|Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update
| Home sales dip in December while prices increase.
There were 5,823 residential homes sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® in 2018, a decline of 11.1 per cent compared to 2017.
With 263 transactions taking place last month, December’s home sales were down 13.2 per cent from this time last year and slightly behind the previous 10-year average of 268 sales for the month of December.
“The combination of rising interest rates and the mortgage stress test definitely took some steam out of the market relative to what we saw in the previous two years,” says Brian Santos, President of KWAR. “These types of impediments are most impactful on first-time as well as other buyers entering the housing market.”
Total residential sales in 2018 included 3,355 detached (down 16.2 per cent), and 1,553 condominium units (up 6.4 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 417 semi-detached homes (down 23.6 per cent) and 431 freehold townhouses (down 7.7 per cent).
The average sale price of all residential properties sold in 2018 increased 3.4 per cent to $483,537 compared to 2017. Detached homes sold for an average price of $575,412, an increase of 4.8 per cent compared to 2017. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $304,676 for an increase of 12 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $373,307 (up 5.5 per cent) and $396,391 (up 4.7 per cent) respectively.
The median price of all residential properties sold last year increased 3.6 per cent to $445,304, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 6.1 per cent to $525,000.
The average time it took for a home to sell in 2018 was reflective of demand continuing to outpace supply. The number of months of inventory remained at under 2 months of supply throughout the year (3-4 months is historically normal for Waterloo region) and the average days to sell in 2018 was 24 days, compared to 19 days in 2017 and a previous 10-year average of 40 days.
While we may be seeing fewer buyers coming down the 401, Santos believes they are still a component of the Waterloo region real estate market, just not as speculative as what we saw in the previous two years. Santos says, “2018 continued to be a seller’s market in the region with stable sales activity and homeowners realizing solid gains in their property values.”
Santos points out that, “Even though prices increased more moderately overall compared to the last two years, they continue to respond to strong demand and the desirability of our area. For those would-be buyers who have been sitting on the fence these past two years, home prices are only getting further out of reach, as supply remains low and demand strong.”
|Waterloo's Wonderful Winterloo
| Mark your calendar for this incredible annual winter event!
Uptown Waterloo is celebrating all things winter this year on Saturday, January 26th and Sunday, January 27th. This year’s theme is “Winter Survival!”
This exciting, annual event is packed with a variety of winter-themed events including dog sled rides, an outdoor obstacle course, world-class ice sculpting, a polar plunge in support of the Special Olympics and the famous Winterloo chili cook-off!
This year, locations for Winterloo include Waterloo public square, the Button Factory Arts building (Sat only), the Waterloo Public Library, the west side of Waterloo Park and the Princess Cinemas.
Be sure to bundle up and get outside to rediscover the joys of winter with a variety of activities that offer something fun for the entire family. Hope to see you there!
|Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
| Relocating to a new city can be an exciting yet overwhelming time.
The prospect of a work relocation means you'll need to be well organized as there’s usually not much time to get acquainted with your new area.
First off, determine what the cost of living will be in the new location. There's no point in relocating for a higher salary if the extra income will be eaten up by increased living expenses.
Make sure to also consider factors such as workload, expense accounts, travel expectations, job opportunities for your spouse and schools for the kids. Here are a few other points to keep in mind:
Deciding whether or not to relocate can be very stressful. Not only are you trying to negotiate a career move but you'll also be starting a new life in an unfamiliar place. However, if you approach this process by paying close attention to all the details, you'll enjoy a much more positive relocation experience. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or need any real estate advice!
|Handy Home Hacks
| These simple yet genius tricks will make your life so much easier!
Hacks are uncommon yet creative solutions for everyday problems. Here are five simple hacks for the home that will help make your life a whole lot easier:
We all want an easier life and home hacks are a great way to accomplish that as they allow you to bypass and overcome some of life’s little problems. There are literally thousands of hacks out there so watch this space for cleaning, organizing and other life hacks that we’ll be sharing in future newsletters!
|Switching to Airplane Mode
| If you think airplane mode is only for flying, then think again!
Airplane mode blocks your connection to cellular networks when you take to the skies but there are many other lesser known benefits to this often ignored feature.
Airplane mode also saves battery life, charges a phone quicker and it will even stop those annoying ads from displaying when you’re playing Candy Crush!
Smartphones can also be extremely distracting so if you’re down to the wire on a project, simply switch over to airplane mode for a quick notification detox so you can focus and get your work done.
Finally, if you’re concerned about electromagnetic field radiation, set your phone to airplane mode when your smartphone’s not being used for wireless transmissions as it will completely cut off any form of radiation.