Simplified Market Update – July 2018 – Home sales down, prices up


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo have continued to balance out with home sales numbers dropping with home prices continuing to rise.

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market  Update:

  • In June, a total of 604 residential properties sold in June compared to 716 the same time last year.
  • REALTORS® listed 850 residential properties in K-W and area last month, down 21.5 per cent compared to June of 2017, but fairly close to the historical (2007-2016) average of 859.
  • There were 1030 active listings by the end of June, which is 11% higher than June 2017.

 

June’s  residential sales units included (compared to June 2017):

365 detached (down 21.2%)

151 condominium units (up 6.3%) {includes semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.}

38 semi-detached homes (down 29.6%)

43 freehold townhouses (down 15.7 %).

The average sales price of all residential properties sold last month increased 5.2 per cent to $572,206 (down 3.4%) compared to June 2017. Accordingly:

Detached homes sold for an average price of $575,003 (up 5.2%)

Average prices for an apartment style condominium was $314,180 (up 13.2%)

Townhomes sold for an average of $378,562 (up 10.8%)

Semis sold for an average of $391,830 (up 2.09%)

 

What does this mean?

The market continues to balance out as people adjust to their buying power, while the desirability of homes in Waterloo Region remains high. 

 

 

Would you  like an practical valuation of your home to help you make an informed decision about selling? Contact me for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter. For more on the official report on our K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

Kindly,

Simplified Market Update – June 2018 – Strong Home Sales Continue


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo have continued to heat up along with the great local temperatures! Our summer-like spring has been in line with sales as May 2018 saw a 12.5% increase compared to April 2018.

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market Summary:

  • In May, 692 residential properties were sold, as compared to April’s 616 residential properties.
  • REALTORS® listed 1068 residential properties in K-W and area last month, down 14.4% compared to May of 2017.
  • There were 1062 Active listings by the end of May totaled 1062, which is 27.9% higher than May 2017.

May’s  residential sales units included (compared to May 2017):

414 detached (down 15.7%)

169 condominium units (down 7.1%) {includes semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.}

46 semi-detached homes (down 28.1%)

46 freehold townhouses (down 24.3%).

The average sales price of all residential properties sold last month decreased 6.06 per cent to $482,873 (down 2.4 percent compared to April 2017. Accordingly:

Detached homes sold for an average price of $572,206(down 3.4%)

Average prices for an apartment style condominium was $301,052 (up 2.7%)

Townhomes sold for an average of $365,715 (up 1.3%)

Semis sold for an average of $393,616 (up 2.0%)

What does this mean?

1. There is a trend of slowing sales when compared to last year’s activity

a) Year-to-year : May 2018 was a 15.3% less busy in terms of home sales as compared to the same time last year.

However:

b) Month-to-month:  April-May saw a  12.5% increase in sales, down just slightly from the March-April 13.7%  increase in sales.

2. There is a trend in decreasing sales prices in single detached homes but all other styles continue to climb in price.

The mortgage stress test continues to impact  buyers as the $400,000- $500,000 price range remains very competitive.  This may be part of the reason for the continuing growth in sale prices in townhomes, condos and semi-detached properties as overflow leads many buyers to choose other styles of homes rather than focus on single-detached properties.

Sellers:

It took 20 days on average for a home to sell so you can expect to receive offers with conditions. When working with a Realtor to prepare your home and price it correctly you should be confident in selling your home for good value.

Buyers: 

There were nearly 30% more homes active on the market in May compared to last year, so we are seeing inventory actually be available long enough for buyers to consider their options. You will still want to be savvy and use the help of a Realtor to keep you informed and strategic on writing a winning offer.

If you’d like an accurate valuation of your home, contact us for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter. For more on the official report on May’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

Kindly,

Simplified Market Update – May 2018 – Spring Market Leveling Out


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo are seeing some changes along with the spring weather.

  • In April, 616 residential properties were sold, as compared to March’s 540 residential properties.
  • REALTORS® listed 974 residential properties in K-W and area last month, down 2.2 per cent compared to April of 2017.

“Last month 71 per cent of all residential sales were for less than half a million dollars, but the number of homes listed in that price range on our MLS® System right now is a little less than half of all the inventory,”  says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President.

April’s  residential sales units included:

343 detached (down 30.7 per cent)

185 condominium units (down 12.8) {includes semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.}

41 semi-detached homes (down 22.5 per cent)

46 freehold townhouses (up 13.2 per cent).

