Regina Homes & Condos For Sale|Regina Real Estate 

Red Flags about the economy

Still, there are already red flags for the economy. Here are five signs of trouble:


1. Housing sales

The honeymoon is over for Saskatchewan's housing boom.

The Canadian Real Estate Association predicts house sales in Saskatchewan will decline by nearly 13 per cent this year.

That's both an indicator of low consumer confidence and an ominous sign for the construction industry.

Housing starts in the first quarter of 2015 are half what they were three years ago.

There's already a glut of houses for sale in Regina and they're overvalued, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.


2. Retail sales

Saskatchewan was the worst performer in the country for retail sales, declining by 2.6 per cent in the past year, according to the National Bank of Canada.

In May 2015, when every other province saw their retail sales rebound slightly, only Saskatchewan experienced another drop.


3. Manufacturing 

Thirty-five hundred people have lost manufacturing jobs in Saskatchewan over the past year.

In a relatively small sector, that's a significant job loss — more than 10 per cent. 

A welder in Estevan still had his job in March 2015, although jobs related to the oil patch were already drying up. Saskatchewan manufacturers cater mostly to domestic customers in the oil, agriculture and potash industries. However, economists had hoped that the weak Canadian dollar and strong U.S. economy would boost export demand.

"We've generally been disappointed in terms of the numbers through the first half of the year," Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada, said.


4. Unemployment rate

The provincial government continues to boast that Saskatchewan has the lowest unemployment rate of any province in Canada.

Yet, Saskatchewan's unemployment rate was 4.7 per cent in June 2015, up from 3.7 per cent a year ago.

The chief economist for Bank of Montreal points out that's not good.

"The unemployment rate is up about a percentage point since the end of 2014 and that's a relatively steep climb for the province, given that nationally we've only seen unemployment go up a few tenths of a percent," Porter said.


5. Vacancy rate

Cities that cater to the oil patch have "Apartment For Rent" signs everywhere.  

The apartment vacancy rate in Estevan, Sask., has spiked to 20 per cent. (CBC)

The apartment vacancy rate in Estevan has spiked to 20 per cent, and vacancies in Lloydminster and Weyburn have increased fourfold to 11.6 and 8 per cent, respectively.

While a glut of new condos has contributed to this, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation also attribute the changing rental market to fewer migrants.

"The rapidly growing economy was pulling in more and more people. The reversal of that will be an indication that the economy is slowing down and people leaving the province."

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Aaron Habicht
Cell:1-306-536-2454
Sutton Group - Results Realty
3904 B Gordon Road
Regina, SK
S4S 6Y3 CA
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