KITCHENER – WATERLOO CONDOS & LOFTS FOR SALE

Posts tagged “condo selling

Another Busy Month of Condo and Home Sales in Kitchener Waterloo for June 2015

Its been a very busy home buying and selling season in June for the residents of Kitchener Waterloo and Waterloo Region.  There were 626 homes sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System). This represents a 9.4% increase compared to June of 2014, and 15.8% above the 5 year average for the month June.

Residential sales in the first half of 2015 totaled 2,949, an 8.1% increase compared to the same time last year, and 2.7% above the 5-year average. This marks the highest number of homes sold in the first half of the year since 2010.

On a year-to-date basis, the average sale price of all residential sales (KW and area) increased 2.6% to $347,105 compared to 2014. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $396,191 an increase of 1.3% compared to last year. The average sale price for a condominium units sold in the first half of the year was $235,081, an increase of 5.3 per cent over 2014. The housing market in Kitchener-Waterloo continues to show strength Buyers have confidence in Waterloo Region, that combined with low mortgage and interest rates should continue to support home sales in 2015.

Sales for the month of June in KW and area included 407 single detached homes (up 7.1 %), 137 condominium units (up 24.5%), 42 semi-detached (up 7.7%) and 35 freehold townhouses (down 12.5%). Across KW and area the average sale price of all residential sales through the Kitchener Waterloo MLS® System increased 0.2% to $351,259 compared with June 2014.

Looking at transactions strictly in the cities of Kitchener-Waterloo residential sale prices increased 3.2 percent to $344,405 compared to the same time last year. Single detached homes sold in June across KW and area had an average price of $408,569 an increase of 0.9% compared to last year. Condominium market prices were up 4.2%, with the average condo unit selling for $225,390.

If you have any questions or would like more specific neighborhood information about your home please feel free to give me a call at 519-497-4646 or email kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca


Strong Month of May for Kitchener Waterloo Home and Condo Sales

It was another fantastic month for the local real estate market here in Waterloo Region .There were 553 home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding area through the Mls system.

This represents an 8.4% increase compared to May of 2014, and 9.6% above the 5 year average for the month May. With a total of 2,926 home sales occurring through the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Board, year-to-date sales are 3.3% above the five year average.

Although sales numbers in Kitchener-Waterloo are higher in comparison to May of last year, they are on par with the month of April, at 1.7% above last month’s residential sales numbers, a difference of nine home sales. It’s been a very busy but typical spring market. Low mortgage interest rates and a diverse local economy continue to support home buying in Waterloo region.

Much like the month of April, sales activity in the $300,000 – $349,999 posted a healthy increase in the month of May with 126 homes sold in that range, a 24.8% increase from the same time last year. Sales in the $400,000 – $499,999 also increased with 81 sold in this price range, a 28.6% increase.

Sales in KW included 355 single detached homes (up 4.7 %), 113 condominium units (up 28.4%), 44 semi-detached (up 2.3%) and 40 freehold townhouses (up 8.1%). The average sale price of all residential sales through the Mls, increased  1.6 percent to $343,750 compared to May 2014. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $390,704 an increase of 1.1% compared to last year. Condominium market prices were up 7.1%, with the average condo unit selling for $237,649.

If you have any questions or are thinking of buying or selling in the coming months feel free to give me a call.

Have a great week!

Kevin


CMHC Raises Insurance Premiums for Highest Risk Purchasers – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and lofts

Are you looking to buy your first home or condo?  Do you have less than 10% as a down payment?

If so then you need to be aware of recent changes to the mortgage insurance premiums that are offered through CMHC   (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

It was announced a few days ago that Canada’s federal housing agency is raising mortgage insurance premiums as part of a plan to boost its capital reserves.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said it is raising premiums on the highest-risk mortgages – borrowers who have down payments of less than 10 per cent – by 15 per cent starting June 1.

What does this mean for buyers?

The increases only apply to new mortgages for borrowers with small down payments. Those who put down more than 10 per cent of the purchase price aren’t affected. Premiums will also remain unchanged on CMHC’s portfolio insurance, which lenders take out on bundles of uninsured mortgages so they can securitized them, as well as the agency’s insurance for apartment buildings.

The effects will be modest for affected borrowers. An average Canadian borrower who can afford to pay the only the minimum 5-per-cent down payment typically takes out a mortgage of $252,000, CMHC said. Premiums for those borrowers would rise $5 a month, or about $1,500 more over the course of a 25-year mortgage.

