Sustainable housing and real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo Region


Forecast for the K-W region housing market.
January 13, 2009, 2:59 am
Filed under: Market Conditions, Rebecca Sargent | Tags: ,

A slight decrease in sales in Kitchener from October to November demonstrates a move towards a more balanced market, and not a catastrophe. Many buyers are waiting until 2009, while others are taking advantage of the current beneficial market conditions. While currently it may take a few days longer to sell a home in the area, the value of home ownership investment remains high, with the average sale price of a single family-detached residential property increasing by 7.6% last year. In fact, the average price in Canada is projected to appreciate by at least 9% this year, up over $25,000 from 2006 levels in the nation. What does that mean for you?

It means that if you buy a home today, it is likely to increase in value over time. It also means that sellers that list their homes at fair market value are continuing to sell and make money. Housing supply is currently exceeding demand, allowing for more selection for buyers to choose from. It is good time for buyers. The market should pick up more buyers starting in the New Year, increasing the competition and levelling out the excess in supply.

Condominium and town home unit sales are on the rise, and likely to continue to increase due to downsizing baby boomers. Single family dwellings remain the most popular choice for purchasers.

Major economic drivers in the K-W region keep the housing market moving. The K-W is home to two major universities, Canada’s technology triangle and a strong financial sector which make for high employment rates. While manufacturing and automotive sectors are slowing, these other economic drivers ensure the area still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the province, keeping the housing market fairly healthy.

The mortgage crisis in the US has not been as severe here in Canada. According to CMHC, mortgage arrears in Canada remain incredibly low with only slightly more than one-quarter of a per cent of Canadian households (0.26%) falling three or more months behind in their mortgage payments. Mortgage rates have settledĀ  and are expected to remain relatively flat over the next few months.

Rental properties are a fairly good investment, with vacancy rates in the region as low as 2.5% in October. The average rental rate for a two bedroom apartment was around $841 per month.

These factors indicate that the K-W region is moving towards a healthy market, and is not in trouble. If you are a buyer, NOW is the time to buy. If you are a seller, it is important now more than ever that you obtain a fair market value for your home to ensure it sells quickly.