Residential sales in Kitchener-Waterloo for the first 2 weeks of May show a 15% increase over the same period in May 2008. Of note, out of 257 sales recorded by the Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Board, 199 were under $300 000. The supply of homes in this price range is shrinking rapidly due to high activity from first-time buyers. Average days on the market for these properties was 40 days while those sales over $300 000 took an average of 58 days. Sellers of homes under $300 000 are receiving on average 98% of their asking price while those selling over $300 000 are getting 97% on average.
So what do we make of all this? If you are buying under $300 000 expect competition as record low interest rates are causing first-time buyers to buy in droves. Multiple offers have reappeared particularily for detached homes under $250 000. Homes priced under $300 000 would cover most first-time buyers. There is further pressure in this price range from move-up buyers and people moving down to decrease their debtload. I expect this trend to intensify in the coming months. If you are buying over $300 000, expect more options and some motivated sellers. In this price range, you may be able to get the seller to agree to a condition on the sale of your home.
For those selling under $300 000, allow enough marketing time to generate interest. For those selling a $300 000+ home, expect it to be a "beauty contest" as there is competition and it will take longer to sell. You may be asked to accept an offer conditional on the sale of the buyer's home.
As always, remember that markets are local and this may or may not apply entirely to your situation. I'd be happy to address any questions. MailTo: Jeff.Gingerich@Century21.ca