CMHC predicted the changes would “not have a material impact on housing markets,” suggesting the agency isn’t looking to cool the housing market. Senior vice-president Steven Mennill stressed in a call with reporters that the changes were a “business decision” related to higher capital requirements and “not in any way related to a change in policy or approach.”

One thing is clear: By limiting increases only to borrowers with less than 10-per-cent down payments, the federal corporation is concerned that it was underpricing the risk on the most indebted borrowers.

Mortgages with lower levels of equity are typically more vulnerable to a housing shock and require higher levels of capital reserves to account for potential losses, which means higher premiums for riskier borrowers.

My advice would be is if you are thinking of buying a home or condo this spring and have less than a 10% down payment that you take advantage of the lower premiums offered before June 1st.

For more details or questions please email myself at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca   or give us a call at 519-579-4110

Enjoy your week!

Kevin


Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market Update for March 2015

It was another solid month of home sales in March here in Waterloo Region. Residential property sales through the MLS system continued to climb month over month with 619 properties sold. This represents a 15.1 percent increase compared to the March of 2014 which was the second lowest March on record since 2006.

During the first quarter of 2015, there were a total of 1,343 home sales, 3.6 percent above last year’s total for the same period and 8.4 percent below the 5 year quarterly average, which is again great news and shows continued strength of our local housing market.

Sales activity in the $300,000 – $349,999 increased significantly in the month of March with 151 homes sold in that range, a 49.5% increase from the same time last year. Pushing the average sales price up for the month were increased sales in the $500,000 – $749,999 range which posted a 61.5% increase equating to 63 sales compared to 39 in March 2014.

March’s sales included 436 single detached homes (up 25.3 %), 95 condominium units (down 2.1 %), 41 semi-detached (down 8.9) and 41 freehold townhouses (down 6.8%).The average sale price of all residential sales increased 7.4 percent to $347,722 compared with March 2014. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $384,635 an increase of 4.0 percent compared to last year. In the condominium market prices were up 12.1%, with the average condo unit selling for $238,846.

Overall the market is still moving forward and prices remain stable. We are expecting another busy spring market which seems to be well underway at this point.

If you have any questions about the local market or would like more information on home prices for your neighborhood, please feel free to give me a call or email direct at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca

Thanks and have a great week!

Kevin


January Home Sales Cool Off to Start 2015 in Kitchener Waterloo – Condo Market Update

After a busier than normal December, home sale in the Kitchener Waterloo region have cooled off slightly.  Sales were down in January compared to January of 2014, with 290 residential properties being sold last month. A 9.9 percent decrease compared to the same month last year. This isn’t unexpected as the winter months are typically not as active leading up to the busy spring market.

January’s residential sales included 188 detached homes (down 9.6 percent compared to January 2014) 57 condos (down 24 percent), 18 semis (up 5.9 percent), and 25 freehold townhouses (up 31.6 percent).

The average sale price of all homes sold in January was $318,075, a decrease of 1.6 percent compared to the same time last year. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $357,018, a decrease of 4.6 percent compared to January 2014.

In the condominium market the average sale price in January was $230,216, a 6.6 percent increase compared to the same month a year ago.

With the recent interest rate cuts and the positive economic predictions for the region by a number of outside sources, this should continue to draw people looking to live and invest in Waterloo Region. The general consensus is that the spring market will again be a very active one.

If you have any questions or are thinking of buying or selling this spring please give me a call and we can discuss how to get started.

Have a great family day weekend everyone!


Big Banks Fail to Match Bank of Canada Rate Cut – Kitchener Waterloo Condos for sale

The major Canadian banks announced today that they will be lowering the prime lending rate by .15 basis points to 2.85%.

This move is the follow up to the Bank of Canada lowering the prime rate by .25 basis points last week. It is usual normal practice for the big banks to follow suit to the BOC but this rate change widens the spread or gap. It is an interesting move by the banks and I wonder if this is good for us as consumers or good for them?

Here is the link to the full article for more info.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-27/rbc-pares-prime-rate-to-2-85-percent-after-bank-of-canada

I do believe the the Canadian housing market will show continued growth over the next year and this rate cut will further help to stimulate that growth.

If  you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca

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Kitchener Waterloo Home and Condo Sales Reach Record High for September

All i have to say is WOW!  It was a very busy month in the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate market.

Here are the numbers…A total of 553 residential properties were sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) in September, marking a new record high for the month on September. Home sales were up 14.3 percent over last year.

On a year-to-date basis 5,210 residential units have sold compared to 5,138 during the same period in 2013.

This confirms my thoughts that due to the traditional slower than usual spring market  was pushed into the summer months because of the brutal winter weather we experienced earlier in the year. It also followed up on a very active month of August.

