It’s been a busy month but challenging February for this real estate broker. I’ve been working with several buyers in Waterloo and Kitchener in the 500k to 1 million range.
While prices and inventories are low, some segments of the market are showing strong demand and bidding wars once more. Newer Waterloo detached is definitely hotter than Kitchener’s. And the town house market is chugging along quite well whether condo or freehold. Newer units, or those that are priced low, are moving quickly.
February 2023 home prices across the board are in a bit of a holding pattern and have been for the last half year. The big drops seen in 2022 occurred in the first half of the year. Going into the warmer months demand will continue to outpace inventory. It is possible the spike of activity I’ve seen is due to buyers trying to beat the spring market as well as avoiding the possibility of a March 8th rate hike.
WATERLOO REGION, ON (March 3, 2023) —Sales volume through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System of the Waterloo Region Association of REALTORS® (WRAR) set a low for the month of February, with 439 homes sold, representing a decrease of 45.0 per cent compared to February 2022 and 31.5 per cent below the previous 5-year average for the month.
“Once again, we experienced record low listing sales in February,” says Megan Bell, president of WRAR. “Increased borrowing costs, coupled with a shortage of housing supply and strong demand, have put a strain on prospective buyers as affordability continues to be a top concern; however, home prices have remained stable for the past several months.”
Total residential sales in February included 256 detached (down 45.3 per cent from February 2022), and 100 townhouses (down 33.3 per cent). Sales also included 55 condominium units (down 52.6 per cent) and 28 semi-detached homes (down 56.3 per cent).
In February, the average sale price for all residential properties in Waterloo Region was $758,698. This represents a 25.1 per cent decrease compared to February 2022 and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to January 2023.
- The average price of a detached home was $877,884. This represents a 26.0 per cent decrease from February 2022 and a decrease 0.9 per cent compared to January 2023.
- The average sale price for a townhouse was $642,777. This represents a 25.6 per cent decrease from February 2022 and an increase of 2.7 per cent compared to January 2023.
- The average sale price for an apartment-style condominium was $461,322. This represents a decrease of 19.2 per cent from February 2022 and a decrease of 6.9 per cent compared to January 2023.
- The average sale price for a semi was $667,250. This represents a decrease of 25.8 per cent compared to February 2022 and an increase of 2.6 per cent compared to January 2023.
“Limited supply and the small number of listings coming to the market continues to be a trend within the region,” says Bell. “There may be some hesitation for those considering selling their property due to decreased reported sale prices; however, with demand continuing to outpace supply and prices stabilizing, sellers are in a healthy position to make their move.”
Bell points out that although prices have fallen more than 20 per cent from their peak in February 2022, they remain significantly higher than three years ago.
There were 671 new listings added to the MLS® System in Waterloo Region last month, a decrease of 37.1 per cent compared to February of last year and a 24.8 per cent decrease compared to the previous ten-year average for February.
The total number of homes available for sale in active status at the end of February was 692, an increase of 75.2 per cent compared to February of last year and 38.0 per cent below the previous ten-year average of 1117 listings for February.
The number of months of inventory is up 140.0 per cent compared to February of last year, but still historically low at 1.2 months. The number of months of inventory represents how long it would take to sell off current inventories at the current sales rate.
The average number of days to sell in February was 20, compared to 8 days in February 2022. The previous 5-year average is 16 days.