Best Deals in Real Estate: Regina

Regina is a great place to buy a home for one good reason: the city has plenty of jobs to go around.

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This city ranked No. 2 on our list for three good reasons: jobs, jobs, and jobs. As a result of the city’s booming employment market, its population has grown a healthy 4.6% over the last four years and people from across Canada are flocking here. Oil, potash, uranium, diamonds and farming are all booming sectors, giving Regina one of the lowest unemployment rates of cities we ranked—only 4.4%. And even though house prices have almost doubled over the last four years (up 93.4%), homes still remain affordable with an average price of about $255,000. Couple this with a surprisingly high average household income of $86,485 and you can see why times are good for Regina.

Our research shows that Regina’s economy has momentum and should keep on bustling right through 2010. There’s a university (The University of Regina), talk of a new covered Dome in the works for the city’s beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders and a new intra-module facility being built by Canadian Pacific that will make the city a major rail cargo hub, linking to Chicago and the West Coast. The city’s steady economic growth over the years is one of the reasons that Lee Parent, a freelance writer, has lived in Regina for the past 18 years. When she bought her family home in the Hillsdale neighbourhood of Regina in 1991, she was looking for a leafy street with good schools for her young daughter. “I loved Hillsdale right away,” says Parent, 60. “Of course, the public school system is good but what I really love about the area is that I can walk to almost anywhere in the city in less than half an hour.”

Whitmore Park is another convenient neighbourhood. It’s close to the university and homes cost about $250,000. Newer suburban areas include Harbour Landing where lots measuring 50 x 100 ft go for $150,000, and newly built four-bedroom homes with a garage go for $350,000 and up. “People are prospering here,” says Jeremy Cossette, a real estate agent with ReMax/Crown Real Estate in Regina. “We’re getting a one-million-sq-ft Wal-Mart store and a one-million-sq-ft Lowes. Incomes are going up all around and people want to live in nice houses. They know they can have a very comfortable lifestyle here in our city and their families can prosper. What more can you want from a city?”

63 comments on “Best Deals in Real Estate: Regina

  1. Regina can be a nice city and I encourage everyone to come check it out and see if it is the place for you. That said, be aware the information in this article is spun towards the positive. There certainly are houses available for $250,000 but do not expect these places to be nicely rennovated or in a good neighbourhood. Four years ago a lot of the houses listed at 250K were going for 140K or less and that should alarm any buyer. Also beware of upkeep and reno costs as a lot of older houses need basements braced, have no basement or in some areas you will see a gastly strip from the street into the house where a watermain burst and caused quite a headache. Also ask lots of questions about new homes' drainage and foundation, some are being built extremely close to water and creek drainage.____The local economy and employment rates may be good but nothing is certain. A dome stadium is actually not the best use of tax dollars and the only reason it should go through is if it is subsidized to stimulate the economy. The team needs to contribute more and any profit the stadium ever realizes should be divided among those who funded the project. It will need to be extremely well managed.

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  2. Supply in Regina seems steady to up. Demand is steady to down. That makes for a dangerous combo so if you are going to buy something be sure you can afford it(Debt servicing) and that you will survive is prices drop. What is your plan if prices drop or you lose your job? Be prepared to respond. Hopefully all the worry is for not and prices will remain the same or increase slighlty with inflation.

    What would I do if I was in line to beneft from high house prices and the market conditions were starting to turn against me? I`d squeeze as much as I could out of the market before it gets ugly, including encouraging or funding feel-good reports on the market in my area. Paranoia perhaps…time will tell.

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  3. I think the provincial government has done a fabulous job of selling Regina to the world. The trouble is, it's pretty much a lie. The cost of living in Regina is skyrocketing and everyone here feels it. The reason the median income stated in the article is high is because a vast percentage of the population work for the government. The Sask government instituted a hiring freeze after the spring budget. Don't come here thinking that you'll get a job readily unless you want to work at the 1 million sq foot Walmart. As for Real Estate, a new, average sized house (1200-1400 sq foot) will run you over $450, 000. If you want to live in a 40 year old house and pay the upkeep, you might get a nice one in the 300's. Go lower than that and you're in a sketchy neighbourhood. I love Regina. I have no desire to move, but frankly, these are not the rosiest of times here and the people are feeling it.

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    • I also think "boom" is an oft-silly expression, and must be used carefully. When Calgary had 300 people per DAY moving there – THAT was a "boom."

      However, things are definitely above-average in Regina right now. Like any government seat, yes there's many public servants – but if that is such a huge factor in the high family income, then why aren’t all the provincial capitals doing as well? Public sector wages here a no higher than in most places. And why would Saskatoon, Regina’s sister city and a non-government town, have nearly the same level of family income?

      The truth is that there LOTS of other jobs here besides Wal-Mart and the Government. Refineries, engineering firms, manufacturers are all hiring, and can’t find enough people.

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