More sales in the higher price ranges in September contributed to an 8.8 percent increase in the average price of a detached home to $385,780 compared to last year.  The average price for a condominium was $233,321, an increase of 4.8 percent over September 2013. The average sale price of all residential sales increased 7.7 percent to $338,350 over September 2013.

Residential sales in September included 359 single detached homes (up 15.1% from last September), 48 semi-detached (up 6.7%), 35 townhomes (on par with last year) and 108 condominium units (up 27.1%).

The average price of all residential properties sold year-to-date was $337,661, a 4 percent increase over 2013. The average price of a detached home to the end of the third quarter was $383,885, a 4.3 increase over 2013.

This is fantastic news once again for the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market and we are looking forward to another above average month in October.

If you have any questions on the information above or would like to discuss any of your Real Estate needs whether buying or selling, feel free to give me a call at 519-579-4110 or email direct to kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca

Have a wonderful month

Kevin


Condo Sales Remain Strong in Month of August – Kitchener Waterloo House and Condo Market Update

With the summer over and September and the school season upon us the real estate market is back in full swing. The summer showed very good sales vs previous years with a total of 567 homes sold. The month of august posted a 9.2% increase in the home sales compared to the same month last year.  Homes sales in the month of August were also 9.3% above  the 5 year average for the month and were second highest on record compared to August sales in the last 5 years.

Kitchener Waterloo and the entire region continues to be strong. Higher than average sales activity in August and year-to-date speaks volumes about the confidence consumers have in our local economy and home ownership as an investment. 

The breakdown of residential sales included 367 single detached homes ( up 4.9% from last year), 42 semi-detached (up 13.5%) 39 townhomes (up 77.3%) and 115 condominium units (up 11.7%). The year to date numbers are up 2.7 percent compared to the five year average with 4648 homes being sold.

If we look at average sale price of all residential homes sold through the Multiple listing service system, there was an increase of 3.9 percent last month to $329,892 compared to August 2013. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $378,251 and increase of 5.4 percent compared to last year. The average sale price for a condo unit was $225,167 an increase of 1.5 percent and the average sale price for a freehold townhome was $287,369, a decrease of 1.9 percent from the same time last year.

Overall a fantastic month in the Kitchener Waterloo Housing market. We expect the trend to continue in to the fall selling season as well.

If you have any questions or would like more specific pricing on your home or something that you are looking at purchasing please feel free to give me a call at 519-579-4110 or email direct to kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca 


June Condo Update for Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate

It was another solid month for home sales in Waterloo Region. Although the number of sales was down compared to last year they were up compared to the 5 year average. Prices were also up which is  a great sign that the buyers are still out there and looking to make a move. If you have any questions or would like more specific pricing on your home please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

 

STEADY STREAM OF HOME SALES FOR THE MONTH OF MAY

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (June 4, 2014) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing
System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in May were down
5.6 percent compared to last year’s record setting month of May.
A total of 725 residential properties were sold in the month of May compared to 768 the same time
last year. This was only the second time since 2007 that residential sales in May have exceeded 700
total sales. Comparing the 5-year average for the month of May shows a 5.7 percent jump in
residential sales.
“The spring home buying season was in full swing this May” says Lynn Bebenek, President of KWAR.
“Strong sales and price gains reflect the confidence homebuyers have in regional housing market as
a great place to live and invest.”
May’s sales included 514 single detached homes (down 3.4 % from last year) 101 condominium units
(down 17.9 %), 60 semi-detached (up 3.4 %) and 43 freehold townhouses (down 2.3 %).
The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 3.5 percent
last month to $345,323 compared with May 2013. Single detached homes sold for an average price
of $386,474 an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to last year. The average sale price for a
condominium was $226,157, an increase of 6.4 percent compared to May 2013.


10 Things to Think About When Buying a Condo – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts

 

kitchener Condos and lofts

 

So you are thinking about buying a condo and don’t know where to start.  Before you buy, know the following:

