Hot K-W market continues to set new records

Hot K-W market continues to set new records

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update 

Mike Bollger 5Hot K-W market continues to set new records in March.

Residential sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener
‐Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) continued their monthly ascent in March with 729 properties sold in Kitchener‐Waterloo and area.

This represents a 24.2 percent increase compared to the same month last year, and is the highest March on record.

“This is the first time we’ve seen residential sales come anywhere close to the 700 unit mark so early in the year,” says James Craig, President of the KWAR.  “These are exceptionally strong numbers, in fact’ we’ve only surpassed 700 units in a single month three other times: May 2007, and then not again until May and June of last year.”

During the first quarter of 2017, there were 1,532 home sales, 13.4 percent above last year’s result for the same period and 30 percent above the previous 5
‐year quarterly average.  On a monthly basis, home sales were 41 percent above the previous 5‐year average for the month of March.

Residential sales in March included 444 detached homes (up 15.0 percent compared to March 2016), 164 condominium units (up 49.1 percent) which include any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.).  Sales also included 67 semi
‐detached homes (up 76.3 percent) and 48 freehold townhouses (up 14.3 percent).

The average sale price of all residential sales increased 32.3 percent to $493,226 compared to March 2016.  Detached homes sold for an average price of $583,144 an increase of 35.6 percent, while the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $265,524, an increase of 25.4 percent.  Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $368,554 (up 29.9 percent) and $412,226 (up 49.1 percent) respectively.

Once again in their latest monthly news release, the Canadian Real Estate Association called the disparity between limited housing supply and robust demand in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe “without precedent”.  In Kitchener
‐Waterloo, the number of months of inventory has stood at or below one month for eight consecutive months.

Despite the low inventory, Craig notes that people were listing their homes in large numbers last month.  “We had 844 new listings processed through our MLS® System in March which is above the previous 5
‐year average of 807 for the month of March.”  However, due to extraordinary demand, the number of active residential listings still on the market at the end of March was well below normal with only 434 residential properties for sale, way below the previous 5‐year March average of 1,508.

The average days on market in March were significantly shorter than a year ago: 14 days, compared to 35 days.  On a month to month basis, it took four fewer days to sell a home in March compared to the month before.  “In the past several months there has been plenty of conversation in the media, in the pubs, and at all levels of government surrounding housing affordability, and it’s a concern I share,” says, Craig.

“Earlier this month the Ontario Real Estate Association alongside the Ontario Home Builders’ Association called on the province to create a taskforce to address home affordability.  While homeownership is an investment that has served most Canadians extremely well, it’s also becoming very difficult for those first
‐time buyers who are trying to share in that dream and get into the market.”

The K-W Pet Expo is Coming Soon! 

Mike BolgerIf you’re a pet lover, you won’t want to miss this event!

The K-W Pet Expo is returning to town on Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, May 7th at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex.  It's the largest pet consumer show in the Region!

Get up close and handle exotic creatures with “Hands on Exotics” whose animals are SPCA seizures, former pets, zoo and working animals.  There will also be a pet costume contest, surf dog show and the entertaining wiener dog race!

There’s lots to keep everyone entertained and educated at the K-W Pet Expo so bring the entire family (including your pet) for a fun day out as you browse the 50+ vendors for pet related products and services while enjoying many of the planned events and entertainment!

The Latest Garden & Landscaping Trends 

Mike Bollger 3Get the dirt on this year’s latest and greatest gardening trends!

It’s the time of year when many of us start coming up with ideas on how to jazz up our outdoor space.  If you’re the type who can’t wait to get your hands dirty, here are a few ideas to inspire you:

  1. Natural Materials- Wood and rocks are popular gardening materials as people are moving towards a more organic and authentic look.
  2. Cozy Comfort- The Danish concept of Hygge is about creating comfortable gathering areas for friends and family such as pillow chairs that surround an outdoor fireplace.
  3. Grow Local- Sprawling lawns are being replaced with edible landscapes so homeowners can organically grow their own fruits, vegetables and herbs.
  4. eGardening- Smartphone apps make it easy to plan and grow your garden based on your climate zone.  They can even alert you if a cold snap’s coming so you can cover your plants.
  5. Gardening Gadgets- Robot grass mowers and customizable sprinkler systems that monitor the weather and adjust watering schedules are helpful for those who love lush lawns.
  6. Polly Plants- Create an inviting garden by planting bright, nectar rich flowers that will attract a variety of pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds.

Gardening is a great way to get outside and get in touch with mother nature so it’s no surprise in this ever-connected digital world that taking a break to work on our gardens is growing in popularity.  Regardless of whether or not you follow the latest trends this spring, here’s to digging in and getting your hands dirty!

Cracking Up is No Laughing Matter 

Mike Bollger 4The foundation is the home’s most important structural component.

A serious foundation problem can quickly turn into an expensive nightmare.  Buyers realize this and won't purchase a home until it's been properly repaired or worse, they’ll simply walk away.

If you notice cracks, bowing or anything else that looks suspicious, you should have the foundation inspected by a qualified professional to determine just how serious the problem is.

Indications of possible foundation problems include uneven floors, windows/doors that are hard to open/shut and diagonal cracks on walls around the corners of doors and windows.  It's important to keep in mind though that many homes have cracks and defects which are purely cosmetic.

Foundation cracks are caused by hydrostatic pressure from water that soaks into the earth around the base of the home.  The foundation sinks as water spills out from the gutters and puddles around the perimeter putting pressure against the foundation which causes cracks that make the house settle more than it should.

If you're selling a home with a foundation problem, it’s usually best to get it fixed beforehand as a questionable foundation problem can often squash a sale.  If you don't plan on fixing the issue, at least get a few quotes so that you're able to show the approximate cost of repairs.

Spring New Life into Your Home 

Mike Bollger 2It’s finally that time of year to refresh and reorganize your home!

Spring has sprung which means fresh scents, chirping birds and new life in the garden!  It's time to bring that spring fresh feeling into your home so open the windows, let the fresh air in and:

  • create a spring cleaning checklist
  • focus on only one room at a time
  • throw out all expired items
  • vacuum and rotate your mattresses
  • clean under the beds

With a clean, fresh home under your belt, you'll be all set to focus on cleaning up your outdoor furniture so that you can enjoy the summer months that are just around the corner!


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