Historically, the month of August is a slower time for the real estate market in Kitchener-Waterloo. Families are off on vacations and Buyer traffic tends to slow on listings. Not so for 2016, the month of August established a new record for local sales volume. Meanwhile, the average residential sale price increased by 15% compared to 2015. For the month of August, single detached homes saw the largest increase (20.9%) in value compared year-over-year. Those types of numbers seem more familiar in Toronto market reports but have become more frequent in Waterloo Region this year.
The months of May and June also included local record setting sales volume with significant value increases. In fact, the first half of 2016 saw an 18.6% increase in residential sales volume over 2015 and that is also up over 22% for the five-year average. The month of July although not record setting was still the most active July for our market since 2008.
What’s driving the value surge? Listing inventory is 46% below average levels. There are simply less homes available to purchase and this effects the single detached market the most. The new foreign buyer’s tax in BC may be sending more investors to Toronto and likewise the Waterloo Region. Anecdotally, Benjamins Realty Inc. has fielded a noticeable increase in inquiries from foreign nationals who are interested in our local real estate market. Waterloo Region continues to be an excellent place to own residential real estate. Prospective Sellers can expect a fast paced market with competing interest for their property likely.