Unprecedented Year For MLS Listing Sales in Waterloo Region
There were a total of 6,655 residential sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in 2016. That’s a thousand more units than sold in 2015, amounting to an increase of 18.1 percent and setting a new record for total annual sales.
Dollar volume of all residential real estate sold last year increased 30.9 percent to $2,578,176,468 compared with 2015.
“2016 was marked by unrelenting demand for homes, in the face of fewer homes being put on the market,” said the President of the KWAR. There were 8,003 residential listings processed through the KWAR’s MLS® System in 2016, a decrease of 9.7 percent compared to 2015.
“For the past several months we’ve seen the number of months of inventory ranging between a ten-year low of 1 and 2 months,” says the KWAR President. “While this puts sellers in a very strong position, it’s not so easy when those same sellers need to downsize or move-up.”
The average sales price of all residential properties sold in 2016 increased 10.8 percent to $387,404 in comparison to 2015. Detached homes sold for an average price of $451,738 an increase of 12.5 percent, while the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $229,676, an increase of 3.6 percent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $287,396 (up 9.9 percent) and $300,806 (up 11.8 percent) respectively.
Home sales in 2016 included 4,203 detached homes (up 16.3 percent from 2015) and 1,511 condominium type units (up 28.1 percent) which include any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 430 semi-detached homes (up 6.2 percent) and 430 freehold townhouses (up 7.2 percent).
The KWAR President says that he expects demand for home purchasing in 2017 will continue to be strong. “There is no smoking gun to explain the current market. Mortgage rates remain low, inducing more consumers to get into the market. We have an extremely attractive community, with a growing population and diverse economy bringing in new residents to the region. Home prices remain affordable when compared to the average GTA prices.” Adding, “The challenge is inventory levels remain low, as homeowners are staying in their homes longer and some who might have otherwise moved up are choosing to avoid the hot market. What I hope to see is more balance returning to the market, because I sure don’t see the appetite for home ownership in Waterloo region letting up anytime soon.”
The KWAR cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing long-term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a local REALTOR®. REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering.