Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update April 2019

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update April 2019

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update 
Number of K-W home sales slide in March.

There were 511 residential sales in March through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR).

This was a decrease of 5.7 per cent versus the same month last year, and down 7 per cent compared to the previous ten-year average for March.

“The activity on detached homes continues to be strong,” says Brian Santos, KWAR President. “But the average number of sales in March was brought down by fewer semi-detached, townhomes and condos. I think this can be credited to the lack of inventory and options buyers have in those segments of the market.”

Total residential sales in March included 325 detached (up 3.2 per cent), and 45 condominium apartments (down 11.8 per cent). Sales also included 116 townhouses (down 14.7 per cent) and 25 semi-detached homes (down 37.5 per cent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in March increased 3.4 per cent to $505,855 compared to March 2018.  Detached homes sold for an average price of $585,668 an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to March of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $320,857 for an increase of 7.5 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $372,003 (down 1 per cent) and $422,360 (up 6.4 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month increased 3.9 per cent to $474,900, and the median price of a detached home during the same period decreased by 0.8 per cent to $540,400.

“Sale prices across Kitchener-Waterloo and area experienced increases in March,” says Santos. “While pundits are focussing on affordability challenges, this also reflects the greater attribute of livability and how Waterloo Region offers a great quality of life.”

REALTORS® listed 797 residential properties in K-W and area last month, a decrease of 4.8 per cent compared to March of 2018, and a decrease of 4.5% in comparison to the previous ten-year average for the month of March.

On the other hand, the total number of homes available for sale in active status at the end of March totalled 819, an increase of 5.4 per cent compared to March of last year, but still well below the previous ten-year average of 1,371 listings for March.

Santos contends restrictions brought on by the B-20 mortgage stress test have pushed buyers into lower price points. “It’s difficult for buyers who are trying to find a house under the $500,000 mark – because demand is strongest in that range.”
KW Pet Expo 
If you’re a pet lover, this event is sure to put a smile on your face!

The region's largest pet consumer show is returning to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex on Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th!

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!

Hands on Exotics, which is an animal shelter that specializes in exotic animals, will also be there so you’ll have the opportunity to meet and greet some of their amazing feathery, furry and scaly friends!

Finally, the Humane Society will be on hand 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 amazing cause.

Bring the entire family (including your pet!) to the KW Pet Expo for a fun day out as you browse the many pet-related vendors while enjoying the various events. Hope to see you there!
Selling vs. Renting -- What Makes Cents? 
Not ready to sell your home? You could always rent it out instead!

Opportunities usually come out of the blue. For instance, there might be a temporary work contract that forces you to relocate.

Or perhaps a strong buyer’s market means it’s a great time to buy, but you don’t want to be forced to sell your current home at a loss.

Renting your home might be an option but there are lots of things to consider. For starters, you'll want to conduct an in-depth financial analysis. Here are a few other things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about renting out your home:

  1. Step Away - Being a landlord isn't always easy. You’ll need to detach yourself emotionally from your old home.

  2. Tax Talk - There may be tax implications, so contact your tax advisor as rules can vary depending on individual circumstances.

  3. Money Matters - Make sure to have a bit of extra money on hand in case the rent doesn’t cover your mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, etc.

  4. Playing the Market - You may be able to increase your equity as the market gains strength, but if it tanks, you could end up on the losing end.

  5. Be Prepared - The future's uncertain so always be prepared for unexpected repairs or if your tenant suddenly falls behind on their rent.

  6. Raucous Renters - Tenants aren’t likely to treat your home with the same level of care as you once did so when it comes time to sell, your home may need some work.

As with any decision, it’s important to weight the pros and cons. If done right, renting can be one of the best financial decisions you ever make but you'll need to treat it like a business, so evaluate the rental market and research landlord/tenant laws before moving forward.

If, on the other hand, you decide to put your home on the market, make sure you have a professional real estate agent to help advise you on how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding this decision, or any other real estate related matters.
The Secret Garden Inspiration 
Create a garden space that'll bring you health and relaxation!

It’s that fresh new time of year when many of us step outside, roll up our sleeves and bring our gardens back to life! Here are a few ideas to help inspire you this spring:

  1. Grow Local - Flowers, shrubs and grasses that are native to your area are easy to maintain and also provide a natural habitat for birds, pollinators and insects.

  2. Sky High - Vertical gardening is popular, especially for those with small spaces. All you need is a wall, fence or trellis to grow edibles, annuals and perennials. The sky’s the limit!

  3. Foodscaping - Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.

  4. Flower Power - Edible flowers such as red clover, bee balm, daylilies and borage are also surging in popularity as they look beautiful and taste even better!

  5. Child’s Play - It’s important to limit screen time and get kids back into nature so parents are encouraging their children to develop an appreciation for gardening.

The new generation of gardeners are interested in supporting the environment and growing their own food, which is slowly starting to change the way we live and eat. Gardening is also the perfect excuse to switch off your device and get in touch with mother nature!
Stay Tuned 
It’s time to haul your bike out of storage and give it a tune-up!

Riding a bike is a great way to get around as it’s environmentally friendly and a great form of exercise.

There’s no need for gas, insurance premiums, parking fees, etc. and best of all, it makes you feel like a kid again!

Whether you use your bike to get to work or you’re looking forward to hitting the trails, you’ll want to make sure your bike’s safe and reliable. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  1. Get in Gear - Make sure your gears shift smoothly.
  2. Chain Reaction - Clean your chain before applying oil.
  3. Sick and Tired - Check your tread and the tire pressure.
  4. Pump the Brakes - Inspect your brakes for excessive wear and adjust your cables.

If you don’t feel comfortable tuning up your bike, take it to a local bike shop. It’s well worth it as regular maintenance will extend the life of your bike and it’ll also make riding much more enjoyable. Once you get your bike in tip-top shape, make sure you have a strong lock, a good helmet and a bright light!

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