Jordan Boyes, president/broker of Boyes Group Realty in Saskatoon, recently made a record-breaking sale. A 2,444-square-foot condo suite sold for full price – a whopping $2.085 million – beating the previously highest condo sale on the province’s MLS by $810,000. And the buyers put in an offer before they saw the property in person.
The offer was written and signed after a Zoom call with their agent. The only condition was that they had 30 days to view it, Boyes says.
“It’s common in other cities. In New York, Toronto and Vancouver it’s a day in life, but here, when the average condo price in Saskatoon is $248,231 it’s a big sale (especially) without being in the unit first.”
The unit was in drywall stage when the buyers’ agent did the Zoom call, with Boyes in the background to answer questions. He says it was a challenge to help the potential buyers envision the suite’s features. “In a condo of this magnitude and size, the main challenge is to tell about the finishes.” Seeing 10-foot ceilings and a glass-wrapped space on the phone versus in person obviously isn’t the same.
The suite has a long list of features, including eight-foot solid core doors, a Miele appliance package with a gas range, a butler’s pantry, free-standing soaker tubs and tiled showers, custom-built closets, floor-to-ceiling glass, two gas fireplaces and two balconies with gas hook ups.
Potential buyers were mostly middle-aged local buyers downsizing from larger homes, although the suite sold to buyers from Calgary.
The building, the Escala, has two and three-bedroom units with 1,000 to 2,700-plus square feet of indoor living space, 163 to 1,088 square feet of patio and a hotel-inspired lobby.
Some suites in the building are more expensive than the MLS-record-breaking suite, but they were sold by the developer two years ago at presale launch, says Boyes. He and partner Ashley Craik took over sales about eight months ago when it was built.
They are adding videos and 3D tours to social media promotions and renderings for the nine out of 48 suites still for sale.
Nothing compares to the look and location of the Escala, which is on University Drive and has river views. Boyes says there’s currently nothing like it under construction either.
Luxury residences are being purchased by local business owners and tech people. There’s a lot of tech in Saskatoon, he says.
For the first time in years, house prices are finally starting to see an up tick. “The market in the city is on fire,” he says, adding that homes priced from “$300,000 to $400,000 are getting 20 to 30 showings and 10 offers because inventory is low.”
The condo market is still generally slower, unless it’s something like the Escala, which will attract individuals looking for something special.
Boyes has been in the real estate business for 11 years and opened his own brokerage in 2015. It has 70 agents and deals with commercial and farm, but mostly residential properties, including many new developments. He says they are involved from the ground up, helping with floor plans, finishes and pricing.
Connie Adair is a contributing writer for REM.