Wednesday, 07 December 2011 15:53

Latest stats show Swift Current has healthy real estate market

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By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Swift Current’s real estate market has the community in a great position to attract young people looking for affordable housing.

While there has been a 44 per cent increase in single-family construction projects starting up this year, it’s the multi-family units that have taken off this year and shown a 100 per cent increase above the 2010 activity.

“It’s the multi-family units where you find a lot of affordable rental properties, and that’s what is making the Swift Current market most attractive,” explained Alan Thomarat, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders Association of Saskatchewan. “When we look at the rest of the rental market in the province, and with the housing starts increases in Swift Current, that’s very significant.”

Swift Current is home to approximately 6,600 housing units overall, with only about 4,400 of those that are home ownership. The remaining units are all rentals, offering a multitude of options for people looking to relocate.

“The vacancy rate in Swift Current is also quite high, at 9.6 per cent when the provincial average is only 2.4 per cent,” Thomarat added. “In larger communities, like Regina or Moose Jaw, that rate is less than one per cent. That puts a lot of pressure on price, but in Swift Current, the average monthly rent has actually dropped.”

Thomarat attributes this to the low interest rates many renters have taken advantage of, allowing them to move out of multi-family units and into home ownership. He is expecting vacancy rates in Swift Current to decline in the near future, however.

“With 45 per cent of the population in Swift Current over the age of 45, there will be a significant number of retirements coming up,” he explained. “In the current marketplace, people are retiring in Swift Current and not leaving their homes due to better health. This leaves vacant jobs, but no available housing.”

Many of the jobs available in the community, however, are not as high-paying as many of the positions available in cities such as Moose Jaw or Saskatoon. While other communities may be attracting more out-of-province buyers and renters, real estate in Swift Current is still faring well.

“We are up about nine per cent in sales compared to this time last year, and our listings are down about seven per cent,” explained Kelsey Adam with Century 21 in Swift Current. “We have less inventory and a healthy number of buyers, which leaves us with a nice, balanced market.”

While the median sale price for a house in Swift Current has gone up by about $1,000, the market remains even and level, which Adams noted is typical for the community.

“It is really a great time to be buying or selling a house right now,” Adam explained. “You can find what you are looking for at a reasonable price, and if you are selling, you will find a buyer. We are definitely alive and well here in Swift Current.”

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