KITCHENER – WATERLOO CONDOS & LOFTS FOR SALE

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Record Setting Home Sales in May Top 800 For Kitchener Waterloo

I hope you and your family have been doing well and enjoying the wonderful weather we have been having over the past month!! Summer certainly seems to be here.

Well May was another record setting month here in Waterloo region. There were 816 Residential properties sold through the  MLS® System in May, an increase of 8.2 per cent compared to May 2016, and a 6 per cent increase compared to the previous month. This is the second consecutive month unit sales have hit an all-time high.

Home sales in May included 493 detached homes (up 3.8 per cent compared to May 2016), 180 condominium units (up 7.8 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 64 semi-detached homes (up 39.1 percent) and 70 freehold townhouses (up 22.8 per cent).

With the persistent buyer demand that we’ve been experiencing these past several months, it was great to see that spike in residential listings. It certainly helped to give buyers more choice. There were 1,271 residential properties listed in K-W and area last month, a 38.6 per cent increase compared to May of 2016, and a 29 per cent increase compared to the previous month. It’s the first time in two years that the number of new listings put on the market has exceeded the 1,000 unit mark. The five-year average for new listings in May is 989.

While more homes were listed in May, it continues to be a seller’s market in Waterloo region and across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) as inventories remain tight at near or less than one month of inventory.

The average sales price of all residential sales increased 31 per cent to $496,664 compared to May 2016. Detached homes sold for an average price of $594,047 an increase of 35.3 per cent, while the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $293,158, an increase of 25.8 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $361,198 (up 30 per cent) and $383,819 (up 29.3 per cent) respectively. Ongoing demand for homes in Waterloo region has resulted in a shorter sales cycle.

The average days on market in May was 12, compared to 24 days a year ago. On a month to month basis, it took two additional days on average from list to sale date in May compared to April.

Looking at the Fair Housing Plan that was announced by the Ontario government in April, we think it is still too soon to know if the measures will have the intended cooling effect on the market.  For now, home sales are still booming, and prices are going strong. While we continued to see big year-over year price gains in May, the overall residential average price did dip 3 per cent compared to April. Keep in mind that one month does not make a trend but the spike in listings last month may have contributed to the flatter prices. Looking forward to the summer will help gauge where the market is headed going into the last half of this year.

If you have any questions or are thinking of buying or selling a home in the next few month feel free to give me a call  at 519-497-4646 or email to baker_kevin@rogers.com and we can sit down and discuss some options that best suit your families needs.

Have a great June!
Kevin

 


A Frenzy of February Home Sales in Waterloo Region

It was another very strong month of home sales in the Waterloo Region. There is seemingly no end in sight  in this brisk early spring market.

There were 474 residential sales in February through the Multiple Listing System, an increase of 4.2 percent compared to February 2016. With the nice weather in February, we experienced  volume well above what we would normally see for a typical February. That being said, the sales volume could have been much higher still if there were more listings on the market. The shortage of listings and demand continue to push up prices across the region.

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 fueling 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.

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.

Even though it is a challenging time to be selling or buying a home, the dream of home ownership is still very much alive and well in the region. With historically low interest rates there are still properties that are affordable for the average buyer.

If you ever have any questions on buying a home in this competitive marketplace or you are thinking of selling your home please give me a call and I would be happy to sit down and discuss the best strategy that works for you and your families situation.

Have a great day

Kevin


Hot Home and Condo Sales Continue in Kitchener Waterloo

Hi there and hope you had a fantastic summer!

The housing market here in Kitchener Waterloo is as hot as the weather has been this past summer!  There were a total of 598 home sales in KitchenerWaterloo and area though the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in August. This represents a 26.4% increase in sales compared to August of 2015. It also ranks as the most active August on record and 37.6% above the 5-year average for the month. That is simply amazing.

Year-to-date sales also climbed to new heights with 4,703 residential sales so far in 2016. Again, this is the highest on record for this period and 23.4% above the 5-year average.

We are still experiencing a lower than normal listing number with active listings almost half of what they were last year at this time. Active listings through the  MLS® System to the end of August sat at 863, which is 46.6% lower compared to same period last year’s 1,616 homes that were on the market. That means we are still experiencing a very tight market in terms of availability of homes which continues to push up home prices in the region.

August’s sales included 353 single detached homes (up 19.7% compared to August 2015) and 151 condominium type units (up 36.0%) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc). Sales also included 40 Semi-detached homes (up 14.3%) and 49 freehold townhouses (up 69.0%).

