Here are 5 things to watch for in Kitchener Waterloo real estate in 2014.
1. Keep an eye on the job numbers. Veteran market watchers have been asking how long the local real estate boom can continue. My answer was as long as mortgage rates are low and people have jobs. The December jobs report released Friday was encouraging but declining employment is becoming an issue across Ontario.
2. Blackberry. This could be 1a. As the company struggles to return to profitability, how many more jobs will be shed? Can the local labour market absorb these high-paying jobs or will these workers be relocating?
3. The flight to Downtown Kitchener. The City of Kitchener has done a tremendous job at reinventing the downtown. Long perceived as a place no one wanted to be, it is now "the" place to be as a hub for local technology companies. Expect strong demand for Downtown Kitchener real estate.
4. More bitching and moaning about the Light Rail Transit. See #3. One of the things technology workers look for when relocating to the area is transit options. As people continue to migrate to the Region, we simply can't absorb the extra vehicles without creating gridlock. The LRT is integral to future growth in Waterloo Region.
5. Low mortgage rates spurring continued interest in investment real estate. Many people are eyeing small rental properties in Kitchener seeking a better return on their money. Waterloo has declined in popularity with investors owing to higher prices and perceived government meddling over the rental licensing bylaw.
One thing is for certain. It will be an interesting year for Waterloo Region and the local real estate market. Be sure to check back for regular updates from this Kitchener Waterloo real estate blog.
If you have questions about the local real estate market, feel free to call, text or email 519-505-4488 firstname.lastname@example.org.