The average sales price of all residential properties sold last month decreased 6.06 per cent to $478,578 compared to April 2017. Accordingly:

Detached homes sold for an average price of $569,169 (down 4.2 per cent)

Average prices for an apartment style condominium was $296,958 (up 10 per cent)

Townhomes sold for an average of $386, 072 (up 2.5 per cent)

Semis sold for an average of $396,932 (down 3.7 per cent)

 

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market Summary:

What does this mean?

1. There is a trend of slowing sales when compared to last year’s activity

a) Year-to-year : March was a 25% less busy in terms of home sales as compared to the same time last year, and now April is 30% less busy as compared to April 2017.

b) Month-to-month: While March sales really picked up by increasing over 40% from February to March, March to April only saw a 13.7%  increase.

2. There is a trend in decreasing sales prices.

a) The average sales price change in March compared to the same time last year was 0.7 percent. The average sales price in April as compared to April 2017 decreased by 6.06 percent.

b) While detached homes barely changed in price in March as compared to the same time last year, April 2018 saw a 4.2% decrease as compared to April 2017. Semi-detached homes have also seen a drop in sales price, by 3.3%

The stress test looks like it is definitely creating some impact on buyers as the under $500,000 price range heats up.   This may be part of the reason for the growth in condo apartment sales being the largest according to home style purchases over the last few months. The decrease in sales prices and numbers of detached and semi-detached properties may also be related to the challenges buyers face in getting approved under the most recent mortgage rules.

Sellers:

It takes 21 days on average for a home to sell so you can expect to receive offers with conditions. Don’t hesitate to invest some time in preparing your home for sale including tying up lose ends. Buyers are wanting to make sure they are getting value for their money as their buying power has been decreased due to series of mortgage rule changes.

Buyers: 

There were nearly 80% more  active residential listings this April as compared to last year so there are more choices. A little more breathing room is allowing you to have conditions including financing and inspection in some cases. However, you must remain competitive in a  desirable and strong market that is remains low on listings, particularly at the under $500,000 price range.

If you’d like an accurate valuation of your home, contact us for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter. For more on the official report on April’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

Kindly,

March 2018 Market Update: More snow, more activity


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

In March, the 540 residential properties sold through the MLS® of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, representing an increase of 43.6 per cent compared to last month and a decrease of 25.8 per cent compared to home sales a year ago.

What does this mean?  Our KW market is quarter less busy than we were last year in terms of sales year-over-year, but up over 40 percent when it comes to sales picking up from February.

Kitchener-Waterloo remains a Seller’s market with some wiggle room for buyers to include conditions in some cases. Overall though, many sellers are still receiving multiple offers.

March’s  residential sales units included:

310 detached (down 29.6 per cent)

136 condominium units (down 17.6 per cent) {includes semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.)

40 semi-detached homes (down 40.3 per cent)

52 freehold townhouses (up 8.3 per cent)

The average price of all residential properties sold last month decreased 0.7 per cent to $490,010 compared to March 2017. Accordingly:

Detached homes sold for an average price of $582,851 (down 0.1 per cent)

Average prices for an apartment style condominium was $298,361 (up 11.3 per cent)

Townhomes sold for an average of $375,702 (up 2 per cent)

Semis sold for an average of $396,932 (down 3.7 per cent)

Cindy-lou’s 2-Minute Summary:

The stress test may be a factor in softening the demand for higher priced properties as buyers readjust their buying power levels.  This may be part of the reason for the growth in condo apartment sales being the largest according to home style purchases.

Another factor to note is that although we are seeing 792 active listings last month, which is 80% more than last year, it’s still significantly less than the 10 year average of 1424 for March.

Sellers:

Don’t cut corners when presenting and selling your home;  if your home doesn’t show well, it definitely takes longer to sell than those that do. And an average of 19 days on market means that buyers are being more thoughtful in their purchases.

Buyers: 

A little more breathing room is allowing you to have conditions in some cases. However, pre-emptive and multiple offer situations are seeing many buyers go without a successful purchase. You must remain competitive in a  desirable and strong market that is low on listings.

 

If you’d like an accurate valuation of your home, contact us for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter. For more on the official report on March’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

Think big,

February Home Sales Release

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON — In February, the 377  residential properties sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), were an increase of 40 per cent compared to last month and a decrease of 20.5 per cent compared to home sales a year ago.

“When we consider market activity we have to acknowledge that sales from the previous year or two were an anomaly”, says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President. “If you compare last February against the ten year average of sales, it was a pretty typical February”.

