Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market April 2020




There were 577 residential homes sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® in March, an increase of 13.1 per cent compared to the same month last year, and 0.2 per cent below the previous 5-year average.

“We had a very strong start to the month which carried through right up until the province declared its COVID-19 related state of emergency on March 17th,” says Colleen Koehler, President of KWAR.

“Before the pandemic hit our region, I believe we were on pace to set a record number of sales for March with the continuance of high demand, low inventory, and a strong seller’s market.

During the first quarter of 2020, there were 1,327 home sales, 14.6 per cent above last year’s result for the same period and 4 per cent above the previous 5-year average.

Total residential sales in March included 348 detached homes (up 7.1 per cent), and 68 condominium apartments (up 5.1 per cent). Sales also included 136 townhouses (up 17.2 per cent) and 25 semi-detached homes (up 4.2 per cent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in March increased 15.3 per cent to $583,752 compared to the same month last year, while detached homes sold for an average price of $679,728 an increase of 15.9 per cent.

During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment-style condominium was $378,443 for an increase of 17.9 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $457,547 (up 23 per cent) and $492,752 (up 17.4 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold in March increased 14.6 per cent to $544,500 and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 16.2 per cent to $628,500.

“Of course, what is on everyone’s mind is the Coronavirus, and how this global pandemic is impacting every facet of our lives. The Ontario government included real estate services, legal and land registry as an essential service, but by no means is this business as usual for Realtors or their clients,” says Koehler.

“As people everywhere follow instructions to only leave their homes for essential reasons, this is impacting the number of showings, and how properties are shown. Not everyone is in the position to postpone the purchase or sale of their home, and Realtors are adapting the technology we already use to serve our clients in this new environment and rigidly following Health Canada’s guidelines.”

REALTORS® listed a higher than average number of homes during the Month of March. There were 864 new listings added to the MLS® System in KW and area last month, an increase of 7.6 per cent compared to March of 2019, and the greatest number since 2015. The number of new residential listings was also 3.7 per cent higher than the previous ten-year average for March.

The total number of homes available for sale in active status at the end of March was 535, a decrease of 35.9 per cent compared to March of last year.

Despite the much-needed addition of new inventory coming to the market, the number of Months Supply (also known as absorption rate) continues to be very low at just 1.1 months for the month of March, 35.3 per cent below the same period last year. The previous ten-year average supply of homes for March was 2.73 months, and in the past 5 years, the average supply for March was 1.94 months.

KWAR’s president wishes to emphasize that while real estate continues to be an essential service in Ontario, consumers can expect that a REALTOR® will be taking all the necessary protections to ensure we’re doing our part to flatten the curve.

Koehler notes last month 51 listings were suspended on KWAR’s MLS® System, which means the listing is temporarily “off-market,” and there can be no marketing showings or offers during this period.

KWAR’s president encourages buyers and sellers to discuss the current situation with their REALTOR®, to find out what they are doing to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the transaction and to make the best and safest decision on how to move forward or hold your real estate decisions during this unprecedented time.

Trying to sell your home while in quarantine, self-isolating or worse yet, while someone in the house is sick, is not going to be in anyone’s best interest. We know many people are postponing their plans to list their home for the time being.

The average days to sell in March was 15 days, compared to 21 days in March 2019.
Home Renovations

K-W Resources Related to COVID-19

It’s truly amazing to see how our community continues to come together to help each other out during these unprecedented times. Here are a few local resources related to COVID-19 that you may find useful.

First off, the Region of Waterloo has created a page specific to COVID-19 that posts health updates, changes to city services such as waste collection, a list of businesses that are open/closed, as well a variety of community support systems for those in need.

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region is working hard to make sure no one goes hungry but it’s been a real challenge for them lately with physical distancing restrictions. Financial donations are therefore critical at the moment, so if you can, please donate online so that they can then purchase food items that are in high demand.

