K-W Real Estate News April 2018

K-W Real Estate News April 2018

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update 
photo 1 Home sales up from last month but down from last year.

In March, the 540 residential properties sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), represented an increase of 43.6 per cent compared to last month and a decrease of 25.8 per cent compared to home sales a year ago.

Home sales in Waterloo Region last month mirrored the greater activity across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Numbers are down year over year, but the market is showing signs of warming up after the long winter”, says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President.

Make no mistake; we are still deep in a sellers' market and not expecting that to change for the remainder of the year. And while 2018 won't be quite as hectic as 2017, the market is going to be demanding. REALTORS® on the street are reporting strong demand throughout the region and receiving multiple offers on many homes.”

Residential sales in March included 310 detached (down 29.6 per cent), and 136 condominium units (down 17.6 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 40 semi-detached homes (down 40.3 per cent) and 52 freehold townhouses (up 8.3 per cent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in March decreased 0.7 per cent to $490,010 compared to March. Detached homes sold for an average price of $582,851 a decrease of 0.1 per cent compared to March of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $298,361 an increase of 11.3 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $375,702 (up 2 per cent) and $396,932 (down 3.7 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month was up 1.3 per cent compared to March of last year at $457,000, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 2.8 per cent to $545,000.

I think the flatter price acceleration we're seeing is due to softer demand for higher-priced properties. The new stress test may be having the impact of slowing down aspiring move-up buyers, as well as making it more difficult for entry-level purchasers.”

REALTORS® listed 833 residential properties in K-W and area last month, down 1.5 per cent compared to March of 2017. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR's MLS® System to the end of March totalled 792, which is 80 per cent more than March of last year but still significantly below the previous ten-year average of 1424 listings for March. The absorption rate (how long it would take to sell all of the active listings if no new properties are listed) remains at less than one month which is a further indicator there is insufficient supply to meet the local demand.

Schmidt says, For sellers, I would caution that just because there is a shortage of inventory does not mean they should cut-corners preparing their home for sale. I am hearing that homes that do not show well, are definitely taking longer to sell over those that do.”The average days it took to sell a home in March was 19 days, compared to 14 days in March 2017.
The K-W Pet Expo 
photo 2 If you're a pet lover, you won't want to miss this event!

The K-W Pet Expo is returning to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex on Saturday, May 5th and Sunday, May 6th. It's the largest pet consumer show in the Region!

There will be a variety of activities to keep you entertained all weekend long such as the pet costume contest, Superdogs Show and the highly entertaining Wiener Dog Race!

This year, Animal Ambassadors has partnered with a large animal rescue organization that will be presenting some of their exotic animals.

The K-W Humane Society will also be on site to share information about their programs and services, so don't forget to stop by their booth and learn how you can help support their great cause.

Bring the entire family (including your pet!) to the K-W Pet Expo for a fun day out as you browse the 50+ pet-related vendors while enjoying the various different planned events. Hope to see you there!
Buying a College Crib for Your Kid 
photo 3 This exciting life event could be a great investment opportunity!

There's an air of excitement when your kids move out to study at college or university but it can also be a very expensive time.

Purchasing an investment property may be one way to offset those expenses. The idea is to cover the mortgage payments with the rent collected from roommates while your child manages and maintains the property.

As with any home purchase, you'll want to carefully evaluate local market conditions so it's important to select the right real estate agent. If you don't already have someone you feel comfortable with, let me know and I can refer you to a professional who has a firm grasp of the local market.

Local rents, vacancy rates and zoning laws should also be examined. Finally, it's important to consider your long-term goals and determine whether you plan on renting it out once your child graduates as this will affect the rate of appreciation.

Specific purchasing details such as co-signing the mortgage or listing your child on title should be discussed with your financial planner and mortgage advisor. There are pros and cons to different ownership scenarios so you'll want to examine what makes sense for your specific individual situation.

Purchasing an investment property that's managed by your child is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly but it's certainly an option worth considering. It could end up being a great opportunity but make sure you do your homework so you can carefully weigh up the risks and rewards. When you crunch the numbers, you may just find that purchasing a campus crib makes great cents :)
The Foolproof Way to Babyproof Your Home 
photo 4 Little ones love to explore so be sure to properly prep your home.

The arrival of a new baby brings many responsibilities, one of which is babyproofing your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your home for your new little bundle of joy:

  1. Slam Jam - Install door stops/holders so fingers don't get caught.

  2. Tie Up Loose Ends - Tie up blind and curtain cords so they're out of reach.

  3. Cabinet Caution - Make sure cabinets and drawers are equipped with safety latches.

  4. Don't Cut Corners - Cover any sharp corners such as those on coffee tables with foam.

  5. It's No Shock - Cover electrical outlets with safety plugs so that they're not able to shove keys or other objects into them.

  6. Strong Attachments - Securely tether any furniture that could tip over such as dressers and shelves so they won't come tumbling down if your little one starts climbing.

  7. Supermax Security - Install a baby gate at the top and bottom of your staircase. Make sure they're attached directly to the wall and not just pressure mounted.

It's best to babyproof your home before your little one arrives as it'll be the last thing on your mind when you're a tired new parent. Getting down on all fours and crawling around will help you see hazards from their perspective.
Spring Home Maintenance Tips 
photo 4 It's the time of year to give your home a complete physical.

Spring has sprung so it's time to take a good look around your home, both inside and out and conduct some preventative maintenance. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • inspect your attic for rodents and roof leaks

  • inspect your roof and the flashings around your chimney

  • check seals around windows/doors and fix damaged screens

  • repair fences, posts, steps, decks, railings and outdoor furniture

  • clean out your gutters and make sure all of the downspouts drain away from your foundation

Your home is likely your biggest investment so it's important to perform regular maintenance in order to keep it in tip-top shape. If you set aside a couple of days now, you'll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy your home when the summer finally arrives!

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