Unprecedented year for home sales in the Waterloo Region

Unprecedented year for home sales in the Waterloo Region


The Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Report 

Mike BolgerUnprecedented year for home sales in the Waterloo Region!

There were a total of 6,655 residential sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in 2016.

That’s 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.

Dollar volume of all residential real estate sold last year increased 30.9 percent to $2,578,176,468 compared with 2015.

“2016 was marked by unrelenting demand for homes, in the face of fewer homes being put on the market,” said James Craig, President of the KWAR.  There were 8,003 residential listings processed through the KWAR’s MLS® System in 2016, a decrease of 9.7 percent compared to 2015.

“For the past several months we’ve seen the number of months of inventory ranging between a ten-year low of 1 and 2 months,” says Craig.  “While this puts sellers in a very strong position, it’s not so easy when those same sellers need to downsize or move-up.”

The average sales price of all residential properties sold in 2016 increased 10.8 percent to $387,404 in comparison to 2015.  Detached homes sold for an average price of $451,738 an increase of 12.5 percent while the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $229,676, an increase of 3.6 percent.  Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $287,396 (up 9.9 percent) and $300,806 (up 11.8 percent) respectively.

Home sales in 2016 included 4,203 detached homes (up 16.3 percent from 2015) and 1,511 condominium type units (up 28.1 percent) which include any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached, etc.).  Sales also included 430 semi-detached homes (up 6.2 percent) and 430 freehold townhouses (up 7.2 percent).

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.”

Adding, “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.”

Waterloo’s Wonderful Winterloo 

Mike BolgerMark your calendar for Waterloo’s incredible annual winter event!

Uptown Waterloo is celebrating winter with Winterloo this year between February 24th - 26th!

This annual event is packed with a variety of winter-themed events including dog sled rides, world-class ice sculpting and the famous Winterloo chilli cook-off.

There will also be an ongoing line-up of family-friendly hockey games as well as horse-drawn trolley rides in and around the uptown core.

If it gets too cold and you need to warm up, step inside the Button Factory on Regina Street to enjoy some craft works.  Whatever you end up doing, rediscover the joys of winter with an assortment of activities that offer something fun for the entire family!

Surviving the Stress of a Home Renovation 

Mike BolgerA bit of planning in advance will help keep you sane during a renovation.

If you're thinking about renovating your home, you’ll want to try and consider every little detail in advance.

Careful planning will not only allow you to hold onto your sanity during the upheaval but will also ensure you get the best bang for your buck!  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. No Surprises- Make sure you agree (in writing) on a completion date but keep in mind that renovations can sometimes be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.
  2. Be Flexible- Accept from the start that you’ll be dealing with a lack of privacy along with dust, noise, mess and disorganization but remember that it’ll all be worth it in the end.
  3. Kidding Around- Set aside some toys/games for the kids and schedule some playdates and local outings so you can escape the construction zone chaos.
  4. Plan Ahead- Pre-prep some freezer meals for quick and easy dinners.  Also, take this opportunity to donate unwanted items to charity so your newly renovated home won’t be full of clutter.
  5. Stay in the Loop- Misunderstandings between contractors (and spouses!) are one of the biggest causes of stress during a renovation.  Open communication is essential so schedule regular progress reports.

Watching your home transform into something new is a very exciting experience but it’s also a major inconvenience.  The secret to making sure everything goes smoothly is to remain calm throughout the process and plan ahead for surprises.  If you keep that in mind, your dream home will be a reality before you know it!

Avoiding the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide 

Mike BolgerThis odorless gas can poison or even kill with little or no warning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a serious threat that affects families every day.  Lower gas levels can cause headaches, fatigue and nausea while higher levels can be fatal.

Ensure exhaust gases are properly vented from the central home heating unit.  It’s also important to have your furnace, chimney and vents regularly inspected by a trained professional.

You should also install a CO detector on each floor of your home.  There are a variety of units available but it’s important to remember that a detector doesn't replace the need to maintain your furnace.

Most cities offer environmental services that measure indoor air quality.  Prevention is key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning as this silent killer is difficult to detect so make sure your home’s properly protected.

The Trick to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions 

Mike BolgerIt’s important to have realistic goals as well as a flexible attitude.

The new year inspires us to start fresh but the possibility of failure sometimes stops us from even getting started.

There are a variety of smartphone apps to help you track your goals whether they be to quit smoking, build volunteer hours or lose weight.  Stride for iPhone and Resolutions for Android are both very popular options.

New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be set in stone so try to be strong yet flexible.  If you start realizing your goals aren't achievable, take a few moments to modify them.  Our lives are constantly changing so it’s important that our goals change as well.

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