Residential sales in February included 212 detached (down 29.3 per cent), and 118 condominium units (up 11.3 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 25 semi-detached homes (down 21.9 per cent) and 17 freehold townhouses (down 45.2 per cent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in February increased 3.1 per cent to $478,801 compared to February 2017.  Detached homes sold for an average price of $577,609 an increase of 5 per cent compared to February of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $265,144 for an increase of 6.8 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $386,515 (up 14.1 per cent) and $391,628 (up 6 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month was practically on par with February of last year at $436,143, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 4.8 per cent to $524,000.

“The market has certainly cooled from this time last year, which is to be expected with the government’s efforts to make home ownership more difficult for home buyers,” says Schmidt.

REALTORS® listed 551 residential properties in K-W and area last month, an increase of 0.5 per cent compared to February of 2017. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of February totalled 667, which is 61.5 per cent more than February of last year, but still significantly below the previous ten-year average of 1445 listings for February. Months of inventory continues to track at a low 2 months.

The average days it took to sell a home in February was 22 days, compared to 18 days in February 2017.

Schmidt says, “We still have some homes that are selling in short order and with multiple offers, but others are taking longer and multiple offers are no longer the rule. Sellers need to adjust their expectation in this evolving market and in order to sell quickly they must be priced and marketed appropriately.” Schmidt advises buyers to do their homework and come to the table knowing exactly what they can afford.  “While listing inventory is increasing, this is a slow process and we expect home inventory to remain low for at least the remainder of the year.”

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New Sportsplex in South Kitchener


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

For the residents of Kitchener, the construction of South Kitchener District Park has begun at the corner of Fischer Hallman and Huron Road in the quiet community of Huron Park. This community has had a need for a district park serving the neighbourhood for a very long time. This was identified way back in 1991 and was repeatedly listed as a priority during the city’s strategic planning processes. In fact,this park was on the books longer than the community where it is located has existed.

Future Plans
Just as Huron Park is a nice balance between city and nature, the new park is designed to include a balance of green space and multi-use trails among the many sports fields and recreation facility. The park will be built in three phases, beginning with two lit artificial turf soccer fields, a natural turf multi-purpose field, a natural open lawn area that could be flooded over to create an ice rink in the winter, a playground and a splash pad. Phase two will include multi-use trails, sports courts, a bike track and a skateboard park. There are plans in the final phase to build an indoor recreational facility unlike any other in our region, including indoor pool and soccer fields, as well as twin ice pads.

History
With the rich historical significance of the location of the park (the first settlers to our region arrived down the road in Doon) a unique opportunity to provide a visual reminder of our history to all park visitors has been presented. A farm house that dates back to 1861, built by Richard Sheard, a farmer who emigrated from Yorkshire, England, currently sits where the new soccer fields will be built. Considered a heritage building, this farmhouse is part of a collection of seven stone houses within a few kilometres of each other. An example of early Scottish settlement and craftsmanship, the farmhouse will be moved to another section of the park, preserved and re-purposed as the park washroom. I wonder what Farmer Sheard would have thought of that.

Cheers,

January Home Sales Snowed Under By Low Inventory

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON — There were 270 residential sales in January through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), a decrease of 18 per cent compared to January 2017.

“On the surface, activity appears to be somewhat sluggish in January, says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President. “However if we set aside the past two years, it was a very typical January in terms of the number of sales. What is less typical is that listing inventory is still at historic low levels, and we continue to see multiple offers on properties putting upward pressure on prices.”

Total residential sales in January included 149 detached (down 23.6 per cent), and 70 condominium units (down 11.4 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 27 semi-detached homes (down 18.2 per cent) and 22 freehold townhouses (up 10 per cent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in January increased 9 per cent to $458,750 compared to January 2017.  Detached homes sold for an average price of $554,857 an increase of 10.7 per cent compared to January of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $246,821 for an increase of 4 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $371,095 (up 14.5 per cent) and $388,974 (up 9.7 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month increased 6.8 per cent to $431,143, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 4.2 per cent to $495,000.

“While the tougher mortgage rules that came into play on Jan. 1 have sidelined some homebuyers, the reality is we’re still experiencing more demand than supply right now,” says Schmidt.

REALTORS® listed 486 residential properties in K-W and area last month, an increase of 10.45 per cent compared to January of 2017. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of January totaled 588, which is 56 per cent more than January of last year, but still well below the previous ten-year average of 1507 listings for January. Months of inventory continues to track at a low 2 months.

The average days it took to sell a home in January was 32 days, compared to 23 days in January 2017.

