Winds are a changin’

The spring market in real estate is always a busy time for buyers and sellers alike. With March’s home sales statistics showing continued strong interest by Buyers in Waterloo Region, more Sellers are considering the benefits of using this market climate to their advantage, as they plan to downsize, or sell investment properties to release equity and potential financial gain.

In fact, a new poll of 3000 Canadian adults conducted by CIBC, finds 41 per cent of Canadian with plans to sell their property are doing so to cash in and make a profit.

It’s definitely a prime time to sell, particularly in light of some signs of cooling happening in areas surrounding Toronto. So while the market is hot now, it won’t last forever. If you’re thinking about moving, why not get the market to work for you?

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If you’re wondering just how much the market has added to your home, and how much you might be able to take home after the sale, be sure to speak to a REALTOR® who will be able to help you effectively capture that profit to help you buy your new home, save for the kids’ education, or fund that retirement nest egg.

Momentous Homes Sales in March

If you thought that February’s sales stats were high, get acquainted with March Stats which included  729 residential properties sold in the Kitchener-Waterloo area through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener‐Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR).

“This is the first time we’ve seen residential sales come anywhere close to the 700 unit mark so early in the year,” says James Craig, President of the KWAR.

The average days on market in March were significantly shorter than a year ago: 14 days, compared to 35 days. On a month to month basis, it took four fewer days to sell a home in March compared to the month before.

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Despite the low inventory, Craig notes that people were listing their homes in large numbers last month. “We had 844 new listings processed through our MLS® System in March which is above the previous 5‐year average of 807 for the month of March.” However, due to extraordinary demand, the number of active residential listings still on the market at the end of March was well below normal with only 434 residential properties for sale, way below the previous 5‐year March average of 1,508.

For more details on March’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

Getting to know your new neighbourhood

In this fast-paced market, homes are selling more quickly than ever, but location is still a factor that should be considered by Buyers. Is it close enough to school, work, and other amenities that are important to you?

When you’re thinking seriously about moving, take the time to do a little research and take advantage of the internet, and talk to friends who may live or frequent the area to help you decide if it’s the right buy for you.

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Here are are a few great ways to learn more about a neighbourhood whether you are moving across town or to another province:

  1. Use Google Street View- to map out streets and find amenities close by, and don’t forget to use street view to consider the overall condition of the homes, and the community centres, or local parks.
  2. Check Google Reviews and Yelp- to get an idea of what kinds of shops, restaurants and other features are nearby and to see if these are places that you would like to visit or use.
  3. Google Map Destinations- map out your routes to work, school, soccer, access to the 401, expressway or any other destination you think you will be using regularly. Does it makes sense to buy a home that is 20 minutes from the highway, if you commute?
  4. Ask your REALTOR®  – We are a great resource that can help you understand the demographics of a neighbourhood, let you know where people tend to shop or go to school, and other characteristics that can help you imagine living in your potential new home.
  5. Take a hike– Walk around the home, and streets. Do you feel comfortable? What are the neighbours like? Is it an acceptable level of traffic? Only you will know if the area is right for you.

Spring Safety

Spring cleaning is a time celebrated by some and enjoyed less by others, but there are some basic tasks that you should definitely be doing to maintain your home this season:

  1. Clean out your laundry lint traps. Unfortunately, this is a boring, often overlooked task but is a real cause of house fires. Not convinced? Check out this recent news video from CTV.
  2. Especially during the winter, we tend to trap stale air in the home. This indoor air can be up to five times more polluted. So open up those windows and air out your home while replacing and dusting filters on the fridge, range hood, air conditioning and furnace.
  3. Check your safety kit. Your fire detectors, fire extinguishers and CO2 detectors are not the items you want to discover are expired or not in operating condition when it counts. So check expiration dates and give those detectors a poke.
  4. Have your chimney cleaned to reduce build up and checked for fire or carbon monoxide risks.
  5. Dirty gutters? Not just an unsightly mess, but also creates a risk of flooding. A trip up the ladder and an afternoon will help to avoid sagging evestroughs and overflow.

If you do these at least once a year, you can expect to have a safer, healthier, better maintained home that’s good for you and your investment.

