Simplified Market Update – December 2018 – Temperatures cool, homes sales rise

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

While temperatures cooled in October and November, last month ended up being another hot month in real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo and area.

Home sales were up 14.2 per cent in November with 483 homes sold compared to the same month last year, and up 19 per cent compared to the previous 10-year November average of 406 sales, making it the second-best November on record.

Last month I discussed the effect of rising mortgage rates on getting buyers to act before another squeeze on their buying power materializes. In December 2018 Realtors and Mortgage agents cautioned buyers that their buying power would reduced by up to 20% come January 2018 and while some acted, others were cautious and many saw their choice of home style narrow due to the change in budget.

This year, buyers are taking rising interest rates and financing more seriously and  this trend along with others shows in the numbers:

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market Update


265 detached homes were sold in November (up 9.5 per cent compared to November 2017). Of those sold:

  • 152 condominium units (up 52 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.).
  • 27 semi-detached homes (down 46 per cent)
  • 31 freehold townhouses (up 14.8 per cent).


The average sale price of all residential properties sold  in  November  increased 7.6 per cent to $477,526 compared November 2017. Broken down by style of home:

  • Detached homes sold for an average price of $580,551 an increase of 12.8 per cent compared to November of last year.
  •  Apartment style condominiums increased by $305,334 on average (increase of 10 per cent).
  • Townhomes sold for an average of $361,177 (down 2 per cent)
  • Semis sold for an average of $416,878 (up 10.7 per cent)


The middle point that divides all sales prices into two equal parts. Comparing November 2018 to November 2017 median stats:

  • All residential properties – $443,800  (up 6.3 per cent)
  • Detached homes – $520,000 (up 9.5 per cent)


Realtors listed 597 residential homes in K-W and areas last month, a 1.1 per cent increase compared to November 2017. Trends:

  • homes listed were 8.2 per cent above the 10-year historical average of 505
  • active listings at the end of November totaled 888 (12.8 per cent lower and 449 units fewer than the 1337 homes listed in November 2017.


Sellers: Prices are naturally rising due to continued demand, particularly for single-detached homes. Waterloo Region is a great place to live and with more eyes on our market from prospective buyers in an outside of our area, we continue to see growth. I expect another very active spring market in 2019. And if your home is listed on the market now, serious buyers are still active and ready to buy before year’s end.

Buyers: Sales prices that are trending up mean that more buyers entering the market are taking advantage of resale and new build townhomes and condominiums. Move up buyers are still aiming to find their right-size home and competing for single-detached properties.

If I were a serious buyer, I would be actively considering homes available on market for the rest of December and take time to view homes if they looked viable. If it’s in the budget, I recommend you contact your agent to explore new-build options.


I hope you enjoyed my Simplified Market Update. I strive to keep my clients and readers informed and empowered.


Full Official Full KWAR Media Release here.

Sell Your Home Before the Holidays

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Wanting to sell your home before the holidays? Sometimes you can get excited to sell your home but there are definitely some things that you can do that really make a difference to the success of your sale.

Particularly when you’re on planned schedule, and if you’d like to do your best to get your home sold before 2019, you can take advantage of these tips.

  1. Curb appeal
  2. Keep your house welcoming
  3. Don’t over-decorate
  4. Price is right
  5. Use a dedicated full-time REALTOR®




Movember at RBC Bank

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Movember is a great foundation to celebrate to help support the fathers, husbands, brothers and sons in your life.

This week, I visited RBC Bank at 235 Ira Needles Blvd in Kitchener, where I connected with my favourite Mobile Mortgage Specialist, George Vasileas to discuss Movember.

George is a high-performing broker who has created dependable and responsive mortgage opportunities for my clients to up-size, down-size and most importantly —right-size their real estate purchase or investment.

So when it comes to helping to support this cause with George, I wanted to shed some light on the important topic of men’s health.

With all the mustache merchandise we’ve seen on the market in the last 5 years in particular, sometimes people can forget how and why Movember started in the first place.

Movember began in 2003 with 3 guys in Australia. That first year, they were able to get 30 men in total to sport mustaches in support of men’s health. Most recently they have raised over 5.5 million and are ranked 43 out of the 500 world-wise non-governmental foundations.

It’s important for men to be comfortable and more vocal about their health.

Did you know?

70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48% say that they rely on their friends. In other words: we’re here for our friends, but worried about asking for help for ourselves. Reaching out is crucial.

5 Things Men can do to take care of their health include:

1 . Spend time with people who make you feel good. Stay connected and stay in touch regularly.

2. Talk and listen more. Sharing and listening with your friends can be life-saving.

3. Know the numbers. Prostate cancer is a concern that you need to be screen for at 50 years old, and if you have other risk factors, you should screen at 45. Talk to you doctor.

4. “Know thy nuts”. Get to know what’s normal for you and get checked regularly at your doctor.

