While November has a reputation for dismal weather, real estate sales in the Twin Cities this past month were bright and sunny. Residential MLS sales for Kitchener-Waterloo totalled 365 in November versus 413 for November 2009. For those keeping track, this represents a 12 per cent decline. However, it's interesting to note that in November, 2008, sales truly were dismal with a total of just 238 in the wake of the credit crisis.
November saw 49 new home sales and 316 resale homes sold. Sellers received, on average, 97.9% of their asking price this November versus a lofty 98.5% last year. The days on the market for November sales in both 2010 and 2009 was 51 days.
What about prices? The median sale price for residential sales in K-W in November was $256,250. This represents a 1.7% increase over November 2009's $252,000. Interestingly, the median price for single family detached homes declined year-over-year by .4% while condominiums rose 15%.
Active residential MLS listings at the end of November totalled 1136 versus 930 at the end of November, 2009. While this represents an increase of 22%, it's important to examine where the increase has come from. In a "hot" market, many homebuilders will be able to sell their new homes without a Realtor. When the market softens as we've witnessed with the onset of the Harmonized Sales Tax in Ontario, new home builders use a Realtor to gain the greater exposure that MLS brings. Presently, there are approximately 400 new homes listed for sale on the K-W MLS. Many of these are only built once a buyer is found. Using the sales figures above, we currently have about an 8 month supply of new homes for sale while we have less than a 3 month supply of resale homes.
So what do we make of all this? The real estate market in Kitchener-Waterloo remains a seller's market. Absent a substantial increase in the Bank of Canada rate and/or resale homes coming on the market, expect prices to increase and builders to be busier. Sales in the $400,000 plus price range have increased 30% year-to-date over 2009. I expect this to moderate in the coming months and anticipate the hottest price range to be between $200,000-$300,000. The rise of condominium sales and prices can be interpeted 2 ways. It's either the end of a boom period(as we saw in the early '90's) where prices have risen to the point where that's all the average buyer can afford...or it's a shift in the market brought on by aging Baby Boomers and the lifestyle choices of the generations that follow. Stay tuned as it's sure to be interesting.
For advice on your Kitchener Waterloo real estate needs, feel free to call or email 519-505-4488 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Century 21 Home Realty Inc. Brokerage
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