| Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update
| Sales returning to normal while prices remain stable.
July home sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) were down 16.8 per cent compared to last month and down 10.6 per cent compared to July of last year.
A total of 504 residential properties sold in July compared to 564 in the same month last year. On a year-to-date basis, there have been 3,601 home sales during the first half of the year, a decrease of 18.0 per cent.
“The story for July is largely more of the same that we’ve been seeing for most of 2018,” says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President. “The number of sales has decreased from what we were seeing the past couple of years to more typical levels, but the value of homes not only remains steady but continues to gradually increase.”
Residential sales in July included 282 detached (down 23.4 per cent compared to July 2017), and 130 condominium units (up 14.0 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 53 semi-detached homes (up 35.9 per cent) and 35 freehold townhouses (down 5.4 per cent).
The average sale price of all residential properties sold in July increased 5.5 per cent to $480,145 compared to the same month a year ago. Detached homes sold for an average price of $584,337 – an increase of 12.4 per cent compared to July of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $292,714, an increase of 4.3 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $359,278 (up 2.2 per cent) and $387,664 (up 9.8 per cent) respectively.
The median price of all residential properties sold last month was up 7.1 per cent compared to July of last year at $443,700, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 12.8 per cent to $530,000. The average days it took to sell a home in June was 23 days, the same as in June 2017.
REALTORS® listed 739 residential properties in K-W and area last month, down 8.9 per cent compared to July of 2017. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of July totalled 1,062, which is 3.3 per cent higher than July of last year but still down from the historical (2007-2016) ten-year average of 1,885 listings for July.
“The competition from buyers is still out there, but not nearly as prevalent as the past two years. This is showing up in the $400,000-$600,000 price point where we continue to see the shortest average days on market,” reports Schmidt. “I think this reflects both the move-up market as well as the typical home that buyers who migrated down the 401 were purchasing.”
“There is no doubt the mortgage stress-test is impacting buyers and the market. Our concern has always questioned the wisdom of introducing policy to respond to temporary market activity, so now the only question is whether this impact is beneficial or not.”
“Either way, Buyers are wise to avail themselves of a REALTOR® to help them navigate local market conditions and ensure the most successful outcome.”
| Doors Open Waterloo Region
| Don’t miss your chance to snoop through some of the Region’s most amazing buildings!
If you’ve ever wanted to explore and learn about some of Waterloo Region’s most intriguing buildings, many of which are not regularly open to the public, now’s your chance!
Doors Open Waterloo is now in its 16th year, and since 2003, more than 250 sites in Waterloo Region have opened their doors to over 100,000 curious visitors.
With over 40 sites to explore including the old Sun Life Financial building and the Waterloo County Gaol and Governor’s House, Doors Open Waterloo Region highlights the diversity of our area's cultural history.
There will also be a focus on the modern side as the theme this year will be on our “built region”. Come and explore how the fabric of our built environment is woven from the threads of urban planning, engineering, infrastructure, architecture and transportation.
Doors Open Waterloo Region will be held on Saturday, September 15th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and as usual, there’s no admission charge. With so many sites and activities, you’re sure to discover a few hidden gems that our amazing city has to offer. Hope to see you out and about!
| Cut the Stress with a Moving Checklist
| The key to keeping calm during a move is to plan in advance.
Moving to a new home is an exciting life change but it can also be very stressful if you're not properly prepared.
It's important to create a detailed checklist a few months ahead of time in order to ensure things go smoothly. Here are some points to help get you started:
Two Months Before
- Itemize all of the major items you'll be moving.
- Get estimates and book the movers or a rental truck.
- Have a garage sale or donate items to charity to get rid of excess clutter.
- Start sucking up to friends and family for help!
One Month Before
- Switch your insurance, medical and school records to your new location.
- Arrange to disconnect and reconnect utilities and phone/internet services.
- Notify any other important parties of your new address.
- Start stockpiling various sizes of boxes.
Two Weeks Before
- Start packing up room by room.
- Plan meals so food in your fridge and freezer gets used up.
- Arrange for someone to look after your pets on moving day.
- Return library materials and other rental items.
The Final Week
- Water your plants a few days before you move.
- Put together a small bag of clothes and toiletries for the first few days.
- Gather valuable items such as legal documents and family photos so you can transport them yourself.
- Pack a box with essentials such as cleaning supplies, chargers, light bulbs, soap, garbage bags, etc. for the first week in your new home.
Day of the Move
- Make sure you have your new keys.
- Double check the movers have your new address and cell phone number.
- Have lots of refreshments on hand for your busy helpers!
Moving can cause a wide range of emotions from sadness to extreme excitement. Although moving can be stressful at times, a little bit of planning will provide you with some very valuable peace of mind. With the help of this checklist, you can now breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy this exciting new phase of your life!
| Planning a Family Fire Escape Plan
| It’s important to be prepared in the event of a fire.
Planning for a house fire isn't something most people want to think about but if such an event occurred, you’d need to act fast. Having a fire escape plan is critical so here are a few points to consider:
- Floor It - Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows at least two ways out of each room.
- Keep it Clear - Ensure there aren’t any obstacles in front of windows, doors and escape routes.
- Practice Makes Perfect - Crawl through escape routes with your family during annual practice drills.
- Window of Opportunity - Family members need to know how to open all windows and remove screens.
- Climb on Down - Make sure escape ladders are accessible and not buried in the back of closets.
- Rendezvous - Designate a special meeting place for all family members once you've evacuated.
- Get Out & Stay Out! - Remind children never to re-enter a burning home under any circumstances.
If you live in a condo or apartment building, ensure you know the evacuation plan and do a few practice drills. Knowing what to expect and how to act is key in any emergency situation so practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
| Back to School Sleep Tips
| Ditching the lazy days of summer doesn’t have to be a drag.
As summer winds down, we need to start getting the kids back into the school time routine, starting with bedtime. Here are a few tips to help them adjust:
- Screens Out - Don’t let your kids play video games before bedtime as screens can affect their sleep.
- Get Moving - Exercise improves sleep considerably so try and sneak in extra activities throughout the day but avoid it two hours before bed.
- Gradually Adjust Bedtime - Don’t wait until the night before school. Instead, gradually take it back 10 - 15 minutes early until you reach the desired time and get up at the same time each morning.
Being sleep deprived will affect both your kids and your own ability to focus and learn. It’s therefore important to adopt good sleep habits to help increase your energy levels during the day which will in turn help you sleep better at night.