5. Be more active. It doesn’t have to be official sweat sessions at the gym. Just parking further from the grocery store can work. Every little bit helps.

Let’s help support the wonderful mean in our life and communities but helping to increase awareness so they can feel empowered to reach out and take care of their health.

Looking for mortgage options? You can reach out to George : Phone: (519) 897-8880 or by Email:




Trends: Kitchener Loves Pets and Dog-driven Home Sales

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Do you love dogs? I do too!  In fact, I have two! Still, it was a surprise to me that Kitchener ranked 4th on the list for Amazon Canada’s top pet-purchasing cities for the period between August 2017-August 2018.

Another trend has been reported in is that a great majority of Millennials are putting their pets front and centre when making decisions in their real estate purchases.

Further, in Canada, the Canadian Animal Health Institute reports:

From 2014 to 2016, cat and dog populations in Canada have risen. Cats continued to outnumber dogs with
8.8 million cats considered household pets in 2016, up from an estimated 7.0 million in 2014. Dog
population figures for 2016 also increased to 7.6 million in 2016, up from 6.4 million in 2014


“It is encouraging to see the number of pet cats and dogs increasing in Canada over time and I think that reflects the special relationship we have with them. Over the last ten years cat and dog has increased by
about 10%. Overall approximately 41% of Canadian households include at least one dog, and similarly around 37% include at least one cat.” indicated Colleen McElwain, CAHI Programs Director.

See how other cities ranked on Amazon Canada’s list!

1.    London, ON
2.    Calgary, AB
3.    Vancouver, BC
4.    Kitchener, ON
5.    Saskatoon, SK
6.    Mississauga, ON
7.    Gatineau, QC
8.    Burnaby, BC
9.    Windsor, ON
10.    Regina, SK
11.    Richmond, BC
12.    Winnipeg, MB
13.    Edmonton, AB
14.    Markham, ON
15.    Ottawa, ON
16.    Brampton, ON
17.    Surrey, BC
18.    Hamilton, ON
19.    Toronto, ON
20.    Laval, QC   





Simplified Market Update – November 2018 – Higher than normal sales activity

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

October saw higher than normal sales activity and buyers and sellers alike were enjoying the boom.

Rising interest rates lead to buyers getting off the sidelines, ready to buy and sellers wanting to sell before the end of 2018 were ready to list. In fact, 760 homes were listed last month in the Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors Board. This was 14% higher than October 2017, and 12.7 higher than the 10 year average for homes listed during October.  Buyers rejoice!

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market  Update

While Year-to-Date sales for 2018 are 12.9% lower than 2017 at this time, we are still enjoying a very strong market here in Kitchener Waterloo.

The average sale price of all residential properties sold increased 7.7% to $489,725 compared to the same month a year ago, with apartment style condominiums continuing to make a huge price gain trend of 24.1% ($310,215), followed by semi-detached homes up 13.8%, ($403,750) then townhomes up 10.9%, and finally detached homes up 6.2% ($576,731).

As for the styles of homes that are trending in sales, we saw 47 freehold townhomes fly off the shelves with an 23.4% increase compared to the number of townhomes sold last October. This was closely fllowed by  128 condominiums of any style up 19.6%, chased by 47 freehold townhomes, up 18.2%, and finally 297 detached homes were sold up 4.6% as compared to last October.

So, let’s cut to the chase. What does this mean?

It means that Buyers are seeing an influx of homes coming to market this October,  and the rising interest rates are getting buyers off the sidelines to act and take advantage of locked in interest rates.  They are also enjoying more choice!

For Sellers, seasonal temperatures remain amiable which always helps home buyers get out for open houses and private showings. Families are also motivated to get in homes before the end of the year and sellers, you too are anticipating a purchase so you’d like to sell and buy sooner rather than later with the interest rate hikes.

All in all, another healthy market here in Kitchener Waterloo. If you’d like more details on this, check out the full Official Full KWAR Media Release here.


Thinking about selling?

Book a personal evaluation of your home so you can make an informed decision to net the most money when you list one of your biggest assets for sale. Contact me. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter.


Drive in My City: Region of Waterloo International Airport to Fairview Park Mall

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

For individuals and families relocating to Waterloo Region, sometimes we wonder what traffic is like in certain areas, or what it might be like to live there. I know when I’ve checked on investments in other cities or even provinces, I do a little Google Street View. But it’s not the easiest to maneuver.

So this is my first entry of my Drive in My City Series. We’ll be travelling from the Region of Waterloo Aiport to Fairview Park Mall following this route:

Check out my video below from a relaxing drive through the City!



About the Region of Waterloo Airport: 

Airports create jobs and support economic growth

The Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) is a full service, customer friendly facility. Located in southern Ontario, Canada the airport supports commercial, corporate and general aviation.

Fly from home! When you support local air service you help create jobs and boost the local economy.

Did you know?

