Coronavirus and Real Estate in Kitchener Waterloo


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

The spread of the Coronavirus is now a pandemic, according to officials at the World Health Organization on Wednesday March 11. And it has caused mounting panic for toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

For others, they’ve seen it affect the stock market. So what about the effect on real estate in Waterloo Region?

In this video I go over the every day impact of the COVID-19 on myself as a REALTOR® and on buyers, sellers and homeowners, including what you can and should do health and wealth wise.

A transcription of CORONAVIRUS AND REAL ESTATE IN KITCHENER WATERLOO is available below:

Hey there real estate Champions and welcome back to our channel, the number one place for people who love making smart real estate decisions.

So this week, we had a lot of interesting things on the world news front probably most notably the announcement of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus as a worldwide pandemic according to the World Health Organization, I think that was Wednesday, and since then there have been a lot of interesting things happening — at the grocery stores most notably, probably making the news — but also in terms of real estate.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if they should still buy, or what they should do with the real estate market, and I’m going to answer those questions today.

Are you ready to get started? Let’s do it!

[ Intro Montage ]

Hi there, and welcome back. I’m Cindy-lou Schmidt, Broker of Record at Schmidt & Company Inc., Real Estate Brokerage here in Waterloo, and we serve Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and surrounding area.

So, let’s get into this and talk about a few things. We’re going to talk about how the coronavirus or COVID-19, let’s just call that because it’s easier, can affect buyers, sellers and home owners. And some precautions you can take to be precautionary, protect yourself, just in case.

Now, I think that it is important to wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face. All of these basic things which we should be doing anyways, every year, because of the flu for example. But also, you know, we don’t know too much about this pandemic. So, let’s follow the guidelines that people are talking about, so hand sanitizer and things like that.

The interesting thing is that all of this stuff is stuff that I do already because I work all the time with people. I’m touching doorknobs that 30 or 40 people touch in a day, because some of the listings here in town are that busy. So, all the time I’m getting into my car, I’m immediately using hand sanitizer, I’m using wipes.

I don’t generally shake hands when I go to show homes for example. I will at the office because that’s easier to just wash your hands. And you’re really just meeting two people or one person at a time. And you can wash your hands in between appointments.

As far as sellers, some people are pretty concerned about opening their home to the public. Opening their home to many groups of people, especially depending on what price point you’re at. Under the $500k range, there’s going to be a lot of people through your home.

So, what can you do? Well, there’s some things I would consider personally if I had very, very young children. I might be a little bit more timely about listing my house. I might wait a little bit. Or, I would probably just make sure that they maybe would stay with the grandparents for a bit.

Now, that sounds a little bit wild. But realistically, when we list homes here at Schmidt and Company, the home will be listed and sold within a week. And so it’s not too long. And it’s a great way to just kind of make sure that everything is put away.

So generally we say, “Hey, put away your iPhones,put away your jewelry,” all of this kind of stuff, iPads. Also, I would recommend, just keeping things sanitized, right? So every day, wipe down your doorknobs. Make sure all that stuff is taken care of.

Now, that’s all the kind of sanitary stuff, precautionary stuff. But a lot of you are asking, you know, should I still buy real estate?

Um, yeah, you should still buy real estate.

Because here in Waterloo Region, if you don’t buy it, someone else will. Someone probably from the GTA area is going to come in and buy that real estate. And if it’s not them, it’s going to be an investor.

We all are going to need places to live. You will always need a place to live. And it is more advantageous, both for your present time and for your wealth building and other opportunities in the future for you to own because that’s an asset that continues to give.

Now, for sellers, you might be thinking, “Maybe this is a bad time to sell.” Well, the interest rates just dropped a great deal. And also for sellers and home owners, I do recommend that, one, you go and get a competitive rate. I have seen some amazing rates 2.39% at five year, 2.29% for a five year.

Also a really great time if you did not consolidate your debt from over the holidays. That’s Christmas, if you still have debt from Christmas. A really good time to consolidate debt as well. So, as buyers, you could take advantage of that to help you set the framework for you to go ahead and buy by this year.

So, yeah, I mean it’s a bit wild. I can be a little bit overwhelming, I think that, it isn’t so much the actual virus and all of that that’s stressful, it’s the air of stress. It’s people panicking. And, you know, not beable to get toilet paper. Not being able to refill my hand sanitizer that I’ve always had in my car for my appointments.

