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
“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.
June 10, 2014 | Categories: Buyers, Local Kitchener Waterloo, Random thoughts, Sellers, Uncategorized | Tags: assessment, Bank of Canada, first time home buyer, full time realtor, home buying, home value, inventory levels, kevin baker, kitchener, Kitchener waterloo, kwhometeam, lofts in kitchener, market update, real estate, real estate investing, Remax, sales rep, waterloo ontario, waterloo region school board | Leave a comment
Buying a house is a very difficult decision – there are large sums of money involved, the transaction costs and hassle of moving mean that you can’t just buy another house if you don’t like the one you end up with, and you don’t have enough information to make a completely informed decision. The best you can do is try to educate yourself in all aspects of the house hunt, keep a clear head and buy a house that fits your situation.
Here are some things for house buyers to be aware of when looking for a new home.
- How far is it from where you work? Can you handle the time/money involved in the commute?
- If you have young kids or are planning to have them – how far from the grandparents from the house? They tend to be the best babysitters.
It’s nice to say “buy within your budget” but that might not realistic. Do a quick budget estimate, look at some houses that you might be interested in and then revise the budget or revise the houses. If you really can’t afford a house then don’t buy one. There is nothing wrong with renting.
3) Know your market
It’s critical that you know the market you are looking in. The asking prices for houses are often not indicative of their true value and the only way to be able to estimate a house value is to look at as many houses as possible. Take notes and find out what they sold for.
4) Trust your real estate agent
I would suggest that most house buyers use an agent. They know the local market, the pricing and can point out things that you may miss on your walk through. They protect you legally but making sure that clauses and conditions are put into the offer making sure you get everything that you are expecting.
5) Don’t end up house poor
Sometimes house buyers “fall in love” with a house or neighborhood or even just the idea of owning a house and they place too high a priority on it. This can lead to regret when the novelty wears off and you don’t have any money to do the things you like to do. Try living for six months on a “pretend” mortgage payment and see how it goes.
6) Take your time
Until recently, many buyers were afraid of missing out on future price gains or being “priced out of the market”. If you are renting and saving as much as you can, then you will be fine. Here are some tips for renters to be able to keep up (or down as the case may be) with their house owning friends. Note – this one isn’t as relevant as it was last year!
7) Make a decision
Previously, I said to look at lots of houses to learn the market. At that point you should be able to purchase a house fairly quickly. If you are looking for the perfect house or trying to time the market then you will never buy a house. I know people who did ten year house searches which is a big waste of time. The reality is that you will be happy with a good percentage of all the houses you look at, so as long as you can eliminate the worst choices then you will be thrilled with your new home.
8) Don’t worry about the down payment
Yes, I know – it sounds pretty shocking in the sub-prime era to suggest that a down payment of less than 20% is acceptable, but in my opinion, the ability to make the mortgage payments is the main factor for affordability. In other words, it’s the size of the mortgage that matters. Of course you can get better rates with a larger down payment so it’s better if you have one, but don’t sweat it if you have a small or zero down payment.
9) Don’t blow your budget on renovations and furniture
Most people end up buying a house that has mortgage payments large enough that the buyers have to “make the payments fit” into their budget. While this is not the best way to buy a house, some of these buyers then make things worse by spending more money on renovations and house decorations. Unless you buy a total wreck of a house, you do not need to spend big bucks on renovations. You can live with the non-granite kitchen counter and the couch set that doesn’t fit the room perfectly. I don’t care if the house has full-on 70′s decor – you can live with it for a year or more until you can fit the extra expense in your budget.
10) Be careful of flip properties
There are people and contractors who will buy a house, fix it up very quickly and turn around and sell it for profit. The problem with these houses is that they tend to look very good on the surface ie nice paint, trim, granite counters etc, but on the inside they are pretty ugly and might have substandard electrical, insulation etc.
If you are interested in one of these houses then make sure they have closed permits and check with the inspector to see if their inspection notes. Better yet, just don’t buy one.
11) Don’t buy the perfect house
If the house is livable and you have a good life, then you will be happy with whatever house you end up buying. If you spend more money on a “better” house, then you will quickly get used to it and will be no happier than if you had bought an “average” house.
The people inside are what make it special.
Learn as much as you can about real estate, your budget and your local house market, but be prepared for the fact that buying a house is all about compromise, incomplete information and a lot of doubts! If you keep at it however, the odds are very good that you will end up with a home that suits your needs.
May 26, 2014 | Categories: Buyers, Local Kitchener Waterloo, Random thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: Bank of Canada, condo, condo buying, first time home buyer, full time realtor, home buying, home value, inventory levels, kevin baker, kitchener, Kitchener waterloo, kwhometeam, kwrealestatelife, lofts in kitchener, Mortgage News, real estate, real estate investing, Remax, waterloo, waterloo ontario, waterloo region school board | Leave a comment
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
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.
May 6, 2014 | Categories: Buyers, Local Kitchener Waterloo, Sellers, Uncategorized | Tags: first time home buyer, home buying, home value, inventory levels, kevin baker, kitchener, Kitchener waterloo, kwhometeam, lofts in kitchener, may, Mortgage News, real estate, real estate investing, real estate update, Remax, sales rep, waterloo ontario | Leave a comment
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
April 4, 2014 | Categories: Buyers, Local Kitchener Waterloo, Sellers, Uncategorized | Tags: Bank of Canada, condo, first time home buyer, full time realtor, home buying, home value, inventory levels, kevin baker, Kitchener waterloo, kwhometeam, lofts in kitchener, market update, Mortgage News, real estate investing, realty, Remax, sales rep, twin city, waterloo ontario | Leave a comment