The average sale price of all residential sales in August increased 15.2% to $402,000 compared to August 2015.  Its clear that as a result of the strong residential activity  that buyers remain confident about home values here in the region.

Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $487,050 an increase of 20.9% compared to last year. The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $233,302, an increase of 7.9%. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $298,148 (up 10.2%) and $299,353 (up 5.5%) respectively.

Overall. the market is extremely competitive and if you are thinking of selling your home now is a great time to take advantage of the strong home prices. If you have any questions or would like to get together for a coffee and discuss how we can help with your housing needs please give me a call or text  at 519-497-4646. You can also email me at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca


Waterloo Region Posts Record Number of Home Sales in First Half of 2016

 

It is another fantastic month for Real Estate here in the Waterloo Region.  The Region had another record setting month with 740 properties sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area in the month of June. This represents a 13.1% increase compared to the June of 2015, and ranks as the most active June on record. Honestly in my 15 years as a Realtor I have not seen a market like this one.

During the first half of 2016, there were 3,519 home sales, 18.0% above last year’s total for the same period and 22.8% above the 5-year year-to-date average. That would make the highest number of home sales we have ever recorded in the first half of the year.

On a monthly basis, home sales were 29.7% above the 5-year average for the month of June. As sales continue their upward trend, active residential listings continue to remain depressed in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, the number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of June sat at 1,199, which is 33.9% lower compared to same period last year. This translates to 51.4% fewer available listings on the market today than the same time last year. That means the market needs more sellers to keep up with the high demand of buyers that are looking in the area.  With some of the prices that homes have been selling for, now is a great time to get your home up on the market.

June’s sales included 485 single detached homes (up 13.6%) and 145 condominium type units (up 2.1%) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc). Sales also included 46 Semi-detached homes (up 9.5%) and 54 freehold townhouses (up 42.1%).

The average sale price of all residential sales in June increased 11.2% to $390,144 compared to June 2015. With fewer listings on the market combined with an increased interest in people wanting to live in the Region, we’re seeing upward pressure on home prices.

Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $451,289 an increase of 10.7% compared to last year. The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $232,999, an increase of 8.0%. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $277,672 (up 14.5%) and $296,572 (up 10.6%) respectively.

If you have been tossing around the idea of selling your home, give me a call and we can sit down and look at the best options for you and your family.

Have a great July!

Kevin


Sales Hit All Time High in May in KItchener, Waterloo and Cambridge

All I have to say is WOW!!!!  What an incredible month for the Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge Real Estate Markets. The market is on fire with many homes selling over list price in multiple offer situations.  The buyers seemed to be lined up out the door if you have a property under the 430k mark in certain neighborhoods of town.

Here are some of the stats from the past month.  There were 752 properties sold in KW and area which represents a 19.6% increase compared to May of 2015, and a 27.7% increase compared to the 5-year average for the month of May.

This is the first time since 2007 that residential sales in May exceeded seven hundred units. Year-to-date sales for 2016 also hit an all-time high with 2,776 homes sold in the first five months of the year, 19.2% above last year’s total for the same period and 21.0% above the 5-year average.

Active listings however are down in comparison from last year. Currently, the number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of May is at 1,283 which are 26.1% lower compared to same period last year. This translates to 35.2% fewer available listings on the market today than the same time last year.

So what does that mean?  If you are thinking of selling your home now is a great time to do it. Unfortunately you may also wish to buy and that could prove challenging with the lower than usual inventory buyers often find themselves competing with other buyers, for the same property.

With steady interest rates expected into the later part of 2016 and early 2017,  and steady employment growth, the region is poised to continue the demand for housing and we should see balanced market conditions return for the foreseeable future in Waterloo Region.

May’s sales included 474 single detached homes (up 15.6%) and 166 condominium type units (up 37.2%) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc). Sales also included 47 Semi-detached homes (down 11.3%) and 56 freehold townhouses (up 27.3%). The average sale price of all residential sales increased 7.3% to $378,248 compared to May 2015. Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $438,708 an increase of 9.8% compared to last year. The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $221,073, a decrease of 1.2%. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $277,355 (up 1.1%) and $296,751 (up 10.2%) respectively.

If you have any questions on the stats or are thinking of making a move in the near future, please give me a call and we can sit down, grab a coffee and look at your options.

Have a great week!

Kevin


Record Homes Sales in March here in Waterloo Region

It was another Fantastic Month for Home Sales here in Waterloo Region with 584 properties sold in the Kitchener Waterloo area.