  1. Condo fees-Know how much they are and what they cover. When are they due and what happens if another owner falls behind? Is there a separate fee for garbage disposal or snow removal? Is landscaping included in the condo fees if there are common yard areas? Ask as many questions as you can. You don’t want to be stuck with, “hidden” expenses after you buy.
  2. Know Your Neighbors-What are the approximate ages of the other condo owners/tenants? Do they have little kids or teenagers? Are they college kids who come home late and play loud music? Ask the other condo owners about any issues with noise before you purchase
  3. Check the Reserve-Make Sure the Association has adequate funds to pay for emergency repairs.  When you own a condo you should always have an emergency fund. If there are assessments you’ll be responsible for paying for your “share”, whether the damage or repairs impacted your unit or not.
  4. Condo Association-Does one owner like to throw his/her weight around and dictate how the building is run? Is there a condo association president? Why is his/her role? How often do all of the owners meet to discuss building issues? Is the meeting virtual (skype) or in person? Do you have to host the meeting in your home regularly?
  5. Read the Association’s Rules-If the association has formal written rules, read them. Many of the important things you’ll need to know about living in the building will be included in the association’s rules. Want to know the policy on pets, allowing renters, and who’s responsible for what? Read the rules.
  6. Ask About Pets-Does your future neighbor own a dog that barks all the time? Isn’t house-trained and has accidents on the carpet in the common areas? Is aggressive and scares your kids? Our neighbor’s German Sheppard has lunged at survivor dog. Now we know to pick him up whenever, Karma (dog’s real name, go figure!) is around.
  7. Security-Do your neighbors keep the front doors of the building closed and locked at all times? Is there a security system or a doorman?
  8. Maintenance-If your condo association doesn’t contract with a maintenance company, be sure to ask about who does routine maintenance i.e. who changes light bulbs in the common areas, who salts the sidewalks during snowstorms, and who vacuums the common areas.
  9. Cosmetics-Does the association care about the cosmetics of the building? Do they continuously make improvements to the common areas of the building (which can be expensive)? Or do they let things slide until things are in a bad state of repair and need a total overhaul (also expensive). Are most of the units owner occupied or rented? Typically owners take better care of the building than renters.
  10. Unwritten Rules –sometimes there are ridiculous, “unwritten rules” that pop up once you’re an owner. For example, “We don’t do laundry when it’s raining because the water from the rain combined with the water from the washer floods the basement apartment” or, “We don’t put our air conditioners in the middle window of our units because some air conditioners drip water down the front of the basement and onto the basement apartment’s entrance”. Ask about this unwritten rules and be prepared for them (because inevitability one of these with catch you by surprise.

At the end of the day it is important to know as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision. Remember to use a reputable Real Estate Sales Person who understands the Local condo market here and can assist in showing and taking care of negotiations etc. If you need any advice or are looking to purchase a condo or loft in the Waterloo Region please don’t hesitate to give me call at 519-579-4110 or email direct to kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca

Kevin


May 2014 Update for Kitchener Waterloo Condo Market

The nice weather looks like it is finally here to stay which is great news for the local Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market. Over the past months we have been experiencing a slight slow down in sales mostly due to the abnormally cold weather we have been having. The weather man is promising nicer weeks ahead and a warm summer so that is great news.

Although sales in April are up over March of this year, we are down year over year approximately 6%.  The condo market here is Kitchener Waterloo is growing at a fast pace with many new building projects underway but the sales there have remained flat.

The great news is that prices are still climbing. Average price is up 2.9% or almost $344,000.  That means that even with the low inventory levels that we have been experiencing the buyers are still out there and willing to pay to get the home of their dreams.

For a complete rundown on the stats you can read them below. If you have any questions on the market in general or specific pricing of your home feel free to give us a call. We would be happy to come over.

 

APRIL HOME SALES UP OVER MARCH, DOWN YEAR-OVER-YEAR

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (May 6, 2014) – There were fewer residential property sales through the
Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®
(KWAR) in April compared to the same month last year.
A total of 652 residential properties sold in the month of April compared to 691 the same time last
year, a decrease of 5.6 percent. In comparison to March, residential sales grew 21 percent,
continuing the trend of monthly increases in home sales since the beginning of this year.
“We’re continuing to see increasing sales activity month after month,” says Lynn Bebenek President
of the KWAR. “Persistently bad weather seems to have delayed decision to buy or sell homes, but the
combination of increasing monthly sales, lower mortgage rates and some sun should drive increases
in the months ahead.”
April’s sales included 445 single detached homes (down 6.1 % from last year) 121 condominium units
(on par with last year), 38 semi-detached (down 19.1 %) and 41 freehold townhouses (down 2.4 %).
Year-to-date residential sales were 6.6 percent below last year with 1,948 residential homes sold thus
far.
While sales were a little slower this month the average sale price of all residential sales through the
KWAR’s MLS® System increased 2.9 percent to $343,839 compared with April 2013. Single detached
homes sold for an average price of $387,130 an increase of 2.2 percent compared to last year. The
average condominium price was up 9.8 percent selling for $237,008, partially due to the sales of
higher end condominium townhomes alongside traditional condos.


