Regional Real Estate Stats

 

JANUARY HOME SALES SNOWED UNDER BY LOW INVENTORY
KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (Feb 2, 2018) –– 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 totalled 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.”

2017 A BIG YEAR FOR KITCHENER WATERLOO HOMES SALES
Total residential sales volume surpasses 3 billion

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (Jan 5, 2017) –– There were 6,549 homes sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area last year through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), just one percent behind matching last year’s record smashing results

The year ended strong with 301 home sales in December, which is a slight one per cent above December of 2016, and 13 per cent above the previous five year average.

“There was a definite push by some buyers to purchase a home prior to the new mortgage stress test kicking in January of 2018,” noted Tony Schmidt, President of KWAR. “While we appreciate the intent of these additional changes, ultimately they will make it harder for some consumers to purchase the home they want.”

Picking up on the momentum from 2016, the first half of 2017 was characterized by an unparalleled number of home sales. Then in the latter half of the year, on the heels of the Ontario government’s announcement of the Fair Housing Plan, the pace of sales began to decrease while still remaining above the previous five year’s averages.

“There is almost universal agreement that the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, which included a tax on non-residents who purchase homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) did contribute to the decline in home sales in the last half of the year, however that was mostly due to the psychological impact it had on buyers and sellers in the marketplace,” says Tony Schmidt, President of KWAR. “For Waterloo Region these impacts were not yet as acute as in other areas of the GGH, but we are certainly concerned that any additional restrictions will further impede consumer affordability for homes.

Total residential sales in 2017 included 4,005 detached (down 4.2 per cent), and 1,461 condominium units (down 2.9 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 545 semi-detached homes (up 27.6 per cent) and 467 freehold townhouses (up 10.9 per cent).

“The consumer demand we experienced in 2017 was certainly strong enough to have outnumbered 2016 home sales,” says Tony Schmidt, President of KWAR. “However the continued tight supply of listings last year served to tamp down unit sales and drive up prices”.

While the number of homes that were put up for sale was in keeping with previous years, inventory tracked low all year long as buyers continued to snap up properties at a terrific rate. The average days it took to sell a home in 2017 was 19 days, compared to 43 days if you were to average out the previous 10 years.

Dollar volume of all residential real estate sold last year increased 19.5 per cent to just over three billion ($3,061,739,723) compared with 2016, reflecting the strong price gains realized in 2017 and marking the first time sales have surpassed the three billion dollar milestone.

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in 2017 increased 20.7 per cent to $467,513 compared to 2016. Detached homes sold for an average price of $549,046, an increase of 21.5 per cent compared to 2016. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $271,940 for an increase of 18.3

per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $353,692 (up 23.6 per cent) and $378,275 (up 25.9 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last year increased 21.1 per cent to $429,900, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 22 per cent to $495,000.

“With the continued influence of GTA buyers migrating to Waterloo region last year, 2017 was a great year if you were selling your home, but not so fun for those who were in the purchasing position. The quality of life enjoyed living in Waterloo Region has always been at the top compared to many other communities, even though our historical home prices have been relatively affordable. I think this secret is out now, and the activity of buyers from the GTA last year certainly demonstrates this,” says Schmidt.”

Schmidt says while the frenzied buying activity has cooled under the multitude of newly-imposed government regulations, looking ahead we expect the demand to continue to be greater than the supply. While the balance is shifting, we do not believe there will be any decreases in property values and if anything, the correction for Waterloo Region was watching it increase. Of course, this will continue to put pressure on affordability for many would-be homebuyers.

“The new stress test that just came into effect on January 1 is going to push some buyers out of the market and force others to purchase homes at a lower price point than they want as it reduces their ability to borrow,” says Schmidt.

“My personal concern is that we have not seen the end to governmental intervention in the housing market,” notes Schmidt. “Housing is a very popular topic, and with a provincial election coming up I just hope there are not any additional policies implemented that will come at the cost of the consumers.”

While the majority of MLS® System activity is properties for sale, REALTORS® also represented landlords and tenants in 602 residential leases in 2017, a 40% increase compared to 2016.