This represents a 16.3% increase compared to the March of 2015, and ranks as the highest March on record since 2010. That is just incredible.

During the first quarter of 2016, there were 1,350 home sales, 23.9% above last year’s total for the same period and 17.8% above the 5-year quarterly average and the highest quarter on record since 2010. On a monthly basis, home sales were 16.6% above the 5-year average for the month of March.  The mild weather has brought the buyers out in droves and the spring market is well underway!

March’s sales included 383 single detached homes (up 11.2 %) and 110 condominium type units (up 26.4%) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc). Sales also included 38 Semi-detached homes (down 2.6%) and 42 freehold townhouses (up 50.0%).

The average sale price of all residential sales increased 5.8% to $371,733 compared to March 2015. Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $428,495 an increase of 9.2% compared to last year. The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $211,117, a decrease of 11.9%. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $284,226 (up 9.7%) and $276,562 (up 0.6%) respectively.

Sales activity in the $350,000 – $399,999 range increased significantly in the month of March with 98 homes sold in that range, a 78.2% increase from the same time last year. Yes I said 78.2%!! That is clearly evident with all the multiple offers that we have been involved in over the past month.

Year-to-date residential sales in the $300,000-$399,999 remain most popular with 490 sales to date accounting for 36.3% of all residential sales. Pushing the average sales price up for the month were increased sales in the $500,000 – $749,999 range, which posted a 31.6% increase in units sold, compared to March 2015

All in all, Kitchener Waterloo is still showing that we have a vibrant economy and  home values are continuing to show strength.

If you have any questions on the information above or are interested in buying or selling in the coming months feel free to give me a call at 519-497-4646 or email to kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca

I am happy to help.

Have a wonderful April!

Kevin


Kitchener Waterloo Home and Condo Sales Take a Leap in February! – Market update

All I have to say is WOW, what a month! The housing market is on fire with multiple offers and low inventory it seems that the spring market has started. Here are some of the highlights from the past month.

Residential sales were up 28.2% compared to the same month last year with 452 homes being sold. That is 18.6 percent above the 5 year average for the month. Those sales included 280 single detached homes which is up 40.7% over last February, 33 semi- detached(down 17.5%), 31 townhomes (up 6.9%) and 103 Condo units (up 25.6%).  That makes this past February the most active February since 2008! With interest rates still holding steady, Waterloo region remains an attractive place to live and invest.

Single detached homes sold for an average price of $419,480 which is an increase of 7.7% compared to last year. The average sale price for a Condo unit was $242,272 up 8.3% while townhomes and semis sold for an average of $328,569 (up 10.0%) and $291,770 ( up 12.0) respectively.

The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 10.3% to $361,889 compared to February 2015 with 42.0% of home sales in February occurring in the $250,000-$350,000 range.  With all the cold temperatures that we experienced last year that helped contribute to a 5-year low in home sales for the month. Things have been quite a bit warmer these past few weeks in comparison, and it goes to show how much of a role weather can play when it comes to buying or selling and kicking off the spring market!

If you are thinking of buying or selling now is a great time to start the process. Give me a call at 519-497-4646 or email to kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca and I can provide all the information you need to make the right decision.

 

Have a great March!

Kevin


Kitchener Waterloo Home and Condo Sales Finish Strong in 2015! – Market Update

Happy New Year!  I hope you are enjoying the winter weather that has finally arrived.

It was another strong finish for the Residential Real Estate market here in Waterloo Region in 2015.

A total of 5,563 sales were processed through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) which was an increase of 4.9% percent compared to sales in 2014 . Unlike 2014, which remained slow almost half the year, 2015 only lagged behind in home sales for the first two months of the year. With relatively normal winter weather and no ice storm or polar vortexes, the spring market did not experience the same delay seen in 2014.

Residential sales finished this year with 293 home sales in December compared 262 the same time last year in Kitchener-Waterloo and area. This equates to an 11.8% increase in the number of sales for the month. This month there were 168 detached homes (down 4.5%), 80 condominiums (up 53.8%),   20 townhomes (up 33.3%) and 23 semi-detached (up 21.0%) sold, with the average price of all homes sold this month coming in at $367,121 (up 8.2%).

Overall It’s been a fantastic year for home sales in the Region, which speaks volumes about the economy, the opportunities and  innovation taking place in Waterloo Region.