April Real Estate Update for Kitchener Waterloo – A Slower March to Spring

KITCHENER‐WATERLOO HOME SALES ‐ A SLOWER MARCH TO SPRING

KITCHENER‐WATERLOO, ON (April 3, 2014) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing System
(MLS® System) of the Kitchener‐Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), were down 12 percent last month,
compared to March 2013. There were 536 residential sales reported during the month of March, 23 percent more
than in February.

Looking at the first quarter of 2013, there were a total of 1,293 residential sales, a decrease of 7.3 percent
compared to last year’s 1,395 sales.

“As everyone knows, we’ve just come off of one of the harshest winters on record”, says Lynn Bebenek, president of
the KWAR. “Anecdotally speaking I’ve heard from several business operators who say they’ve experienced a
slowdown this winter because of extreme cold and snow, and our residential real estate market was no different.”
Bebenek adds, “On the bright side, everyone has buyers waiting and hopes are resting on a busy spring.”
Home sales in March 2013 included 347 detached homes (down 13 percent), 98 condominium units (down 4.9
percent), 44 semi‐detached (down 24.1 percent), and 43 townhomes (on par).

The dollar volume of residential sales in the first quarter of 2014 came in at $423,915,584, a 5.9 percent decline
compared to the same period last year.

Single detached homes sold through the KWAR’s MLS® System in March went for an average price of $368,896,
virtually unchanged from the same month last year when the average price was $368,706. On a year‐to‐date basis,
the average price of a single detached home sold for $377,711, a 3.4 percent increase.
The average sale price of all residential sales also increased a negligible 0.1 percent to $322,833 last month
compared to the same month last year. On a year‐to‐date basis, the average price edged up a little higher to
$327,854, representing a 1.6% increase over 2013.

If you have any questions or would like a Pricing Analysis on your home please give me a call at 519-579-4110


February Real Estate Update for Kitchener Waterloo – Condo’s Leading The Way

With the cold weather still keeping its grip on us here in Kitchener Waterloo, the Residential Real Estate market is starting to  show signs of life. Even though  the volume of sales are down about 4% the prices are still rising steadily. Condos are leading the way for another month in a row up 6.3%.

Have a look at the entire Media release from the Kitchener waterloo real estate board and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give me  a call.

HOMES SALES STEADY IN FEBRUARY

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (March 5, 2014) –– Residential sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) were down 4.0 percent in February compared to the
same month last year and up 34 percent compared to January’s results which were hampered by extreme
cold and snow.
A total of 431 residential properties were sold compared to 449 the same time last year. Residential sales in
February included 274 single detached homes (down 8.7% from last February), 33 semi-detached (down
13.2%), 28 townhomes (down 3.4%) and 93 condominium units (up 16.3%).
“February sales showed a healthy increase compared to January,” stated Lynn Bebenek, President of the
KWAR. “Low interest rates and a diverse and vibrant regional economy will continue to support a stable market
for the Kitchener-Waterloo area.”
Single detached homes sold for an average price of $387,288 an increase of 5.1 percent compared to last
year. The average sale price for a condominium was $233,657 an increase of 6.8 percent while townhomes and
semis sold for an average of $281,636 (down 0.7%) and $246,171 (down 3.0%) respectively. The average sale
price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 3.0 percent to $335,217 compared to
February 2013.
“Following up on what has been one of the coldest winters on record I expect we will see home buyers and
sellers out in full force come the spring time,” said Bebenek.

 


CMHC Premiums Are Going Up – Kitchener Waterloo Condos for sale

CMHC (Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation) Announced that their Loan Insurance Program is going to be changing. What does that mean for Canadians purchasing properties with less than 35% down? Have a look at the chart below to see how the costs will be changing. If you have any questions or would like any advice please give us a call.

CHMC PREMIUM UPDATE

 


Condo Buying – Finding Your Down Payment May Be Easier Than You Think.

Getting that downmpayment: it might be easier than you think!

For many first-time homebuyers, saving the 5 per cent downpayment is one of the big obstacles to home ownership, especially if you’re paying rent, paying down student loans, and trying to live a life. Here are some programs and tips that can give your downpayment a boost – to get you into your home faster:

  1. The federal Home Buyers’ Program (HBP) lets first-time homebuyers withdraw up to $25,000 each (or $50,000 for a couple) tax-free from their RRSPs. You’ll need to pay those funds back, of course, on a repayment plan.
  2. A financial gift from a parent or blood relative can be used as a downpayment. You’ll need to document in writing that the funds are a gift and that you are not required to pay the money back at any time.
  3. A parent or grandparent could also provide a loan with a modest interest rate and reasonable expectations for loan repayment. Or you could look at borrowing the downpayment through a loan or unsecured line of credit.
  4. If your dream home is out of reach, look for a starter home. Use today’s low interest rates to start hammering down your mortgage, then watch for the opportunity to get the home of your dreams – using the equity and credit rating you’ve been building!

