Prices in Kitchener-Waterloo look set to remain at or above historic heights.

It was a historic benchmark – this week, for the first time ever, the average sale price of a detached home in Kitchener-Waterloo is more than one million dollars. The sheer pace of the price increase that our real estate market has seen since the summer of 2020 has been nothing short of breathtaking for both average residents and industry insiders alike. While the Waterloo-Wellington-Perth region of Southwestern Ontario has been trending in the right direction for some time in terms of the desirability of its real estate, I don’t think anyone could have quite predicted the outcome of the forces swung into effect by the pandemic.

Initial fears of widespread job loss and devastating unemployment numbers understandably had many observers predicting dire consequences for the housing market – after all, if people couldn’t keep up with mortgages, would we soon be seeing a collapse in values akin to the 2008 global financial crisis? When it quickly became clear that our area was relatively well insulated from the worst financial effects of the pandemic, with its highly educated workforce and the capacity of most residents to work from home when necessary, home values took off in the opposite direction. Historic price increases followed month by month, as legions of newly minted WFH’ers looked to either upgrade their digs now that they were spending so much more time at home, or to dispose of small, expensive properties in the GTA, and acquire more space a little further away from the big city now that proximity to the office wasn’t as large of a concern.

Demand for housing in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph-Stratford area in particular has exploded over the past 18-24 months, as the supply of new and resale homes and condos has not been up to the task of keeping pace with the volume of aspiring new residents.

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