Total residential sales in 2015 included 3,576 single detached homes (up 4.9% from 2014), 409 semi-detached (up 4.6%), 398 townhomes (up 2.3%) and 1,180 condominium units (up 5.9%).  The average sale price of all residential sales in 2015 increased 3.9 percent to $348,888 in comparison to 2014. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $400,456 (up 3.5%), semi-detached for $268,400 (up 3.4%), townhomes for $301,005 (up to 4.1%) and condominiums sold for an average of $237,735 (up 7.3%).

Locally,  Waterloo Region remains a strong and stable housing market. The excitement around the area from the ION, the burgeoning tech sector, the rural and urban blend position Waterloo Region as a highly desirable place to live and invest.

If you have any questions regarding the local Real Estate market, thinking of buying or selling this spring or know of someone that is, please let me know. I am always happy to help and provide advice where ever I can.

Have a great week!

Kevin


Kitchener Waterloo November Market Update and NO to the MLTT

Realtors and Home owners here in Waterloo Region and across Ontario have spoken and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has heard our outrage.  The Minister confirmed this week that the government will not give the municipalities the ability to charge the Municipal Land Transfer Tax.

This is fantastic news for everyone in the region!!!

Now that this bullet is dodged, here in Waterloo Region it was another good month of home sales with a total of 413 residential properties sold last month compared to 376 in November last year. This number included 254 single detached homes (up 10.0% from last November), 22 semi-detached (down 45%), 33 townhomes (down 15.4%) and 99 condominium units (up 37.5%).

Average prices also increased 8.2% to an average price of $412,581 for single detached homes. Condo’s were up 7.3% with an average of $225,341, while townhomes and semis sold for an average of $313,015 (up 13.8%) and $257,995 (down 1.9%) respectively.  Average sale price of all residential sales through the Kitchener Waterloo MLS system increased to $350,703 up 6.7%

With 2015 drawing to a close shortly we have had another outstanding year for homes sales in Waterloo Region.  CMHC is forecasting steady mortgage rates and stronger employment in the Region for 2016 and that means continued demand for housing.  Comparing our prices here against our neighbors in the GTA, Waterloo Region still remains very affordable.

If you are looking to make a move in the spring and would like to have a better idea of what your home is worth click here now.  Whether buying or selling give me a call and let’s sit down for a coffee and discuss how we can help make the move to a new home a smooth one for you and your family. I can be reached at 519-497-4646 or email to kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season with your family!

Kevin


October Home Sales Ease in Kitchener Waterloo Region

October Home Sales Ease In Waterloo Region

Home sales in October showed some signs of easing in Waterloo Region with an overall decrease of 9.4%. The Multiple listing System (Mls) showed a total of 435 home sales compared to 480 during the same period in 2014.

Here is the breakdown:

Residential sales this October included 284 single detached homes (down 6.9% from last October), 20 semi-detached (down 23.1%), 37 townhomes (up 5.7%) and 92 condominium units (down 19.3%).

The great news is average prices are up again with an average price for a single detached home in October selling for an average price of $417,891 an increase of 8.9% compared to the same month last year.

The average sale price for a condominium was $242,280 an increase of 14.3%, while the average sale price of all residential sales in KW and Area increased 9.9% to $363,438 compared to October 2014.

Townhomes and semi-detached properties sold for an average of $300,724 (down 2.5%) and $265,000 (up 2.2%) respectively.

The Kitchener Waterloo housing market continues to show long term stability and strength and the shifts in average prices and month to month fluctuations are normal, along with sales easing as we approach the end of the year. Keep in mind you always need to use caution when looking at averages. The increase in detached and overall home prices are due in part to six home sales in October 2015 over $900,000 compared to zero sales in that range the previous year.

If you have any questions on any of this information or are thinking of making a move before Christmas or in the spring please give me a call. Knowing what your home potentially could be worth is the one of the first steps to making a decision on whether now is the right time to make a move.

For a Free Report on your home’s value, take a moment to email me at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca or call or text to 519-497-4646. I am always happy to help

Have a great week

Kevin


Kitchener Waterloo, are you ready for Double Land Transfer Tax?

People of Ontario get ready. The provincial government is talking about giving each municipality the power to implement its own Land Transfer Tax in addition to the federal one that we all pay for purchasing a new property. It’s a tax realtors have never stopped fighting in Toronto since it was introduced seven years ago, and now our  worst fears may  be coming true.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) insisted Tuesday the governing Liberal party is going ahead with plans that will allow municipalities to follow Toronto’s lead and implement their own land transfer tax. Ontario government officials deny anything has been decided. The plans were revealed by the Toronto Sun Tuesday.

