February has been another strong month for real estate sellers and another challenging month for real estate buyers. Units sold is up moderately (4.7%), not quite the “Frenzy” alluded to in the KWAR press release but very healthy. Kitchener-Waterloo’s real estate market still favours sellers. If you are buying be prepared to compete and to perhaps pay more than expected. As a seller you can expect your home to sell more quickly and for more money than you may have anticipated. Read the KWAR press release below.
A FRENZY OF HOME SALES IN FEBRUARY
KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (March 3, 2017) ––There were 474 residential sales in February through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), an increase of 4.2 percent compared to February 2016.
“Sales in February were well above what we would see in a typical February,” says James Craig, President of the KWAR. The 10-year average for residential sales in Kitchener-Waterloo and area for February is 405 units. “Last month’s sales would have been much higher still were it not for the fact that we continue to have a real shortage of listings.”
Residential sales in February included 299 detached homes (up 5.7 percent compared to February 2016), 107 condominium units (up 3.9 percent) which include any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 32 semi-detached homes (down 3 percent) and 31 freehold townhouses (up 3.3 percent).
A lack of listings to satisfy the strong consumer demand is fuelling multiple offers often resulting in sale prices above the actual asking price, which pushed the total residential average sale price in February up 27.5% compared to the same month last year to $463,355.
Detached homes sold for an average price of $549,691 an increase of 30.7 percent, while the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $246,736, an increase of 8.8 percent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $388,721 (up 20.6 percent) and $369,624 (up 31 percent) respectively.
“It’s a similar story throughout Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe,” notes Craig. “In their January release, the Canadian Real Estate Association called the region’s imbalance between limited housing supply and robust demand without precedent”.
Last month there were 427 active listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System, compared to 1,226 in February of last year.
The average days on market in February were significantly shorter than a year ago: 18 days, compared to 39 days. On a month to month basis, the market was in a real frenzy in February, with it taking four fewer days from list to sale date last month compared to January.
“The dream of homeownership is very much alive and well,” says, Craig. “It’s a challenging time to be selling or purchasing a home and sellers may be tempted into thinking they can simply stick a sign in the yard because it’s such a strong sellers’ market.” But Craig notes that in these market conditions it is even more important than ever to avail yourself of the professional knowledge of a local REALTOR® to guide you through these unique and evolving market conditions.
The KWAR cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing long term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a local REALTOR®. REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering.
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