From today’s report released by RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario- Atlantic Canada
The real estate market has had an active start in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. Spring market trends include the fact that sales were up 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Our area is continuing to see a surge in buyers who are selling properties in Toronto, which have appreciated greatly in recent years, in order to upgrade to larger homes at a lower price in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. The average residential sale price rose 6 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2016 to $371,733 while days on market decreased from the previous year.
Properties under $450,000 are attracting multiple offers and often selling within hours of being listed. In addition to the surge of buyers relocating from Toronto, the region has also seen an increase in investors eager to take advantage of the potential real estate price appreciation that is expected from the region’s five year transportation plan connecting the area to Cambridge.
The low Canadian dollar has reinvigorated the local auto manufacturing sector while the University of Waterloo continues to be a core driver in the local economy. Its internationally recognized engineering program has recently grown by 15 per cent.
Low interest rates continue to attract first-time buyers, however, once they begin their search many are becoming increasingly frustrated as multiple offers and the quick pace of sales becomes a new reality. With little time to make decisions, it is highly recommend that potential buyers do their homework and work with an experienced local real estate agent.
Condos and townhouses are seeing a lot of activity as the low price point is attractive to both first-time buyers and investors. While March’s year-over-year sales of strata properties have witnessed an impressive increase of 26.4 per cent, the demand has not been reflected in price appreciation. Ongoing construction of condo style apartments built for students has created a robust inventory and is putting downward pressure on rental values.
Interestingly, Toronto buyers relocating to the region are having a minimal effect on Kitchener-Waterloo’s luxury market as this buyer group is typically looking at properties less than $700,000. Typically selling for 1 million and above, the region’s luxury market buyer is often a very well-established professional at the University of Waterloo or in the auto manufacturing sector.