Despite slower activity, Kitchener-Waterloo’s housing sector is still a sellers’ market, according to a new analysis.
Data from Zoocasa indicated that home sales in the region decelerated by 9.1% year-over-year in August. However, “sales-to-new-listings activity remains steep, creating an increasingly competitive marketplace for prospective buyers, setting the stage for an active fall market.”
A significant motivator of the trend is an abundance of affordable options, especially when compared to the red-hot Toronto selection. The average price of a detached home in the region stood at $615,568 last month, considerably lower than the $619,307 average in the City of Toronto.
This has made Kitchener-Waterloo “a popular real estate destination for both locals and buyers on the move, whose buying power is supported by its strong education- and health-based jobs market,” Zoocasa explained.
In Kitchener, 14 out of 19 of its neighbourhoods assessed by Zoocasa lean towards being sellers’ markets, with sales-to-new-listings ratios (SNLR) of 61% or more. Of these locales, Grand River North had the highest ratio at 120%, up 57% annually. This represented a 20% increase in sales and a 37.5% decline in new listings, with an average price of $515,867.
According to Zoocasa’s Kitchener-Waterloo sales representative Marcia Fukudome, Kitchener is one of the best destinations for both first-time buyers and investors, considering its overall affordability.
In Waterloo, available new listings were far outstripped by sales activity, impelling a high level of buyer competition. Fully 11 of the 13 neighbourhoods in the area had a 61% SNLR on average, with the highest being Lakeshore North’s 131% ratio and a year-over-year increase of 66%. Sales went up by 54% while new listings dropped by 23%, with an average price of $484,161.
Fukudome predicted that homes listed under $500,000 will enjoy intensified demand this fall.
“The recently unveiled First-Time Home Buyer Incentive along with slowing mortgage rates will make homes in this area more affordable and attractive to first-time home buyers.”