Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market May 2020




As anticipated, real estate activity saw a steep decline last month in response to the pandemic lockdown, resulting in one of the slowest Aprils in history.

There were 227 residential homes sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® in April, a decrease of 63.6 per cent compared to the same month last year, and the lowest number of sales in a single month since December 2008.

“It goes without saying the current pandemic has had a major impact on the number of sales we would normally see in April,” says Colleen Koehler, President of KWAR.

“With everyone doing their part to flatten the curve and doing their best to self-isolate, the buying and selling of homes have been greatly reduced.”

Total residential sales in April included 145 detached homes (down 63.3 per cent), and 22 condominium apartments (down 71.1 per cent). Sales also included 44 townhouses (down 61.1 per cent) and 16 semi-detached homes (down 60 per cent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in April increased 7.3 per cent to $568,738 compared to the same month last year, while detached homes sold for an average price of $657,042 an increase of 7.3 per cent.

During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment-style condominium was $367,230 for an increase of 8.1 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $406,463 (up 0.4 per cent) and $491,816 (up 13.3 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold in April increased by 7.1 per cent to $525,000 and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 6.3 per cent to $605,000.

While still deemed an essential service, REALTORS® listed considerably fewer homes in April due to the current state of emergency. There were 417 new listings added to the MLS® System in KW and area last month, a decrease of 54.8 per cent compared to April of 2019, far fewer than the previous 10-year average of 937 listings in April.

The total number of homes available for sale in active status at the end of April was 571, a decrease of 36.6 per cent compared to April of last year.

The number of Months Supply (also known as absorption rate) continues to be very low at just 1.2 months for the month of April, 36.8 per cent below the same period last year. The previous ten-year average supply of homes for April was 2.95 months, and in the past 5 years, the average supply for April was 2.12 months.

Koehler says most REALTORS® are advising sellers to hold off on listing their properties until after the state of emergency has been lifted. However, not every seller or buyer has that option which is why real estate was deemed an essential service.

Realtors who have been working with buyers and sellers through this unprecedented time have been carefully following the guidelines of health Canada and taking all the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their clients.

“In addition to health safety measures, our members are quickly adapting to new ways of showing property by conducting virtual showings for their clients, and other innovative practices,” says Koehler.

"The president of KWAR is confident that despite the current pandemic, the slowdown in housing sales will be temporary. “It has been a strong sellers’ market for the past few years with buyers competing for a scare number of listings.”

"Now for the first time in a long time, April saw some balance with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 54 percent – well within the balanced threshold. We have witnessed some buyers expecting homes to sell at greatly reduced amounts, and frankly, that’s simply not the case. Home values have remained stable which we expect will continue,” says Koehler.

The average days to sell in April was 19 days, compared to 21 days in April 2019.
Shop Local

Help Support K-W Businesses

Buying local improves our community’s economy and helps us connect with our neighbours. Here are a few creative ways to support our stores and restaurants that are struggling during these challenging times:

Mom & Pop Shops
Try to shop at your local greengrocer or hardware store instead of the larger, national chains or massive international online retailers.

Paying it Forward
Prepaying for services such as your next couple of haircuts or purchasing gift cards can make a huge difference to those whose businesses have ground to a halt.

Virtual Classes
Some businesses, such as fitness studios and children’s playgroups, have moved their classes online so if you’re able to continue paying for your monthly membership, consider giving their new format a try.

Spread the Word
If there’s a local business you really love, sign up for their newsletter and forward it to your friends. Also, follow them on social media, like and share their posts, and leave a positive review for them on Google.

Open for Business
The restaurant industry has been particularly hard hit but there are still ways you can support them. The City of Waterloo has a directory of all the restaurants that are open for take-out and delivery. There’s also a directory of local businesses that are still up and running.

Finally, although the Kitchener Market is closed, they have a list of vendors on their website that are still able to provide food and other goods for pick-up at alternative locations.

Our small businesses are integral to the character of our community. Now’s the time when we all need to support one another, whether it be family, friends or those who are trying so hard to keep their businesses afloat. In times like these, the slightest gesture can make a huge difference!

Six Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Six Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Social distancing can be hard sometimes, but it’s a great opportunity to tackle those projects around the house that will add value to your home while improving its appearance.

Fixing up your home will provide a tremendous sense of accomplishment, plus it’ll help you fall in love with your home all over again! Here are a few projects that require minimal supplies that can be ordered online:

Brush Up Your Home
Painting is one of the easiest ways to update your space. Now’s the time to patch up any holes in the walls or scuff marks on the baseboards. If you don’t feel like painting an entire room, you can always just paint an accent wall.

Attention to Detail
Give some TLC to those little details like a section of ripped carpeting, a creaky floorboard, a sticky door or a leaky faucet. A little love goes a long way and it’ll likely inspire you to take on larger projects.

Doors Open
Your front door is one of the first things people will see when we start socializing again so cleaning and repainting it will help make a great first impression!

Backyard Beauty
Spring is a great time to get outside and spruce up your outdoor space. Adding some plants and shrubs is an easy way to add value to your home, and digging in the dirt can be a great stress reliever!

Setting the Stage
Too much furniture can make your home feel a lot smaller than it actually is so try rearranging your couch or simply remove a chair. The slightest change to your layout can make your room feel much more spacious!

Garage Band-Aid
Cutting clutter isn’t just an inside job! The garage is often a dumping ground so move everything out to the driveway and give it a good clean. Get rid of any items you no longer need and install a series of hooks to add valuable vertical storage space.

Upgrading your home doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Now’s the perfect time to take your mind off the pressures of the pandemic, tackle as many indoor and outdoor projects as possible and build up the value of your biggest investment!

Be One With Nature From the Comfort of Your Home!

Be One With Nature From the Comfort of Your Home!

The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for us to gain access to some of our favourite outdoor spots, so we’ve all had to find creative ways to get our nature fix.

Now you can feel at one with nature with a website that allows you to tune into locations from around the world and view live feeds of a variety of wildlife as they go about their daily business in their natural habitat!

For instance, you can watch a herd of elephants take a break at an African watering hole or catch a glimpse of baby bald eagles in their nest enjoying a fresh fish dinner. You can even go whale watching from the comfort of your living room!

Watching these wild encounters provides a great escape and some much-needed relief, relaxation and inspiration during these unusual times when we find ourselves cooped up inside. If you have young kids, it can also provide a great educational opportunity! Check out all of the live sites at explore.org.





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