Condo Sales Up! February 2014 Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Update

JANUARY’S DEEP FREEZE SLOWS OVERALL HOME SALES
CONDO SALES UP IN JANUARY

With most of the country still locked in the DEEP FREEZE, Kitchener waterloo still remains strong on pricing even though sales are slipping a little. The warm weather approaching soon(i hope), I would expect that the market will kick into high gear with strong sales.

If you have any questions on the market in general or specific pricing of your home please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

See below to read the excerpt from the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Boards stats.
KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (February 5, 2014) –– Homes sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in January were down 5.3 percent compared to January
of last year.
A total of 319 residential properties were sold compared to 337 the same time last year. Residential sales in
January included 207 single detached homes (down 13.4% from last January), 17 semi-detached (down 29.2%),
18 townhomes (down 28%) and 74 condominium units (up 54.2%).
“Coming off a strong 2013, the pace of home sales slowed down somewhat in January,” stated Lynn Bebenek,
President of the KWAR. “The weather didn’t help much either; the extreme cold and heavy snow made
January a less than desirable month to be out looking at houses.”
January’s deep freeze didn’t hamper sale prices however, single detached homes sold for an average price of
$375,009 an increase of 5.7 percent compared to last year. The average sale price for a condominium was
$214,921 an increase of 1.5 percent, while townhomes and semis sold for an average of $263,679 (down 0.9%)
and $254,807 (up 3.5%) respectively. The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS®
System increased 1.1 percent to $323,533 compared to January 2013.
“The winter months can be hit or miss depending on the weather,” says Bebenek. “Buyers and sellers will be all
the more eager once spring hits, and we are expecting a strong spring market.”


10 Tips for Furnace Efficiency – Kitchener Waterloo Condos for sale

as furnaces are relatively easy to operate and maintain, but they do require regular maintenance to stay in good condition. Gas furnaces can be dangerous if they are in need of maintenance and you neglect them; for instance if there is a gas leak it could be very dangerous if not addressed early. This article will take a look at 10 maintenance tips for gas furnaces.

1. Check for gas leaks

Gas leaks on gas furnaces are easy to spot, you can tell from gas build up on the floor or from the smell of gas around the furnace area. Gas leaks require a professional to fix the furnace to ensure the safety of the unit.

2. Thermostat working properly?

Have you noticed the house is either really warm or really cold, but the thermostat is set at a comfortable temperature? When a thermostat is not working properly the furnace will not heat the house properly, which makes the unit very inefficient.

3. Control valve turned open?

Is your furnace producing no heat and you can’t figure out what’s wrong? A common problem when getting a gas furnace to run properly is that the control valve is turned off, if the valve is turned off the furnace will not produce heat.

4. When have you changed the air filter?

Regularly changing the air filter is an important part of gas furnace maintenance that should be addressed regularly. Air filters can be purchased at almost any hardware store, and they are not expensive. A dirty air filter will make the gas furnace produce less heat and make it incredibly inefficient.

5. Does your gas furnace need cleaning?

Cleaning is a regular task for proper gas furnace maintenance. Click here for a step by step guide to properly cleaning a gas furnace.

6. When was the last time you checked the tension belt?

If your gas furnace is running loudly and you can’t seem to figure out why the tension belt may be a possible cause.

7. Have you checked the pilot light?

If the pilot light is out the furnace will not work, therefore make sure the pilot light is lit and working properly. The pilot light should be a deep hot blue, but if it is another color then it is not working properly.

8. When was the last time you oiled the motor?

Oil is necessary for proper maintenance on a gas furnace; all you have to do is add a couple of drops, nothing too much. Oil should be added to the motor every season, and when you think the motor needs it.

9. Check the venting regularly

The venting that is hooked up with the gas furnace should be checked regularly for blockages and debris. If the ventilation is blocked it could pose a variety of health hazards including carbon monoxide poisoning.

10. Shutting the system off post cold season

Gas furnaces do need to be shut off after the winter season, and ideally they should be cleaned and the air filter should be replaced. All the above tips should be applied at the beginning of every season for a proper working gas furnace.


Top 10 Mortgage Tips for 2014 – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts

A peek at the year ahead: Our top ten mortgage tips for 2014!