While the majority of MLS® System activity is properties for sale, REALTORS® also represented landlords and tenants in 51 residential leases in January, an 18.6 per cent increase compared to January 2017.

Schmidt says, “There is no question that the expansion of the stress test on mortgages is going to be hard on consumers. For those entering the market, the stress test combined with higher borrowing costs is going to push some buyers out of their desired market. Some homebuyers will be looking to other areas, and more affordable housing types, which is a vicious circle. For some home hunters, Waterloo region is still seen as one of the more affordable markets.”

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A white winter doesn’t need to be dreary


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

So the holiday decor has been packed away and as we begin to enjoy the next stage of winter, it can often become dreary inside our homes. Here are 5 tips to lightening your home and your mood while adding plenty of style!

1. Add white – White or other light colours need not be an exclusive warm-weather colour. Make it suit the season by selecting fluffy, full textures such as faux fur, wool and of course plaid. It will make all the difference when added as a throw on the sofa, or as pillows on the bed.

2. Open the curtains – Open them all the way! On a sunny day, even in winter, a room can heat up and also give you a much-needed pick me up. It also helps you catch any dust that you might have been missing! Consider switching to foam back curtains in a light colour to provide thermal properties for those cold evenings, which will still give you that open effect.

3. Replace your bulbs – Ensure all your fixtures and lamps are using the maximum wattage permitted. A brighter, clearer room will make you feel much better! You’ll see that small changes like this can make a big difference in your mood. What else, select a bulb with a warm light, rather than a cold or “blue” tinge to it.

4. Declutter – A new year, a new you? January is a great time to declutter. Get rid of those clothes you didn’t want to wear all 2017 that make you feel not so great, and what about that platter that you think is hideous yet somehow has been collecting dust year after year. Your home will feel lighter and more open. You can thank me later when you uncover that beautiful toque you’ve been looking for since late November at the back of your basement storage room.

5. Cut a rug – Or rather, buy one. Sometimes a rug can lighten and brighten a room and it doesn’t have to cost a bundle either. You can go formal and follow the rug rules or you can be more casual and bohemian and place a rug wherever and however you like! From fluffy to wild and reserved, a new rug can definitely add zest to a boring room.

Now that you’ve brightened up your home, don’t forget to rest with a hot coffee or tea and a good book or movie. Until next time!

Cheers,

Going green at Home


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Last Saturday, Reep Green Solutions of Kitchener-Waterloo ran another one of their great public programs. This one involved vermicomposting! For those of you who want to live more sustainably, but don’t love or have access to the green bin, this was a great option to learn about how to compost at home using worms!

Reep currently has a monthly Sustainable Living Series with workshops that are crash-courses in all types of sustainable living opportunities. What else? They are also leaders in sharing news about incentive programs to get your home more energy efficient.

Check out their website at reepgreen.ca to learn more ways to save money and get green!

2017: A very big year in real estate


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Total residential sales volume surpassed 3 billion in 2017, coming out at a total of 6549 homes sold in Kitchener-Waterloo, just one percent less than 2016’s record breaking results.

2017 ended with 301 homes sold in December, 13% above the 5-year average,  with some of those numbers accounted for by buyers who wanted to purchase a home before the new restrictive mortgage rules kicked in on January 1, 2018.

Last year’s winter and spring market saw unparalleled home sales, with the latter half of the year seeing a decrease in sales numbers that remained above the 5 year average, as well as selling at an increase of 19.5% in the dollar volume of all residential sales last year ($3,061,739,723) compared to 2016, breaking the 3 billion dollar milestone for the first time.

Accordingly, the average sale price compared to 2016:

1. All residential properties increased 20.7% to $467,513

2. Detached homes increased 21.5% to $549,046

3. Apartment style condominiums increased 18.3% to $271,940

4. Townhomes increased 23.6% to $353,692

5. Semis increased 25.95% to $378,275

6. The median price of all residential properties sold last year increased 21.1 per cent to $429,900

7.The median price of a detached home during the same period increased 22 per cent to $495,000.

Cindy-lou’s 1-Minute Summary:

With semi-detached homes seeing the greatest price increase in 2017, we are seeing a trend with people making the compromise from single-detached homes to semi-detached. This still allows them to benefit from a yard and main floor access as they adjust to the new rate of home prices.

Despite the mortgage rules that have pushed some buyers out of the market and others to purchase at a price lower than they would have in 2017, the demand for homes in Waterloo Region will likely remain higher than the supply this coming year.

 

Thinking of moving? If you’d like an accurate valuation of your home, contact us for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter. For more on the official report on December’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

Cheers,