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Waterloo Region Real Estate Market Update – January Edition

Last Updated on January 19, 2021

2020 closed on a high note, with December being the sixth record-breaking month of the year, selling the most homes ever recorded for the month.

There were 6,492 residential homes sold in 2020 through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, an increase of 9% compared to 2019. Compared to previous years, 2020’s annual sales were 5 % above the previous 5-year average and 11.6% above the previous 10-year average.

Home value continues to see growth. December saw an increase of 42% in sales for the month.

“December’s home sales were the highest on record for the month,” says Nicole Pohl, President of KWAR.  “This marks the sixth consecutive month of record home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo and helps propel 2020’s annual number of transactions over the 6,000-unit threshold for only the third time in our history.”

The average number of days to sell in December was 16 days, compared to 23 days in December 2019. 351 residential homes were sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® in December 2020, according to KWAR.

In December: 

  • Detached homes: 204 sold – 46.7% increase (from December 2019)
  • Condominium Apartments: 63 sold – 34% increase
  • Townhouses: 64 sold – 68.4% increase
  • Semi-Detached Homes: 20 sold – 9.1% decrease

In 2020:

  • Detached homes: 3,899 sold – 8.1% increase (from 2019)
  • Condominium Apartments: 804 sold – 18.9% increase
  • Townhouses: 1,346 sold – 7% increase
  • Semi-Detached Homes: 450 sold – 6.8% increase

The Average Sale Price Of All Residential Properties Sold In December

Prices continued to see gains in December as buyers across all price points compete for listings as soon as they come on the market.

In December:

  • All residential properties: $634,545 – 14.4% increase (from December 2019)
  • Detached homes: $755,618 – 11.9% increase
  • Apartment-Style Condominiums: $383,196 – 5.4% increase
  • Townhomes: $514,760 – 27.7% increase
  • Semi-detached Homes: $574,659 – 20.2% increase

In 2020:

  • All residential properties: $612,521 – 16.1% increase (from 2019)
  • Detached homes: $719,203 – 16.9% increase
  • Apartment-Style Condominiums: $391,698 – 13.7% increase
  • Townhomes: $468,891 – 14.6% increase
  • Semi-detached Homes: $520,753 – 18.3% increase

Dollar volume of all residential real estate sold last year increased 26.5% to $3.9 billion compared with 2019.

“Even well before the pandemic, we had noted a trend of consumers migrating out of the GTA to our region,” says Pohl. “As the pandemic heated up it only fueled this fire more as the very concept of what home means was shifting. With more people working from home, some permanently, space has become a greater concern than ever before. When you combine this with all the other great attributes of our region, it is no surprise this occurred.”

New Home Listings in December

  • The median price of all residential properties sold last year increased 17.3% to $575,000 and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 15.7% to $660,000.
  • The absorption rate continues to be very low, at 1 month. (The previous 5-year average for December was 1.5 months.)

While the majority of residential MLS® System activity is properties for sale, REALTORS® are increasingly representing landlords and tenants. Last year 848 residential leases occurred through KWAR’s MLS® System, which is an increase of 13.9% compared to last year.

Safety First / Digital First 

Pohl advises buyers to speak with their Realtor about the digital tools they use to minimize the need for direct physical contact. We must ensure that all of Health Canada’s guidelines are in place to reduce the risk of transmission. As we have previously stated, we have been a digital-first Real Estate Brokerage from day one, with the tools and experience to help you.

  1. All of our listings include a full online 360-degree virtual tour, so you may continue enjoying browsing properties from the comfort of your home. 
  2. Electronic signature support for all documents.
  3. Our online move-in support platform.
  4. A private property web portal for Buyers.
  5. Online and video conferencing tools to enable Virtual Meetings.

What’s Ahead for the Real Estate Market?

“Looking to the year ahead, we should expect more of the same” predicts Pohl. “Real estate continues to be one of the shining lights supporting the Ontario economy, so we do not expect to see any significant efforts to try to cool the market. Buyers should continue to expect stiff competition in Waterloo Region, and for sellers, there will continue to be a strong interest for all properties entering the market. Active markets are difficult markets, but the only way for a seller to ensure they are getting the full market value of their home is through the level playing field of the KWAR MLS® System. For buyers, they should ensure they are working with a local REALTOR® to assist with the speed and challenges of this market”

To help encourage new listings and address our supply shortage, Ontario’s REALTORS® are asking the government to introduce a short-term Land Transfer Tax holiday. More information about this and other proposals can be read in the Ontario Real Estate Association’s (OREA) recently released policy report, Rebuilding Ontario: A Framework for Recovery.

We hope you enjoyed our update for this month, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for more information and updates. 

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