most expensive Canadian cities to live in, Saskatoon's housing market continues to accommodate the yearly influx of university and college students.






"Because our city, for many years, has been so geared towards that (student) market, it's like it's ready for it," Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors executive officer Jason Yochim said.





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Ally

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#10
Lower taxes boost income growth in Saskatchewan





REGINA ` Incomes in Saskatchewan are growing more quickly than in most other provinces, thanks largely to lower income taxes, according to the latest report from Sask Trends Monitor, a Regina-based monthly statistical newsletter.





`In 2012, gross income for the average Saskatchewan tax filer increased more quickly than inflation for the tenth year in a row,` Sask Trends Monitor said.





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Ally

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#11
Listings up, sales down in Winnipeg home real estate market





WINNIPEG ` The city`s home sales market suffered a major slow down last month.





Homes sales in the city dropped 12.1 per cent in August compared to the same month in 2013, according to figures released Monday by the Canadian Real Estate Association. There were 1136 sales in August 2014 compared to 1292 in August 2013.





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Ally

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#12
Regina hiring outlook cools in Q4





Regina-area employers anticipate a moderate hiring climate in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Manpower employment outlook survey.





"Survey data reveals that 10 per cent of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter (October to December), while none anticipate cutbacks," said Carman Gosselin of Manpower's Regina office. Another 90 per cent of employers plan to maintain their current staffing levels in the upcoming quarter.








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