Home sales in the Kitchener-Waterloo market were down last year, but prices continued to climb as $2.8 billion worth of residential real estate changed hands in the area.
In 2018, 5,823 homes changed hands, a decline of 11.1 per cent from a year earlier, according to statistics released by the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR) on Friday.
The average sale price of a home in the area rose 3.4 per cent to $483,537 last year. The condo market led the way as the average sale price jumped 12 per cent to $304,676. The average price for detached homes was up 4.8 per cent ($483,537) year over year, while townhomes and semis also saw increases of 5.5 per cent ($373,307) and 4.7 per cent ($396,391), respectively.
“The combination of rising interest rates and the mortgage stress test definitely took some steam out of the market relative to what we saw in the previous two years,” KWAR president Brian Santos said in a statement. “These types of impediments are most impactful on first-time as well as other buyers entering the housing market.”
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The number of detached homes sold in Kitchener-Waterloo was down 16.2 per cent (3,355), while the red-hot condo market was up 6.4 per cent (1,553). There were also 417 semis sold and 431 townhouses, with total sales being down 23.6 per cent and 7.7 per cent, respectively.
KWAR noted that the “average time it took for a home to sell in 2018 was reflective of demand continuing to outpace supply.”
It took around 24 days to sell a home last year, well behind the pace of 19 days a year earlier but also well above the 10-year average of 40 days.
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It is believed that the days of buyers with “Toronto money” coming into the area has slowed, but it is still having an effect.
Santos said: “2018 continued to be a seller’s market in the region with stable sales activity and homeowners realizing solid gains in their property values.”
In December, only 263 homes changed hands in Kitchener-Waterloo, which was down 13.2 per cent year over year and below the 10-year average of 268.