January home sales up over the same time last year

January home sales up over the same time last year

The Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Report 

Mike Bolger 4January home sales up over the same time last year.

The number of residential sales in January through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) increased 5.8% compared to January 2016 and 22% above the 5-year average for January.

There was a total of 327 residential properties sold last month; including 194 detached homes (down 5.4 percent compared to January 2016), 79 condominium units (up 19.7 percent) which include any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.).  Sales also included 32 semi-detached homes (up 128.6 percent) and 20 freehold townhouses (down 9.1 percent).

While demand remained strong in January, the number of active listings was down significantly as there were just 367 active listings at the end of January, compared to 1,068 in 2016.

“The continued strong demand combined with a tight supply of listings means that many properties are not on the market for very long,” says James Craig, President of the KWAR.  “This has created an extremely competitive buying environment.”

The average days on market in January were significantly shorter than a year ago at 22 days, compared to 47 days, and six days quicker than in December.

The average sales price of all residential properties sold in January was $421,104, a 0.5 percent decline compared to the previous month, and a 19.1 percent increase compared to January 2016.

Reaching a new milestone in December, was the average price of a detached home sold through the KWAR’s MLS® System which for the first time surpassed the half million mark; a benchmark that was repeated again in January, with the average detached home selling for $501,821, an increase of 22.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

In the condominium market the average sale price for an apartment style unit was $237,220 in January, a 2.8 percent decrease compared to the previous month, and a 17.1 increase compared to the same month a year ago.  Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $323,946 (up 5.8 percent compared to December) and $353,295 (up 6 percent compared to December) respectively.

President Craig points out that Waterloo region is in high demand.  “Getting into the housing market at the moment is not easy, and buyers need all the help they can get.  It is more important than ever that you avail yourself of the professional knowledge of a local REALTOR® to guide you through these unique market conditions.”

The Kitchener-Waterloo Comedy Festival 

Mike Bolger 5Come out to the comedy festival and enjoy a weekend of laughs!

It’s said that laughter is the best medicine so keep the bugs at bay by catching a show or two at the Kitchener Waterloo Comedy Festival!

This year’s event will be held between March 2nd - 4th at the Centre in the Square, Starlight, The Jazz Room, the Apollo Cinema and The Registry Theatre.

Not only is the Kitchener Waterloo Comedy Festival the funniest event in town but it’s also offered in support of the Waterloo Regional Food Bank so don’t forget to bring a few canned goods with you to the show!

Your canned items will be part of “Canstruction” which is an event held at Conestoga Mall between March 10th - 19th where designers, engineers and architects compete to build impressive structures out of thousands of cans of food which are then judged and exhibited to the public before being donated to the Waterloo Regional Food Bank.

Hot Home Trends for 2017 

Mike Bolger 2The new year is a great time to update your living space!

It’s fun to follow the latest home and garden trends, especially if you're hoping to make your home more attractive to buyers.  Here are a few of the latest trends to look out for:

  1. Shedquarters- A “shedquarter” is a private, backyard spot that can be used as an office, artist workspace or party area.
  2. Docking Stations- Small, pull down desks can be added almost anywhere as wireless technology enables us to shift away from traditional home offices.
  3. Vintage Vanities- Putting your bathroom sink on just about anything is huge this year!  Old dressers, filing cabinets and even tree trunks can be converted into unique vanities.
  4. Laundry Love- Homeowners are giving their laundry rooms some serious love with innovative storage solutions, bright lighting and even stylish wallpaper!
  5. Foodscaping- Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are now being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.
  6. Smart Windows- Cutting edge window technology now allows our windows to be programmed according to the weather outside as well as the air quality inside.

Just like fashion, home trends can come and go so it’s important not to overcommit.  Hopefully these ideas have given you some inspiration as to what’s coming next, whether you’re thinking of selling or just simply looking to update your home.

Clean Up Your Digital Clutter 

Mike Bolger 3Get a jump on spring cleaning by clearing out your digital clutter.

Paper files are often the first items we purge during a spring clean but many times we neglect our digital files.  Kick off your spring clean this year with a deep, digital cleanse:

  1. Get a Pass- Use a password manager to encrypt one master password that can be used on all websites.
  2. Address Your Apps- Uninstall apps you no longer use to clear up space and keep your phone running smoothly.
  3. Manage Mail- Unsubscribe from emails you no longer read and delete old emails or organize them into folders.
  4. Clear Cache- Regularly clear your browser history, cache and cookies in order to create more storage and speed up your browser.
  5. Back it Up- Make sure all of your important files and photos are automatically backed up to the cloud to increase storage space.

This digital cleanse applies to your computer, smartphone and all your social media accounts.  While you’re at it, you should also review your privacy settings on apps and social media platforms to make sure you’re sharing information with the right audiences.

The Power of Lemon Aid 

Mike Bolger 1The lowly lemon can make quite the impact around the house!

Load up on lemons if you're searching for a powerful, environmentally friendly cleaner that can tackle virtually any household chore!  Here are just a few ways they can make your home naturally sparkle:

  • lemon juice is great at absorbing stains on countertops
  • soak carpet stains for 20 minutes then rinse and blot
  • mix lemon juice with baking soda to create a scouring paste
  • heat a bowl of water with sliced lemons in the microwave for a few minutes before wiping it down

Lemons are an excellent alternative to toxic cleansers plus they'll fill your home with a refreshing citrus scent!  A great tip for squeezing as much juice as possible from your lemons is to microwave them for 30 seconds, wait a minute, then cut and squeeze.


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