New technology changes the face of Saskatoon real estate

Global News,  April 29, 2015- A new piece of camera equipment is changing the dynamic of looking for property, allowing shoppers to experience the space before setting foot inside.

“Basically what it does is takes a three-dimensional scan of the interior space of a house over layers 2D images to create this 3D model that people can virtually walk through online,” said Royal LePage Vidorra’s Norm Fisher.

Listings have come a long way since the late ’90s when pictures were introduced; now with this technology, viewing a home is as simple as using Google Maps.

“I have no doubt that people are always going to want to get into a property before they make a buying decision but wouldn’t that be beautiful to do all of your pre-screening online and just go out to the one you like the best,” said Fisher.

Capturing 3D footage of a property takes an average of two hours. It allows a potential buyer to see an overhead view, doll house version and pop right into the home.

“I think a device like this gives a seller the opportunity to stand out in a market that does have a lot of inventory. Today we’re sitting at about 1,890 active residential listings in Saskatoon which is up about 35 per cent from this time last year. It’s at a historical high,” said Fisher.

One reason is that market demand has softened; it’s down about 15 per cent from last year but Fisher says it moves in cycles, house prices have grown at about three-and-a-half per cent a year on average over the past five years.

“If the sellers had the upper hand all the time houses would reach a point where they’re truly unaffordable, I know a lot of people feel that way already,” said Fisher.

“You need to have cycles of balancing so things don’t get entirely out of whack and that’s what we’re in right now, I think.”

About 1,100 homes have traded hands so far this year, that’s down from around 1,350 at this same time last year.

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