  • The Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre is one of the largest professional flight training schools in Canada
  • One, of only two Avro Lancaster aircraft still in operation in the world, was equipped with avionics by Mid-Canada Mod Center (formerly Kitchener Aero)
  • NAV Canada’s air traffic control tower at YKF is one of the newest in the country



About Fairview Park Mall:

Electric car charging station, phone charging stations, and home to a wide array of shops, this mall is a great place to getting your shopping and snacking in. It’s also home to the future major redevelopment of office, residential and shopping. Click here to read more!




How to Sell your Haunted House – Trick or Treat

By Cindy-lou Schmidt


This weekend is filled with lots of fun activities to do to enjoy autumn and the last spooky days of Halloween!

If you’re a skeleton trying to sell your spooky haunted house, what better way than to highlight all the best features!

To make your home as gross and appealing to the ghosts and goblins and be as unmaintained and spooky as possible, do the following:

1) Don’t trim your tree branches; allow them to over hand your roof and tug at your roof shingles causing damage, and even being a hazard during high winds. Bonus if it’s help moss and lichen grow up there because of the moisture being trapped!

2. Keep your trash out in the open so that rats, and other animals can get into it and it can smell terrible!

3. Leave your rat, roach and mouse traps out so that your spooky buyers can see that your home is full of pests!

4. Don’t rake or maintain the lawns or walkways. Let it pile up and stain the paths as well as cause bald spots on the lawn!

5. Price your home really high above market value so that it takes a really long time to sell and the spooky goblins and ghosts can enjoy going through your haunted house for longer, and you can eventually sell for less because that’s what happen in a topsy turvy spoooky world!

P.S. If you’re a regular human reading this…you’ll want to do the opposite for a successful sale! You’ll also want to check out the remaining Halloween festivities available here in Waterloo Region. Find out more here!

Happy Halloween!



Life in the City – Red Circle Coffee

By Cindy-lou Schmidt


As is customary in a Realtor’s life, Friday is the beginning of the week! And what better way than to start (or end) the week with a nice treat!

One of my favourite places to stop in at is Red Circle Coffee located in a massive building that houses Catalyst 137, a space in Waterloo Region that brings together everything an Internet of Things (IoT), food, ice cream and more.

I was never a big coffee fan until Red Circle Coffee. And I think the secret lies in three main factors:

1) The coffee is part of a “full circle” cycle, roasted and sourced by their parent company Monigram Coffee Roasters, and it’s exceptionally done to connect the source and people through relationships.

2) I’ve heard great things about Monica and Graham who established Monigram Coffee in Cambridge and now Red Circle Coffee here in Kitchener. So it doesn’t surprise me in the least that their customer service is something to remark about. Professional baristas who smile, remember you and of course show great pride in their work and their craft. Top down influence is clear here.

3. Gluten free and Vegan options. The responsiveness to my Instagram request and in-house baking make put the icing on the cake for me. I come for the coffee but I’ll stay for the treats!


If you ever want to stop in for a chat with a friend or a quiet moment in your day, do not hesitate to stop in here. It’s definitely a cafe destination worth it’s cup in beans!

Check out one of my most recent visits!

To learn more about Red Circle Coffee visit their website!



Simplified Market Update – October 2018 – Sales Numbers Down, Prices Up

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

September saw the continuing impact of mortgage rules and housing regulation affect the market as affordability for first-time home buyers continues to be a challenge. Meanwhile, average home prices continue to rise and certain home styles are seeing big changes. Thinking that rising prices means it’s not a good time to invest? Think again!

The average sale price of all residential properties sold increased 10% to $492,398 compared to the same month a year ago, with condominiums and making a huge price gain of 24.1% ($325,378), followed by detached homes increasing by 11.4%, townhomes up 4.7% ($377,442), and semis up 4.1% ($386,670)

There is the continuing trend of fewer homes being sold, but prices continuing to climb reflect the decreased affordability but continuing interest in living in Waterloo Region.

Residential sales in September included 270 detached (down 6.3 per cent compared to September 2017), and 110 condominium units (up 7.8 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 30 semi-detached homes (down 18.9 per cent) and 30 freehold townhouses (down
18.9 per cent).

Great investment opportunities and selling opportunities are arising for those who own condominiums and for those looking to benefit from the trend in rising residential lease rates.

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market  Update


Official Full KWAR Media Release here


Thinking about selling?

Book a personal evaluation of your home so you can make an informed decision to net the most money when you list one of your biggest assets for sale. Contact me . The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter.


My Life as a Realtor Part 2

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

This week I’m covering the rest of the questions about what life is like as a Real Estate Agent.

I’m going to talk about:

1.  The best part of my job

2. The worst part of my job

3. The best thing that I’ve encountered

4. The weirdest things I’ve encountered

5. A meaningful lesson that I’ve learned

Watch for the full details! And in case you’re thinking about getting into real estate yourself, be sure to message me and ask me about our Career in Real Estate Seminar! It’s a great place to connect and learn more about the process and if it’s right for you.