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.

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Choosing a neighbourhood based on the school

Every year, families move from one area of Kitchener-Waterloo to the other, or move in or out of the Region. One thing that holds true for many parents is ensuring that their children will have the opportunity to benefit from quality education.

Fortunately, in Waterloo Region, we have several schools that rank well according to the Fraser Institutes annual assessment which uses objective, publicly-available data to compile the rankings.

Waterloo’s Top elementary schools include Laurelwood Public School and St. Nicholas (8.8), and Millen Woods Public School  (8.3)

If you live in Kitchener, the top elementary schools include St. Teresa (9.5), Lackner Woods and St. Mark (8.2).

For students attending high school In Kitchener, Resurrection  (7.5), Kitchener Waterloo Collegiate Institute (6.7), and St. Mary’s (6.6)

For high school students in Waterloo, top ranking schools include Waterloo Collegiate Institute (8.2), Sir John A. Macdonald (8.1), and St. David (7.3).

We’re very fortunate to have many great schools to choose from in Kitchener-Waterloo. For more details about other school rankings or to compare schools, click here.

Navigating the real estate rise and fall

As many of you have likely noticed, particularly if you have been thinking about buying or selling property in the last year, the real estate market has seen a number of fluctuations. All you have to do is open your Facebook, or turn on the television to see headlines declaring that home prices are continuing to climb or drop. The most recent? Canadian home prices have seen the biggest drop in 7 years.

So what if you’re thinking about selling or downsizing? What if you need to buy a larger home for your family or move closer to work? While the news has kept some of you in the loop, it’s really REALTORS along with the local and national statistics that can help to make sense of what is happening at ground level in Waterloo Region. How can you best take advantage of the market to meet your goals?

As real estate professionals, Landon and I have been anticipating the economical and psychological effects of the changes in lending rates and policy regulations and prepare our clients with how that will change the real estate experience.

Our market knowledge, strategy, timing, marketing, and active assessments of patterns and statistics can be an asset that you too can benefit from. What’s your next move? Let’s talk about where you want to go, and how we’ll get you there. Make an appointment with me now and we’ll develop a plan that works for you.

Strong buyer demand endures

Last month, we saw fewer homes sold in Waterloo Region than compared to June 2016. This is the first time this has in nearly two years.

Still, with more homes being listed than ever before, the continued strong demand for homes means that most homes are still selling within weeks.

“Home sales in June were very strong, and we’re on track to have another record breaking year of residential sales,” says James Craig, President of KWAR. “June is the fourth consecutive month home sales in the Kitchener-Waterloo area have exceeded 700 units. Historically sales in KW and area have only ever surpassed the 700 unit threshold in a single month three previous times.”

Home prices remain higher than last year, with the average sales price of all residential sales increasing 19.8 per cent to $465,772 compared to June 2016.

Meanwhile, detached homes sold for an average price of $537,389 for an increase of 19.3 per cent, while the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $276,443 for an increase of 17.6 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $341,716 (up 23.2 per cent) and $380,660 (up 28.4 per cent) respectively.

For more on the official report on June’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

Record sales and over 1000 new listings

This is the second consecutive month unit sales have hit an all-time high.

It’s also the first time in two years that the number of new listings put on the market has exceeded the 1,000 unit mark.

REALTORS® listed 1,271 residential properties in K-W and area this May, a 38.6 per cent increase compared to May of 2016, and a 29 per cent increase compared to the previous month.

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The increase in homes available for purchase means that there are more homes on the market in Waterloo Region and area for Buyers to choose from. At the same time, competition remains strong as out-of-area Buyers continue to be attracted by the relatively inexpensive inventory. The average sale price of a single-detached home in this area at $594,047, just over half the cost of the average single-detached home in Toronto.

KWAR May report stats

While more homes were listed in May, it continues to be a seller’s market in Waterloo region and across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) as inventories remain tight at near or less than one month of inventory.

For more on the official report on April’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

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.