It’s a little frustrating because I just want to live my regular life, serving my clients, taking care of my clients, taking my buyers out. And, so yeah, am I feeling a little bit stressed, of the stress, of the climate of what’s going on right now? Yeah.

But I think for you guys as buyers, sellers and home owners, real estate wise, just continue doing what you’re doing.

Now I know some of you have probably read some of the stats about the stock market and how that is plummeting for people and they’re losing a lot, a lot of money. Well, what do I have to say about that?

Stocks are great. I think they are a great opportunity to get into but that’s also why they call it, and my dad calls it, real estate because it’s a real thing. You can go, touch it, live in it, make use of it, it’s practical. And we all need places to live. So, that’s why investing in real estate is a great thing to do.

I hope you continue to actively look for your home, sell your home and live in your home here in Waterloo Region. Because, it’s a great place to be and there’s always going to be things happening around the world, I would recommend that you be mindful, stay calm and just live your life, the way we should always be doing it, washing our hands all the time before eating, after shaking peoples hands,after touching doorknobs. All the normal stuff, right? We just want to be a little bit more mindful about it.

All right you guys, I hope that answered some of your questions. Yeah,
(laughs)
I will see you next week hopefully.

Well, next week I’m not going to talk about the virus because, I’m only addressing this because I had so many inquiries about it this week, that’s why.

So next week, another real estate-related topic.

So I will see you next week, and if you liked this go ahead and give me a thumbs-up and subscribe and of course ring that bell, because it will notify you every single time I post a video which is on Friday.

Buh-bye now!

Simplified Market Update – March 2020 for Kitchener-Waterloo – Strong homes sales spring up


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Spring has definitely sprung early in Waterloo Region. Both in weather and home prices! Sale prices across the board are rising, homes styles, particularly single detached homes are on the sights for serious buyers and the days on market dropped drastically since March 2019.

Yes the trend continues of our Greater Toronto Area neighbours moving to town. And these days, it’s not just predominently young families who want a home with a yard, it’s downsizers, and millennials as well.

Watch my Simplified Market Update for March 2020 to see how things could look for you as a buyer, seller and homeowner!

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (March 5, 2020) ––There were 467 residential homes sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® in February, an increase of 36.5 per cent compared to the same month last year, and 15.3 per cent above the previous 10-year average.

Total residential sales in February included 272 detached homes (up 52 per cent), and 62 condominium units (up 14.8 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 32 semi-detached homes (up 33.3 per cent) and 101 freehold townhouses (up 18.8 per cent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in February increased 16.3 per cent to $571,023 compared to the same month last year, while detached homes sold for an average price of $673,825 an increase of 13.2 per cent. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment-style condominium was $371,923 for an increase of 16.4 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $443,382 (up 12.9 per cent) and $485,831 (up 8.4 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold in February increased 18.2 per cent to $550,050 and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 18.6 per cent to $630,000.

REALTORS® listed 609 residential properties in KW and area last month, an increase of 7.8 per cent compared to February of 2019, and a decrease of 5.9 per cent in comparison to the previous ten-year average for February. The total number of homes available for sale in active status at the end of February was 447, a decrease of 39.4 per cent compared to February of last year, and 62 per cent below the previous ten-year average of 1,179 listings for February. The number of Months Supply (also known as absorption rate) in February was just 0.9 months, 40 per cent below the same period last year. The previous ten-year average supply of homes for February was 2.55 months, and in the past 5 years the average supply for February was 1.76 months.

The average days to sell in February was 17 days, compared to 26 days in February 2019.

MY TIPS:

  1. Sellers: Start planning for Spring Market 2020. Meet with your agent now to If there is ever a time to use a REALTOR® it’s now. Maximize this opportunity!
  2. Buyers: Write a letter to go with your offer, or make a video. This could tip the scales! It’s happened for us!
  3. Homeowners: Enjoy the market and watch your equity grow. Maintain your home and do necessary updates that you enjoy over time.

I hope you enjoyed our Simplified Market Update!  We strive to keep you  informed and aim to elevate your life through smart real estate decisions.

Kindly,