Your home may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. That means you want to be smart with your mortgage. Although we can’t say for sure what mortgage rates will do – or how the housing market will shift – we have compiled our top tips for the year ahead; sensible strategies for today’s homebuyers and owners.

  1. Variables are back. Several lenders are offering strong “prime minus” rates that could save you thousands in interest. And the Bank of Canada is still holding their key “overnight rate” very steady and very low… making variable-rate mortgages a sensible option right now. Fixed versus variable has always been a challenging mortgage decision. Let us help you decide which financing option best meets your needs.
  2. Don’t sleepwalk through your mortgage renewal. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to save thousands on your mortgage. When your lender sends you a letter saying it’s time to renew… then it’s time to get an expert second opinion. We’re independent and we have access to over 50 lenders. If there’s a better deal, we’ll find it.
  3. Pay your phone bill on time! Paying your bills on time has always been the most important credit habit. Equifax recently started to include phone companies on credit bureau reports – so your lender can see if you have any delinquencies with your phone bills. Look like a good borrower.
  4. Keep other good credit habits. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 30 per cent of your limit. Don’t cancel an old credit card without getting advice. And don’t sign up for store cards: they often have crazy interest rates, and the application triggers a credit inquiry (you don’t want a lot of those).
  5. Mortgage versus total debt. Do you have high-interest debt outside your mortgage that you won’t be able to pay off in the next few months? Then think about rolling that debt into a new low-rate mortgage. This one, smart strategy could save you thousands… and boost your monthly cash flow. We can analyze your situation to see if you qualify.
  6. What’s the prepayment penalty? Don’t let anyone tell you prepayment penalties are “all the same”. They’re not. If you ever need to get out of your mortgage early, the right mortgage could save you thousands. Not all lenders calculate penalties the same way, and the differences can be substantial. It helps to know which lenders have the most fair prepayment penalties. With access to dozens of lenders – we’ve got that information at our fingertips.
  7. If one of you wants to keep the marital home. If you are going through a separation or divorce and one of you wants to keep the marital home, we’ve got some great mortgage options, including a mortgage to 95 per cent. Your home can be the asset that gives you both a fresh start!
  8. A paydown will pay it forward. Take every opportunity to beat down your mortgage principal using any prepayment privileges! Use tax refunds, bonuses, whatever. Or switch to weekly or bi-weekly payments. Every dollar you pay down on principal means every future payment goes further.
  9. Thinking renovation? We see what you see. Your reno will add value to your home. That’s why we have a special “Refinance Plus Improvements” mortgage that lets you refinance up to 80 per cent of the new, post-reno value of your home. Cool deal.
  10. Come in for a checkup. Your mortgage needs an annual checkup. Really. Life doesn’t stand still, which means your needs may have changed. Even a minor tweak can pay big dividends.

The Stats Are In! Another Great Year for Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate – Market Update

The Stats are in and it was another positive year for the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market.

More homes were sold in 2013 than in the previous two years, and the 6,366 residential sales processed through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) this past year were above the 10-year average.

In a year when troubling news concerning one of the region’s largest employers dominated not only headlines, but the hearts and minds of many, the Kitchener-Waterloo housing market fared remarkably well.

“Throughout last year we saw the fate of Waterloo region called into question by those who didn’t fully grasp the depth of our region’s overall economy,” said Lynn Bebenek, President of the KWAR. “While the strength of our housing market is only one economic indicator, this past year demonstrated the confidence buyers and sellers have in Kitchener-Waterloo’s real estate market.”

Sales of homes got off to a slow start in 2013 before heating up in May and stayed strong through to the end of the third quarter. In December, following two months of slower activity, a total of 279 residential properties sold, representing an increase of 3 percent over the same month last year.

The dollar volume of sales in 2013 increased 6.5 percent over last year, totalling $2,057,707,041 and surpassing the “2 billion” dollar mark for the first time in the KWAR’s history.

Close to half of all residential properties (47%) sold above $300,000 in 2013 compared to 43% in 2012. The average price of all residential properties sold in 2013 increased 4 percent to $323,335. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $366,907 in 2013, an increase of 3.7 percent. In the condominium market the average sale price in 2013 was $216,866, an increase of 1.5 percent compared to the previous year.

Home sales in 2013 included 4,241 detached homes (up 4.2 percent from 2012), 1,151 condos (down 3.9 percent), 505 semis (up 3.7 percent), and 399 townhouses (down 0.3 percent)


How To Hide All Those Cords from Behind the Desk

Do you find that all those, computer, phone, monitor cords etc are a real pain to look at everyday? Do you wish you had a great idea to hide them from sight?