Spring – Warmer, greener, better.

As spring emerges, we are welcomed by more sunlight, warmer temperatures, and a bustling real estate market that is prime for selling (and buying) homes.

But when in spring is best to sell? If you have a unique property with a gorgeous view of a greenbelt, or an impeccably manicured lawn, you’ll want to consider late April and May to really showcase what may be one of  the best assets of your home. After all, not everyone has the luxury of no rear neighbours, and a soothing greenscape on which to rest their eyes!

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If your yard isn’t particularly engaging, don’t fret! Tidying up old lawn furniture, trash that may have accumulated and blown through over winter, and a gentle raking will do wonders. You can also give fence boards some maintenance, trim trees or bushes, and keep walk-ways clear, stable, and safe. These will certainly put a plus in your wallet, as more buyers will appreciate the tidiness and potential they will see as they can spend more time imagining backyard BBQs and quiet evenings in the yard.

Spring cleaning and beyond

If you could earn $5000-$10,000 if you got your home sparkling clean, would you take the time to do it? You sure would! That is basically what happens when you decide to list your home.

When every corner is dusted, every wall washed, and every mirror shining, along with smart home staging, you’ll see a great return on investment on your home.

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This applies whether your home is worth $200,000 or 2 million. Why? People like things that are new or feel new. And while your home may not have just been built, you can give buyers the satisfaction of putting an offer in (over asking!) that they can feel confident in.

Let your home architecture and style shine! It pays!

Toronto and beyond: $1 million over asking

Recently, news hit that a home in Toronto sold for $1 million over asking. While part of the sale price can be accounted for by the fact that the home was priced below market value to create a flurry of bidding activity, there remains the reality of a continuing highly competitive market in which buyers outnumber the homes for sale.

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This trend has become abundantly apparent in Waterloo Region during 2016 as our GTA friends move to the area either as commuters, or new residents, attracted by comparably lower home prices, along with the influx of investment in our technology and innovation sector.

Regardless, locals are feeling the pinch as bigger wallets compete for the same homes. What’s next? Some locals, along with those from out of town, are considering areas just outside of Waterloo Region such as Stratford, Woodstock, and Brantford to enjoy more reasonable prices and less density. With both resale and new-build opportunities, it is becoming worth the commute and some consideration.

February Market Update for Waterloo Region

There was a frenzy of home sales in February as 474 residential homes were sold in February through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), an increase of 4.2 percent compared to February 2016.

A lack of listings to satisfy the strong consumer demand is fueling multiple offers often resulting in sale prices above the actual asking price, which pushed the total residential average sale price in February up 27.5% compared to the same month last year to $463,355.

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“The dream of homeownership is very much alive and well,” says, Craig. “It’s a challenging time to be selling or purchasing a home and sellers may be tempted into thinking they can simply stick a sign in the yard because it’s such a strong sellers’ market.” But Craig notes that in these market conditions it is even more important than ever to avail yourself of the professional knowledge of a local REALTOR® to guide you through these unique and evolving market conditions.

For more details on February’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

 

January Market Update- Waterloo Region

While demand remained strong in January, the number of active listings was down significantly: There were 367 active listings at the end of January, compared to 1,068 in 2016.

“The continued strong demand combined with a tight supply of listings means that many properties are not on the market for very long,” says James Craig, President of the KWAR. “This has created an extremely competitive buying environment.”

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The average days on market in January were significantly shorter than a year ago: 22 days, compared to 47 days, and six days quicker than in December. The average sales price of all residential properties sold in January was $421,104, a 0.5 percent decline compared to the
previous month, and a 19.1 percent increase compared to January 2016.

Reaching a new milestone in December, was the average price of a Detached home sold through the KWAR’s MLS®
System which for the first time surpassed the half million mark; a benchmark that was repeated again in January, with the
average detached home selling for $501,821, an increase of 22.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

President Craig points out that Waterloo region is in high demand. “Getting into the housing market at the moment is not easy, and buyers need all the help they can get. It is more important than ever that you avail yourself of the professional knowledge of a local REALTOR® to guide you through these unique market conditions”

For more details on February’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.