September Home Sales Were Hot

September Home Sales Were Hot

The Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Report 

a4September home sales show no signs of cooling off.

A total of 540 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 represents a 29.2 percent increase in sales compared to September of 2015, and is a new record high for the month.

On a year-to-date basis 5,241 residential units have sold compared to 4,456 during the same period in 2015, an increase of 17.6 percent.  This is the first time sales have exceed the 5000 unit mark at the end of the third quarter.

“While demand remains strong, the supply of active listings continues to be elusive,” said KWAR President Charlotte Zawada.  Residential listing inventory on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of Septembers totalled 815, a decline of 51 percent compared to September 2015.

Showing the most traction, were the sales of condominium type units, which include any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.), increasing 80.6 percent to 130 transactions in September relative to the same month a year ago.

Meanwhile, 333 single detached homes sold last month, an increase of 19.8 percent, compared to last year.  September’s sales also included 31 Semi-detached homes (down 18.4 percent) and 33 freehold townhouses (up 22.2 percent).

The average price of all residential properties sold year-to-date was $380,692, a 9.7 percent increase over 2015.  The average price of a detached home to the end of the third quarter was $443,554, an 11.8 percent increase over 2015.  During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $231,187, an increase of 4.5 percent.  Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $281,709 (up 8.3 percent) and $293,167 (up 8.5 percent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold year-to-date increased 9.9 percent to $350,000, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 10.9 percent to $400,500.  “Like many of our neighbouring market areas, it continues to be a sellers’ market here in Waterloo region,” says Zawada.  “The tight supply of listings we’re experiencing is putting upward pressure on prices.”

Although growth for the region is generally positive, and demand for residential real estate continues to be strong, Zawada acknowledges that the recent measure by the federal government to introduce a mortgage rate “stress test” on all new insured mortgages could delay home purchases for some would-be first time buyers, as they assess what they can afford, and possibly save for a bigger down payment.  “While the changes shouldn’t impact our market to a large degree, the very fact that the government is taking these steps could cause a slight cooling of the market,” says Zawada.

The Frederick Art Walk 

a1Mark your calendar for the annual Frederick Art Walk!

What started out as a pottery sale is now a thriving craft tour featuring over 70 artists in 28 heritage homes.

This year, the Frederick Art Walk will be held on Saturday, November 12th which marks its 16th anniversary!

There’ll be a variety of original arts and crafts such as stained glass, wood crafts, candles, soaps, photography, paintings, fused glass, sketches, skincare items, stationery, jewellery and various delicious edibles.

Enjoy a relaxing fall walking tour through one of Kitchener’s oldest neighbourhoods while getting a head start on your holiday shopping with one-of-a-kind crafts from local artisans!  Hope to see you out and about!

Reduce your Bills and Chills 

a5It’s important to do everything we can to reduce our energy use.

A few small changes can make a huge difference to your monthly energy bill.  For instance, adjusting your “smart” thermostat by just a few degrees can produce major savings!

Also, don’t forget to lower the thermostat on your water heater or better yet, get an "on demand" system that only heats up water as it’s needed.  Here are a few other ideas to consider:

  • switch over to LED bulbs
  • install energy efficient shower heads
  • clean out your dryer’s lint tray after each use
  • seal up air leaks around your windows and doors
  • use ceiling fans to save money on both heating and cooling
  • service your air conditioner and furnace each year to maintain efficiency

Landscaping is a naturally beautiful way to keep your home comfortable.  A few strategically placed trees or shrubs can save a fortune on heating and cooling as they shelter against the cold winter winds and provide shade during the summer months.

Higher energy bills are a harsh reality for the rising number of people who work from home.  To help minimize this expense, power down your computer when it’s not in use and shut it off completely at the end of the day.  You can also cut costs by positioning your desk to take advantage of natural light.

It doesn’t take much to implement a few energy saving solutions around the home but oftentimes, it's the simple things that are overlooked.  It’s important to do whatever we can, not only to save money but also to help conserve the environment.

When Pushy Comes to Shovy 

a2Clear communication is an important element in any relationship.

Nobody wants to deal with a pushy real estate agent.  At the same time, you don't want an agent who's never in touch and fails to service your needs in a timely fashion.

In the early stages, many home buyers shy away from asking too many questions as they don’t want to waste the agent's time.  The truth is, your agent wants to hear from you on a regular basis so they can grow with you as your house hunting journey matures.

Everyone's different.  Some require daily property updates while others prefer a more relaxed approach.  Circumstances may change as time goes on so it's important to constantly reassess how often you'd like to receive market updates and what your preferred method of communication is.

Effective communication is essential when it comes to forming and maintaining any relationship and a client/agent relationship is no different.  As long as you and your agent regularly communicate with one another during your house hunting journey, you'll feel neither pressured nor abandoned.

How to Host a Successful Clothing Swap 

a3It’s time for a change – a change of clothes that is!

If your closets are bursting at the seams, you may want to organize a clothing swap.  It’s a great local event to host in your ‘hood!  Here are a few tips to ensure its success:

  • organize clothing by size
  • create space for a few private change rooms
  • have a few full length mirrors with decent lighting
  • refreshments, appetizers and music are a nice touch

If you're looking to clear out the clutter in your closets, meet new people and update your wardrobe, a clothing swap might just be the answer!  It’ll be a win-win situation if you donate the remaining clothing items to a local homeless shelter as well as ask attendees to bring along a small food bank donation.


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