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Well here is a great blog post I found on how just to do that.  Have a look and have  fun with the project

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/20759446/list/Hide-Cords-in-Style-With-DIY-Graphic-Panels


November 2013 Real Estate Market Update for Kitchener Waterloo

HOME SALES DOWN IN NOVEMBER, UP ON YEAR-TO-DATE BASIS

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (December 4, 2013) –– Homes sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in November were down 8.2 percent compared to
November of last year. Residential sales have totalled 6,080 on a yearly basis which represents a 2.3 percent
increase over last year, and also a year-to-date record for total units sold since 2007.
A total of 459 residential properties were sold compared to 500 the same time last year. Residential sales in
November included 295 single detached homes (down 9.2% from last November), 41 semi-detached (up
20.6%), 30 townhomes (up 7.1%) and 90 condominium units (down 15.1%).
“Looking back on 2013 as it winds down, we’ve had a strong and stable year of homes sales” says Lynn
Bebenek, newly elected President of KWAR. “The strength of our local economy and low interest rates continue
to support housing demand in Waterloo Region.”
Single detached homes sold for an average price of $370,068 an increase of 3.0 percent compared to last
year. The average sale price for a condominium was $214,932 an increase of 3.4 percent while townhomes and
semis sold for an average of $268,194 (up 2.3%) and $240,645 (up 1.7%) respectively. The average sale price of
all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 3.1 percent to $320,591 compared to November
2012.
“November’s housing sales demonstrate that Waterloo region continues to be a desirable place to live and
work,” says President Bebenek, “With local job creation expected to outpace losses next year, and barring any
drastic changes in lending rates, Waterloo region should continue to enjoy a healthy housing market in 2014.”


Carbon Monoxide Detectors Become Mandatory in Ontario Homes – Kitchener Waterloo

A new Bill has passed. Nearly five years after a Woodstock family was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, provincial politicians have passed a bill that mandates all Ontario homes have CO detectors. I think this is a fantastic idea.

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For more info visit

Rosie Del Campo has the latest: http://bit.ly/1igsCR2


October 2013 Market Update for Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate

SOLID HOME SALES IN OCTOBER

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (November 5, 2013) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing System
(MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in October were down 4.0 percent
compared to October of last year.

A total of 481 residential properties were sold compared to 501 the same time last year. Year-to-date sales are
up 3.3 percent with 5,620 homes trading hands so far this year. That stands 2.2 percent above the 5-year
average and up 3.2 percent from the same time in 2012. Residential sales in September included 313 single
detached homes (down 2.8% from last October), 44 semi-detached (down 8.3%), 36 townhomes (up 9.1%) and
85 condominium units (down 7.6%).

“On a monthly basis the number of sales in October was in line with the average of the past 5 years,” says
Dietmar Sommerfeld, President of KWAR. “Looking at year-to-date figures, homes sales are the highest they’ve
been compared to the last five years.”

Sommerfeld says he is confident about the local economy and the region’s housing market, pointing to a
recent Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) report (Fall 2013) that states steady mortgage rates
combined with stable/increasing employment in the Region will continue to keep housing demand strong
moving into early 2014.

Single detached homes sold for an average price of $352,807 an increase of 3.6 percent compared to last
year. The average sale price for a condominium was $214,226 a decrease of 0.7 percent compared to
October of last year. The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased
3.3 percent to $312,785 compared to October 2012.

If you ever have any questions on the information provided or specific pricing of your home feel free to give me a call to discuss. I am always happy to help.


Get the Best Mortgage Rate: Five tips for Financial Fitness – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts

 

When the time is right for you to buy a home, make sure you are financially fit and eligible for the best possible mortgage rates. Here are our top five tips to boost your “financial fitness”:

1. Whip it. Whip your credit rating into shape: pay your bills on time… every time. Keep your oldest credit card for its history, and make sure it’s always paid on time. Try not to apply for any new credit.

2. Follow the 33% rule. Never run up a credit card or line of credit past 33% of its available limit. If you’ve got a $3,000 limit, then $1,000 is your absolute ceiling.

3. Cash is king. Gather up the maximum down payment possible. The more money you put down on a home, the better.

4. Be prepared. Put together a file folder with the following: pay stubs, or proof of self-employment income, list of debts and assets, and current bank statements. We can advise what you’ll need.

5. Start a dialogue. Talk to us about your plans. Find out if you can pre-qualify, and ask about how you might qualify for the best possible rate.

The process of qualifying for a mortgage begins long before you decide to buy a home! But if you make a plan to improve your financial fitness… you’ll have no shortage of lenders willing to compete for your business. For more information or a connection to a great Broker just give me a call. I am happy to help.