Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update September 2019

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update September 2019

K-W Real Estate Market Update 
Home sales ease as prices, and demand, continue to rise.

459 residential properties sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in August, a decrease of 9.1 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Home sales in August included 267 detached (down 11.9 per cent), and 56 condominium apartments (down 13.8 per cent). Sales also included 97 townhouses (down 4.9 per cent) and 39 semi-detached homes (up 11.4 per cent).

“The number of homes sold last month was below the average for August; however, we continue to see strong price gains across all property types,” says Brian Santos, KWAR President.

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in August increased by 6.4 per cent to $524,482 compared to August 2018. Detached homes sold for an average price of $615,568 (an increase of 5.4 per cent compared to August of last year.

During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment-style condominium was $324,778 for a decrease of 3.1 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $420,239 (up 18.3 per cent) and $441,802 (up 10.2 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month increased 8.1 per cent to $495,000 and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased by 2.8 per cent to $560,000.

REALTORS® listed 574 residential properties in K-W and area last month, a decrease of 14.5 per cent compared to August of 2018, and a decrease of 13 per cent in comparison to the previous ten-year average for the month of August.

The total number of homes available for sale in active status at the end of August totalled 734, a decrease of 17.3 per cent compared to August of last year, and well below the previous ten-year average of 1,426 listings for August. Months Supply of Homes for sale stood at 1.5 months in August, which is 16.7 percent lower than the same period last year. 

The average days it took to sell a home in August was 26 days, which is two days fewer than it took in August 2018.

“We’re noting differences in market balance depending on the price range,” says Santos. “For homes priced under $600 thousand, it is still a strong seller’s market, whereas above $600 thousand, it is a more balanced situation.”

As an indicator, Santos points to the month’s supply of homes, also known as the absorption rate. For homes priced at more than $600,000, the months of supply stood at 3.4 in August, compared to 0.9 months for homes prices under that amount. Months supply is the inventory of homes for sale at the end of a given month, divided by the average monthly closed sales from the last 12 months. The previous ten-year average months supply across all price ranges has been just over 3 months. 

“It all comes down to what the buyers can find in their price range,” says Santos. “Homes in Kitchener-Waterloo are definitely in high demand, and there is strong competition among buyers trying to find one that will suit them.”

Santos advises buyers to work with a local REALTOR® who has a complete understanding of our region to give them an advantage in this crowded KW housing market.
Doors Open Waterloo Region 
Don’t miss your chance to snoop through some of the Region’s most amazing buildings!

If you’ve ever wanted to snoop through some of Waterloo Region’s most intriguing buildings, many of which are not regularly open to the public, now’s your chance!

Doors Open Waterloo Region is now in its 17th year and since then, more than 250 sites have opened their doors to over 100,000 curious visitors.

There are over 40 sites to explore this year including the Waterloo County Gaol, the former J.M. Schneider home, the lobby of the old Kaufman Footwear building and the new University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy building.

This year’s theme is “Water”. Indigenous water teachings, water research and science, natural areas and recreation, water treatment and distribution along with rivers and bridges will all be topics of discussion.

Doors Open Waterloo Region will be held on Saturday, September 21st from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and as usual, there’s no charge. With so many sites and activities, you’re sure to discover a few of the hidden gems that our amazing city has to offer.
The Green House Effect 
Homeowners everywhere are demanding eco-friendly choices.

A “green home” not only helps protect the environment, but it also yields long-term financial benefits. Here are a few environmentally friendly ideas to consider if you’re looking to update your home:

  1. Floor It - Consider naturally durable, environmentally friendly flooring options such as cork, reclaimed wood or bamboo.

  2. No Tanks - A tankless water heater may cost more initially but you’ll save money in the long run as the water's only heated when in use.

  3. Breathe Easy - Avoid using materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as they’re extremely hazardous.

  4. Reuse & Repurpose - Using reclaimed building materials will add both character and style to your home.

  5. Sunny Side Up - Solar panels will cut the cost of your electric bill and contribute to the fight against global warming while also adding value to your home.

  6. Window of Opportunity - If you plan on adding an addition, strategically place your windows in order to take advantage of the sun's natural warmth.

When it comes to remodelling, there are numerous environmentally friendly options for virtually any project. Buyers are always looking for greener alternatives, so these kinds of changes will definitely pay off down the road when it comes time to sell.
Don't Get Left in the Dark 
Being properly prepared is critical when facing a potential blackout.

Losing your power can be a scary prospect, especially for long periods of time when the weather turns nasty. Here are a few tips to help you cope if you suddenly find yourself in the dark:

  1. Take Stock - Stock your pantry with water and non-perishable food items.

  2. Request Backup - Purchase a portable power supply to charge essential electronics.

  3. Match Box - Store matches, candles, batteries and a multi-bit screwdriver in a central location.

  4. Let There Be Light - Ensure each family member has a flashlight stored in a designated spot.

  5. Keep Your Cool - Don't open your freezer or fridge unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  6. Stay Tuned - Have a battery-operated radio on hand so you can receive local news updates.

  7. Check Up - Check on residents in your community, especially if they’re elderly or on their own.

  8. Flip the Switch - Turn off the thermostat and all electronic equipment to prevent damage from a power surge when the power’s restored.

Blackouts can catch us off guard as we often take everyday essentials like light and heat for granted but by properly preparing for a blackout, they’ll be no need to panic. You can instead relax and have fun playing board games and telling stories by candlelight.
Don't Let Your Lawn Fall Apart 
Now’s the time to start preparing your lawn for the cold months ahead.

It’s important to properly take care of your lawn in the fall if you want it to look its best next year. Here’s what you should do to prepare for the spring:

  1. Rake It - Remove excess leaves as they’ll block light and trap moisture.

  2. Feed It - Fertilize your lawn in the fall to help repair any damaged roots.

  3. Seed It - Spread grass seed on bare patches to prevent future weeds.

  4. Drop It - Adjust the lawnmower down a level for the last mow of the season.

It may seem pointless to spend time working on your lawn now that summer's starting to fade into fall but if you take the time to do it now, you’ll thank yourself next year when springtime rolls around!

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