| Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update
| Kitchener-Waterloo area home sales slip in September.
REALTORS® sold 448 homes through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in September.
This was a decrease of 4.7 per cent compared to September of last year.
On a year-to-date basis, 4,558 residential units have sold compared to 5,345 during the same period in 2017, a decrease of 14.7 per cent.
“The stress-test that came into force on all new mortgages at the beginning of the year has taken some of the steam out of home sales activity,” said KWAR President Tony Schmidt. “Meanwhile home prices continue to rise as inventory levels remain rather low.”
Residential sales in September included 270 detached (down 6.3 per cent compared to September 2017), and 110 condominium units (up 7.8 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 30 semi-detached homes (down 18.9 per cent) and 30 freehold townhouses (down 18.9 per cent).
The average sale price of all residential properties sold in September increased 10 per cent to $492,398 compared to the same month a year ago. Detached homes sold for an average price of $574,653 an increase of 11.4 per cent compared to September of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $325,378 an increase of 24.1 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $377,442 (up 4.7 per cent) and $386,670 (up 4.1 per cent) respectively.
The median price of all residential properties sold last month was up 10.5 per cent compared to September of last year at $453,000, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 8.8 per cent to $520,000.
REALTORS® listed 824 residential properties in K-W and area in last month, a 10 per cent increase compared to September of last year, and 9 per cent above the historical ten-year average of 755. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of September totalled 1,005, which is 18.2 per cent higher than September of last year but 522 units short of the previous ten-year average of 1,527 listings for September.
“While the mortgage stress was intended to prevent homebuyers in overheated markets like Vancouver and Toronto from borrowing more than they could afford, it has had the unintended consequence of putting the goal of owning a home further out of reach for buyers across all housing markets, including in Waterloo region. This is particularly impactful for first-time homebuyers where every penny counts.”
Schmidt notes that earlier this week he was in Ottawa with over 300 REALTORS® from across Canada to ask all levels of government to take regional differences into consideration before implementing nation-wide measures that impact homeownership.
| The Frederick Art Walk
| Get a head start on your holiday shopping at the Frederick Art Walk!
What started out 18 years ago as a simple pottery sale has now turned into a thriving craft tour featuring over 70 artists in 28 heritage homes.
The Frederick Art Walk is a 4 km walking tour through one of Kitchener’s oldest neighbourhoods, bounded by Victoria and Krug Streets to Lancaster Street and East Avenue.
The Frederick Art Walk will be held on Saturday, November 10th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at which time, donations will be gratefully accepted for the Suddaby Public School's Nutrition for Learning Program which helps ensure all students receive proper nutrition.
There will be a variety of original arts and crafts such as stained glass, wood crafts, candles, soaps, photography, paintings, fused glass, sketches, skincare items, stationery and jewellery along with a variety of homemade goods!
Don’t miss your chance to enjoy a relaxing fall walking tour through one of Kitchener’s oldest neighbourhoods while shopping for one-of-a-kind crafts from local artisans. Hope to see you out and about!
| The Principles of Pricing
| Your asking price can either make or break your sale.
Pricing your home correctly is critical to a successful sale as it will help ensure that your home sells for the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time.
Determining a home's asking price involves comparing similar homes in nearby areas that have recently sold while also taking past, present and future market trends into account.
Although you may have your own personal opinion of what your home's worth, it's important to be unbiased and realistic. At the end of the day, it’s the market that determines your home's true value.
There's always a huge buzz when a new property hits the market but if the price is too high, it will quickly become stale and there won't be any incentive for buyers to make a swift, strong offer. Worse yet, if it sits on the market too long, it’ll develop a stigma. We’ve all walked past a home that’s sat on the market for ages and wondered, “what’s wrong with it?”
Having your property sit on the market is also very inconvenient as you'll constantly have to keep it in a show-ready state which can be extremely stressful, not to mention exhausting. Furthermore, carrying costs such as mortgage interest, insurance, taxes and utilities will quickly add up if you get stuck carrying two homes at once.
Overpricing your property will actually help your competition as buyers will see other homes in your area as much better deals since they're less expensive. If, on the other hand, your home is priced close to fair market value, those same buyers will consider your home much more seriously.
Pricing a home is part art and part science. Market factors such as the economy, time of the year and interest rates can all make a huge difference. Your home only gets one chance to make a great first impression so it's important to enlist the services of a highly-qualified real estate agent to help you get things done properly from start to finish. Please don’t ever hesitate to ask if you have any questions!
| Things to Know when Flying with Kids in Tow
| When you take to the skies with little ones, be prepared for anything!
If you have young children, flying has likely taken on a whole new meaning, and fun probably isn't a word that springs to mind!
Flying with little ones can be somewhat bearable though if you're properly prepared. Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind:
- Call Ahead - Get details on seat selection and stroller storage. Reserve the bulkhead section if you're traveling with an infant and ask for a cot.
- Supply & Demand - Bring extra snacks, a variety of sticker books, lots of crayons and a few small toys to help hold their interest.â€¨â€¨
- Back-up Pack-up - Pack diapers, wipes and a few extra clothes in a separate, smaller bag so you don't have to lug your entire backpack to the bathroom.
- Get a Move On - Keep them on the move before the flight to tire them out so they won’t end up kicking the seat in front of you the whole time.
- Fasten Your Seatbelts - Have a few important items on hand in case you’re unable to access the overhead compartment and always have a drink ready to help relieve their ear pressure.
It always takes a little longer to do anything with kids so be sure to allow a bit of extra breathing room. Also, flying definitely isn’t the time to worry about your kids being on their screens so bring along a fully charged device (and a portable charger) to help distract them during the flight. Oh, and don’t forget the headphones!
| Halloween in the 'Hood
| Halloween's a great way to get to know the people on your street!
It’s not often that the people on your block are out roaming around in full force so why not use Halloween as an opportunity to build some community spirit! Here are a few fun ideas to consider:
- Scariest House on the Block - Hold a competition for the best-decorated house, get everyone involved by voting and have a small prize for the winner.
- Open House - Forge new friendships by hosting an open house. Serve a few simple drinks and snacks and invite everyone on your block either before, after or during trick or treating.
- Grossest Grub - Have all the families on your street bring a Halloween-themed food item and then vote on the grossest, scariest food to see who wins!
It’s easy to avoid contact with those who live close by, so this Halloween, why not help build up your community with some spooktacular fun and make some new friends!