The KWAR cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing long term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a local REALTOR®. REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering.

RESIDENTIAL SALES STEADY IN OCTOBER

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (Nov 3, 2017) –– Last month a total of 481 residential properties sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR). Home sales in October were down 16.6 per cent compared to the same month last year, but still above the previous 5-year October average of 464 sales.

On a year-to-date basis 5,842 residential units have sold compared to 5,816 during the same period in 2016, an increase of 0.4 per cent.

October’s sales included 289 detached homes (down 20.2 per cent), and 107 condominium units (down 17.7 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 44 semi-detached homes (down 7.3 per cent) and 38 freehold townhouses (down 2.6 per cent).

The average price of all residential properties sold last month increased 11.4 per cent to $454,398 compared to October 2016. Detached homes sold for an average price of $541,368, an increase of 13.1 per cent compared to October 2016. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $249,993 for an increase of 11 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $349,316 (up 13.7 per cent) and $354,668 (up 8 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold in October increased 11.7 per cent to $419,000, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 10.2 per cent to $484,000.

“While the number of home sold so far this year is pretty much on pace with last year’s record breaking results, the demand from buyers continues to outpace new listings entering the market,” says James Craig, President of KWAR. “I anticipate this continuing for the remainder of the year while buyers rush to beat the additional mortgage changes.”

Last month the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) revised it residential mortgage underwriting practices, which come into effect on January 1, 2018. The change will require the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages to be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%.

The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of October totalled 830, which is ahead of October of last year, but well below the previous five-year average of 1,522 listings for October.

The average days on market in October was 24, compared to 27 days in 2016. On a month to month basis, it took two fewer days on average from list to sale date in October compared to September.

The KWAR cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing long term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a local REALTOR®. REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering.

SOLID HOME SALES IN SEPTEMBER

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (September 4, 2017) –– A total of 470 residential properties changed hands in Kitchener-Waterloo and area though the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in September. This was a decrease of 12.8 percent compared to the record number of sales in September of 2016, but still ahead of the previous 5-year September average of 437 sales.

On a year-to-date basis 5,357 residential units have sold compared to 5,239 during the same period in 2016, an increase of 2.3 per cent.

“We are seeing strong demand continue into the autumn” said KWAR President James Craig. Residential listing inventory on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of Septembers totalled 843, which is ahead of September of last year, but represents just half the number of listings that were on the market in the previous five years (2011-2015) for September.

September’s sales included 285 detached homes (down 14.2 per cent), and 105 condominium units (down 19.2 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 38 semi-detached homes (up 22.6 per cent) and 37 freehold townhouses (up 12.1 per cent).

The average price of all residential properties sold last month increased 12 per cent to $455,079 compared to September 2016. The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $261,337 for an increase of 6 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $359,448 (up 20.9 per cent) and $372,226 (up 19 per cent) respectively.

Detached homes sold for an average price of $513,873 in September for an increase of 10 per cent compared to a year ago. “Our local residential real estate market continues to show solid price growth and unit sales,” says Craig who points out that year-over-year price appreciation peaked in April of this year when the average price of a detached home increased 40 percent to $594,108. Today, on a year-to-date basis, the price of a detached home has averaged $553,029, an increase of 24.7 percent compared to 2016.

“What might seem to be a stabilizing of prices in September may have more to do with the price ranges that people were purchasing in,” says the president of the KWAR. Craig notes that last month 32% of all residential transactions were in the $300-399,999 range; compared to just 15.6% in April. “We also saw more transactions in the higher price ranges during the heat of the spring market. There were 20 sales that occurred over the one million dollar mark in April, compared to only 5 in September.

The average days on market in September was 36, compared to 57 days a year ago. On a month to month basis, it took ten additional days on average from list to sale date in September compared to August.

“The feverish spring conditions have given way to a saner playing field, however an increase in listings would be a welcome shift for homebuyers who would benefit from increased selection across the more affordable price ranges.”

 

Press Releases provided courtesy of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors.

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