Picture this,  buyers in Toronto purchasing a $1 million home get slapped with a $32,200 tax to transfer property, $15,725 of which is the city of Toronto’s portion.

We have seen an influx of people moving west of the GTA to purchase homes in the Waterloo Region, due in part to prices as well as avoiding the Double Taxation in Toronto.

I have little doubt that once the province allows the tax to proceed, municipalities will take advantage of it. Once one starts I believe they will all fall like dominoes. This means that the Ontario home buyers will pay the highest land transfer tax in North America.

When Toronto implemented the double tax, they saw lower prices equal to if not greater than the amount of the tax. The problem is that it is just not one tax, but every purchase after that as well.

So what does that mean for the Residents of Waterloo Region?  If the tax does come into effect it could be a major factor in deciding between buying or waiting.  The affect on prices and availability of homes could certainly be affected. With the economy here in the region still very strong and housing prices showing no signs of any significant slow down, this may not be the news that we want to hear. We will just have to wait and see what the result will be if the plan does move forward.

If you have any questions on any real estate related topic feel free to shoot me an email at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca or give me a call at 519-579-4110.

 


Kitchener Waterloo Home and Condo Sales Remain Strong in August

Its been another strong month of home sales here in the Waterloo Region. With a total of  459 sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®).  The month of August did post a 2.1% decrease in home sales compared to the same month last year across Kitchener-Waterloo and area. However, home sales in the month of August were 9.5% percent above the 5-year average for the month.

This strong sales activity helped bring year-to-date total sales to 3,991, a 6.1% increase compared to the same time last year, and 6% above the 5-year average. Year-to-date sales were also the highest on record since 2008.  There was strong residential sale activity this summer season and with recording setting year-to-date sales it’s clear that buyers remain confident about the value of homes in Kitchener-Waterloo and area.

Residential sales in August included 284 single detached homes (down 2.1% from last year), 35 semidetached (up 2.9%), 29 townhomes (down 17.1%) and 107 condominium units (down 0.9%). The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 6.6% percent last month to $347,057 compared to August 2014. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $401,533 an increase of 6.2% percent compared to last year. The average sale price for a condominium was $241,508, an increase of 7.7% percent and the average sale price for a freehold townhome was $300,546, an increase of 2.9% percent from the same time last year.

Overall these numbers show that the real estate sector here in the Kitchener Waterloo is showing no signs of slowing down and points to a long term stability and strength.

If you have any questions on any of the information provided above or would like to discuss your specific real estate needs please give us a call or email to kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca

Have a great day!


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


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 


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.

 


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.”


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.


Renewing Your Mortgage? Don’t Just Take The Banks Word For It.

Almost half of homeowners sleepwalk through their mortgage renewal

Given the large financial commitment of a mortgage, it’s surprising that 44 per cent of Canadian homeowners either just accept whatever their lender offers at renewal, or don’t even remember how they renewed!

It’s tempting to just sleepwalk through the mortgage renewal process. But if you’re not doing even the slightest comparison shopping or negotiating, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to save thousands on your mortgage. When your lender sends you a letter saying it’s time to renew… what that really means is that it’s time to get advice. Professional, independent advice.

Get an expert second opinion on what you’re being offered. We’ll take a look, and compare it to what we can find out there as an alternative among the 50 or more lenders we have access to.

Got a mortgage renewal coming up in the next six months? Give me a call and I will connect you to someone that can help.


Don’t Forget Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist – Kitchener Waterloo Condos For Sale

Your fall “to-do”
list for home maintenance!

A few hours spent on fall maintenance will protect the investment you’ve made, and make for a more comfortable and worry-free winter ahead. Get started with our fall “to-do” list:

 

  • Ensure windows and doors (especially the one between house & garage) close tightly; repair or replace weather stripping if needed.
  • Check your roof for loose or missing shingles.
  • Ensure your eavestroughs and downspouts are clear.
  • Check your chimney for nests, other obstructions, or buildup of residues.
  • Get a pro to inspect your heating system. Clean or replace the furnace air filter each month all winter.
  • Have ducts professionally cleaned every few years; vacuum everything you can reach.
  • Check your home safety devices and change the batteries.
  • Change the direction of ceiling fans to push warm air from the ceiling down.
  • Cover outside of air-conditioning unit.
  • Drain and store outdoor hoses. Protect delicate landscaping.

 By doing a few small things you will ensure that your home is all ready for the winter.

Have a great fall season everyone!