2016: Unprecedented year for home sales in Waterloo Region

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December 2016 topped off an unprecedented year in real estate in Waterloo Region as prices for homes along with numbers of homes sold reached new heights.

According to market statistics, “dollar volume of all residential real estate sold last year increased 30.9 percent to $2,578,176,468 compared with 2015”, and “a thousand more units than sold in 2015, amounting to an increase of 18.1 percent and setting a new record for total annual sales”.

November set another all-time high in market sales, with one month still to go in 2016. “Year-to-Date Sales to the end of November have now exceeded any previous end-of-year totals on record,” says James Craig, president of the KWAR.  But greater sales numbers were not due to greater inventory. With a substantial shortage of homes, many properties are selling above list price, as more buyers compete for fewer homes. According to the report:

Craig says that he expects demand for home purchasing in 2017 will continue to be strong. “There is no smoking gun to explain the current market. Mortgage rates remain low, inducing more consumers to get into the market. We have an extremely attractive community, with a growing population and diverse economy bringing in new residents to the region. Home prices remain affordable when compared to the average GTA prices.”

“The challenge is inventory levels remain low, as homeowners are staying in their homes longer and some who might have otherwise moved up are choosing to avoid the hot market. What I hope to see is more balance returning to the market, because I sure don’t see the appetite for home ownership in Waterloo region letting up anytime soon.”

For more details on December 2016’s K-W Market Update that includes statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

 

Real Estate Report on Kitchener-Waterloo 2016

The Kitchener-Waterloo Housing Market saw significant growth in 2016.  The average residential sale price rose approximately 10 per cent to $382,697 up from $348,220 in 2015. Many residential listings received multiple offers, with pre-emptive or bully offers being a common occurrence.

Housing Market Kitchener-Waterloo

Attracting Out-of-Towners – Greater Toronto Area buyers continue to drive demand in Kitchener-Waterloo as they seek out affordable housing options along the GO Train line. Waterloo’s economy and consumer confidence were boosted in 2016 due to substantial growth in its tech sector as the low Canadian dollar encouraged increased investment from American tech companies.

Outlying Towns Heating Up- New Hamburg and Baden, located on the outskirts of Kitchener, are becoming increasingly popular with move-up buyers and retirees. For young families, the areas offer good schools and nice properties at affordable prices, while retirees are attracted to the adult retirement villages, which feature bungalow-style homes, amenities and activities.

First-Time Buyers- First-time buyers are a key driver of the Kitchener-Waterloo market. Young couples looking to enter the market typically prefer low maintenance condo properties that provide easy access to the downtown core.

Condo market – Condo sales were up in 2016 between January and October to 1,358, compared to 1,029 properties sold during the same period in 2015. Due to a surplus of condo inventory near Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, it’s expected that some of the housing initially intended for student rentals may eventually shift to wider availability residential rental units.

Source:  REMAX 2017 HousingMarketOutlookReport

 

 

Another record-breaking month in November

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November set another all-time high in market sales, with one month still to go in 2016. “Year-to-Date Sales to the end of November have now exceeded any previous end-of-year totals on record,” says James Craig, president of the KWAR.  But greater sales numbers were not due to greater inventory. With a substantial shortage of homes, many properties are selling above list price, as more buyers compete for fewer homes. According to the report:

As of the end of November, the KWAR’ MLS® System only had 565 active residential listings on the market, down 23.1 percent compared to the previous month, and 60.8 percent below the same period last year.
The average price of all residential properties sold in November was $411,602 a 15.5 percent increase over 2015. Detached homes sold for an average price of $473,104, an increase of 13.9 percent compared to November 2015. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $209,360, a decrease of 8 percent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $310,151 (up 14.8 percent) and $330,534 (up 27.7 percent) respectively.
“With a notable shortage of inventory, many properties are selling above list price,” said Craig. “This is because you have many buyers competing for fewer properties, and this is pushing up the average price.”

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