Homebuyers were out in full force again in April

Homebuyers were out in full force again in April

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update 

Mike Bolger P5April was showered with numerous home sales.

It was another record setting month for home sales as 766 residential transactions were recorded through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), an increase of 14.3 percent compared to April 2016.

Residential sales in April included 492 detached homes (up 14.7 percent compared to April 2016), 161 condominium units (down 1.2 percent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.).  Sales also included 52 semi-detached homes (up 30 percent) and 53 freehold townhouses (up 60.6 percent).

“Homebuyers were out in full force again in April,” says James Craig, President of the KWAR.  “The encouraging sign was that we actually saw more listings coming onto the market last month than we’ve seen in quite a while.”

REALTORS® listed 985 residential properties in K-W and area last month, a 17.8 percent increase compared to April of 2016, and the first time the number of new listings put on the market in a single month has come so close to the 1,000 unit mark in two years.

However, with inventory continuing to sit at or below one month of inventory for the ninth consecutive month, there continues to be a lot of pressure on prices.  By the end of April, there were only 652 residential listings still active on the KWAR’s MLS® System — that’s 48.8 percent fewer than the 1,274 available listings that were on the market at the end of April 2016.

The average sales price of all residential sales increased 39.7 percent to $512,656 compared to April 2016.  Detached homes sold for an average price of $594,453 an increase of 40.1 percent while the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $267,455, an increase of 18.3 percent.  Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $377,531 (up 39.3 percent) and $415,709 (up 47.7 percent) respectively.

Vigorous demand for homes in Waterloo region meant homes were snapped up quickly.  The average days on market in April were 10, compared to 33 days a year ago.  On a month to month basis, it took four fewer days from list to sale date in April compared to March.

To address the growing concern around housing affordability, particularly throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the province recently announced 16 measures for homebuyers and renters, called Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan.  “It’s still too soon to say what kind of impact these change will have on the market,” says Craig.  “We don’t support expanding rent controls, or any new taxes – but I was pleased that the government will be creating a Home Ownership Task Force to provide ideas about getting more supply to market.”

Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival 

Mike Bolger P4Celebrate the rich diversity our community has to offer!

Every summer, for the past 49 years, our community has celebrated ethnic diversity and all its wonders at the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival!

This year, the festival turns 50!  It will be held on Saturday June 24th and Sunday, June 25th in Victoria Park, Kitchener rain or shine from 12 - 8 p.m. so mark your calendars!

Sample a variety of unique food and enjoy the entertainment on the main stage that will represent over 30 countries.  There will also be over 100 vendors as well as a variety of community agencies to check out in the International Marketplace.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festivalis an event that’s fun for the entire family and it’s also a great way to get into the spirit for Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday!  Hope to see you there!

Cashing In On Curb Appeal 

Mike Bolger P2A few small changes will transform your home’s first impression!

The key to getting top dollar for your home is to create huge demand.  In order to get as many people through the door as possible, your home has to stand out from the competition.
There's no need to completely overhaul your home's exterior as it's often the small details that increase the visual appeal of a property.  Here are a few ideas that will enhance your home's curb appeal:

  1. Light It Up- Solar lights will add a welcoming glow and dramatically highlight your home’s exterior.
  2. Perfect Porch- A well-lit porch with a few comfortable chairs and a couple of hanging baskets will set a tranquil tone.
  3. Peeling Paint- You want buyers to see that your home is well cared for so paint or power wash the exterior and clean all the windows.
  4. Accessorize- Replace outdated fixtures such as your mailbox, door handle and porch light and make sure your house numbers are attractive and visible from the street.
  5. Landscaping- Cut the grass and trim the hedges.  Well-kept flower beds show pride of ownership and a few large pots full of bright flowers will accentuate the entranceway.
  6. De-clutter- An uncluttered exterior is as important as an uncluttered interior so put away tools, toys, bikes, pet toys and gardening equipment.
  7. Watch Your Back- When buyers drive by your home, they’ll usually try and get a glimpse of the backyard so make sure it also gets top notch treatment!

Just as people judge a book by its cover, buyers make assumptions about the interior of your home based on how the outside looks.  It's therefore important to make a great first impression starting with the curb.  Your efforts will significantly increase the chances of your home selling quickly and for top dollar!

Unplugging Kids from Technology 

Mike Bolger P1It just takes a little planning to curb the addiction to screens.

Children rely on technology more than ever resulting in less exercise and a lack of creativity.  Here are a few “old school” activities to help them disconnect from their devices:

  1. Personal Puzzles- Cut an old photograph into various pieces and then see how quickly they can put it back together.
  2. Build a Fort- Drape blankets over chairs to create a cool fort.  Once they're comfortable in their new abode, drop by with some “fort warming” snacks.
  3. And... Action!- Putting on a play is a great way to exercise a child's imagination.  They can take turns writing, acting, designing costumes and even filming.
  4. Egg & Spoon Race- Give your children an egg and spoon and see how quickly they can cross the finish line without dropping it.  This old-fashioned game will get them active and outside!
  5. Caching In- Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game!  Register online and then set off to find the hidden cache with the help of a GPS.

Kids love being tourists in their own cities so take some time to regularly plan fun family outings that don’t involve technology.  If we make the effort to disconnect once in a while, our kids will be more likely to do the same.

Don’t Get Left Out in the Heat 

Mike Bolger P3If your A/C is going to fail, it’s certain to happen during a heat wave!

If your air conditioning fails on a hot day you could be stuck inside roasting for days until a technician’s able to come out, and when they do, the repair cost may make your blood boil!
A neglected air conditioner isn't efficient or reliable so it's important to have it serviced regularly.  The service check will include cleaning the unit coils, checking the amp draw of the compressor, adjusting the belts and topping up the fluid.
Regularly servicing your air conditioner will prevent wear and tear plus it will increase the efficiency of your unit which in turn will reduce your electricity bills.  Don't leave it until it’s too late.  Schedule your check-up today so you can avoid being left out in the heat.


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