Strong Demand Continues to Fuel Waterloo Region Housing Market in October

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (November 3, 2016) ––

Last month a total of 577 residential properties sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area though the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), an increase of 24.4 percent compared to October of 2015, and an all-time high for the month.

October’s sales included 359 single detached homes (up 18.9% compared to October 2015) and 130 condominium type units (up 28.7%) which include any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 41 semi-detached homes (down 105 percent) and 39 freehold townhouses (up 2.6 percent).

Record breaking sales are also being tallied on a year-to-date basis with 5,818 residential transactions compared to 4,920 during the same period in 2015, representing an increase of 18.3 percent.  Conversely, inventory levels are low with only 729 active residential listings on the market to the end of October, a decline of 11 percent compared to the previous month, and 53.9 percent below the same period last year.

The average price of all residential properties sold in October was $408,067 a 12.7 percent increase over 2015. Detached homes sold for an average price of $478,685, an increase of 14.3 percent compared to October 2015.  During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $225,221, an increase of 5.6 percent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $307,294 (up 17.6 percent) and $329,966 (up 23.9 percent) respectively.

Noting an increase in multiple offer situations, and homes selling for above asking price, Charlotte Zawada, president of the KWAR says: “A strong appetite for homeownership in Waterloo region combined with slimmer inventory levels means it’s still a sellers’ market.”

The average price was also pulled upward by an increase in homes selling for a half-million dollars and above in October, compared to the same month last year. The number of sales occurring at or above $500,000 doubled in October compared to the same month last year; and made up a total of 23 percent of all home sales, compared to just 14 percent in 2015.

The median price of all residential properties sold in October increased 17.2 percent to $375,000, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 16.8 percent to $438,000.

New measures by the federal government which introduced a mortgage rate “stress test” on all new insured mortgages took effect on October 17, 2016.  While the overall impact of these changes is yet to be fully understood, President Zawada says “It is likely that some first-time homebuyers rushed to purchase prior to the stress test coming into effect.”

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