A local website has also been set up to assist with the shortage of protective equipment for our brave healthcare workers and other first-responders in and around the Waterloo Region. CovidHealth.ca offers information on how people can donate or volunteer to help solve this problem.

There’s also a local Facebook group dedicated to connecting those in need with those who can help. For instance, you can put out an offer to help someone pick up their groceries or you can simply share local resources with one another. It’s a great way to help out and feel connected!

If you don’t use Facebook, check out KW Mutual Aid. This site was set up to exchange information and coordinate support so that people can more easily work together to support local businesses and workers who have been hit hard by COVID-19.

Everyone is struggling to some degree at the moment, but it’s nice to know that we can still rely on one another for support. Things will get better but in the meantime, please take care of yourself and don’t forget to check in on your neighbours.

Spring Painting

Creating a Sanctuary at Home

We’re spending so much time cooped up in our homes, so it’s important that our living space makes us feel relaxed and positive. Here are a few ways to create a more calming atmosphere:

The Right Routine
Building a solid routine into your day will help create a sense of control and normality. Start the moment you wake up by making your bed as it’ll set a positive tone for the rest of the day.

Lighten Up
Natural light is a proven antidepressant so open up your room as much as possible to natural sunlight. Pull back the curtains, clean the windows and then open them up to let the fresh air flow!

Picture Perfect
Now’s the perfect time to surround yourself with items that boost your happiness so display more art and photographs around your home that remind you of happy memories.

Clear the Clutter
Clutter causes people to feel overwhelmed so now’s the perfect time to go through everything, room by room, closet by closet, and either donate or toss any items that you no longer need.

Organize Everything
Creating organizational systems in your home will help give you more control over your environment and it’s also a great way to get the whole family involved in a project.

Get Gardening
Studies have shown that gardening can reduce symptoms of depression. If you have limited space, consider planting a vertical garden and if you don’t have any outdoor space, grow seeds for indoor pots.

Sleep Soundly
Getting enough sleep is critical when it comes to maintaining strong mental health so keep your bedroom comfortable and tidy, stick to a solid sleep routine and don’t bring in any electronic devices.

The last few weeks have been an adjustment, to say the least, but we will get through this and come out stronger than ever! In the meantime, I hope these ideas will help you create a space where you can feel happier and more relaxed.

Spring Painting

Bring the Amusement Park to Your Home!

Outdoor events and activities are currently postponed, but there are still plenty of creative ways to have a fun day in. For example, you can now take a virtual trip to the amusement park! 

Canada’s Wonderland has set up a way for you to virtually ride 16 of their most popular roller coasters including the Yukon Striker, which stands 68 metres tall before diving below water at a speed of 130 kilometres per hour!

You’ll be able to feel every jolting turn and terrifying twist from the comfort of your living room and you won’t even have to pay for parking or wait in any lines! The best part is that there won’t be any height restrictions for the kids to worry about!

To help get everyone in the spirit, plan this event a few days in advance so you can build up the anticipation and excitement, just as you would for a regular day out.

You can even prepare some fun, amusement style treats such as ice cream sandwiches. If you really want to set the stage, consider setting up some amusement park ambience in the background!

When the big day finally arrives, set up some space in front of your TV with a few rows of chairs and place laundry baskets in front for the little ones. Grab your tickets now and plan your trip in for a great time out!

Spring Painting

A Virtual House Party

It’s now more important than ever to find ways to stay connected with friends and family. You’re probably familiar with Zoom or Skype for video calling, but have you heard of Houseparty?

It’s a video calling app that allows users to connect with up to 8 people at a time. When you open the app, you can join a “room” where you can chat with friends and family.

The best part is that users are able to play games against each other such as Trivia, Chips and Guac, Heads Up and Quick Draw.

Privacy is important so if you’re only interested in chatting with certain people, you can lock the room to prevent uninvited guests from just popping in or you can set up a private group where members need to be invited.

During times like these, we sometimes need to get creative in the ways that we connect with our friends and family. Social distancing is what we need to do right now but that doesn’t mean we can’t socialize from a distance.





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