As we transition away from the summer months, life in Waterloo Region continues to take tentative steps back towards ‘normalcy’. Kids are returning to school (at least we think they are), and people are wrapping up the last of their pre-Labour Day holidays. We in the real estate industry have had an opportunity to pause for breath during the last couple weeks of August as the gears shift into the fall season, and to take a look back at the unprecedented selling season our market has just wrapped up.
Record high numbers were a consistent theme from June through August, as pent-up demand from this spring’s shutdown fueled a market biased strongly in favour of Sellers. Looking at August specifically, a record number of new listings (833 – up by 43.8% over last year, and 26.4% higher than the 10-year average for the month) did little to slack Buyers’ thirst for new inventory. Average sale prices for all residential property types were sky-high all summer, with the August average ending up at $634,409 (up 21% from August last year), and with single detached homes selling at an average price of $734,427 (up 18.9% over last year).
A total of 686 homes were sold this past August, representing the most ever recorded in the month for as long as KWAR has been keeping statistics: and a climb of nearly 50% over the same time last year. Meanwhile, the average number of days taken to sell a home fell by 10 – down to just 16 days when compared with last year’s average of 26 days.
When we look at the shape of the market as a whole, it’s very clear that demand continues to outpace supply in Kitchener-Waterloo, with the impact of Covid-19 doing little to slow things down. While some were surprised by the strength and resiliency of our real estate market in the early days of the pandemic, it should by now be clear to everyone that these characteristics are no mere flash in the pan. Our economy remains strong in the face of everything 2020 has thus far thrown in our path, and the bottom line is that more people still want to live in Kitchener-Waterloo than there are people who want to leave. For as long as this continues to be the case (and we can see no reason why it wouldn’t), our housing market will remain strong and stable.
While it’s a good thing to be cautious while attempting to forecast future markets, we remain very optimistic on the fall outlook here at Chestnut Park West. The minor slowdown we noticed at the end of August is typical of the late summer market, as people take advantage of the final long weekend of the summer and hurry to pack in the last of their vacation days. As we head into September, we’re already seeing signs of increased market activity, as a flurry of new listings hit the market and Buyers once again prepare to bid on desirable properties. If this past summer was any indication, there remain a whole lot of folks who were unsuccessful in multiple offers in July and August, and who are sure to be continuing to drive a Seller’s market this fall.
It can be a frustrating time for Buyers – especially for people who are looking to make their first entry into the housing market. Being outbid in multiple offers time after time just isn’t fun, and we understand that. The current market makes it doubly important that you’re working with the right agent – someone who takes the time to understand you and your family’s unique situation, circumstances and needs – and who works on a full-time basis to put you in the right home. Make sure your finances are in order before the right property comes available. When it does, you and your agent will be strongly positioned to offer quickly and decisively with your best foot forward – this is your best shot at landing your dream home in this difficult market.
If you have any questions about the Waterloo Region market or could use the guidance of a seasoned professional, we encourage you to reach out. At Chestnut Park West, we’re experienced, we’re determined, and we’re full-time. Your interests come first.