Home sales ease in August, up on year-to-date basis

Home sales ease in August, up on year-to-date basis

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (Sept 3, 2010)  Home sales eased in August, but remain stable when you consider the exceptionally strong spring market experienced in Kitchener-Waterloo and area.

There were a total of 475 home sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Board (KWREB) in August, compared with 586 sales the same month one year ago, a decrease of 18.9 percent.

“It’s important to remember that 2010 got off to an exceptionally strong start,” says Ted Scharf, President of the KWREB. “In anticipation of the HST, and in response to tougher mortgage rules implemented in the spring, prospective homebuyers came out in droves in February and March. ”

Despite the summer slowdown, on a year-to-date basis, the number of residential transactions is up 5.6 percent to 4,616 units compared to last year, making this the second best year on record to-date.

Though demand softened somewhat last month, the overall average price of all residential properties sold through the MLS® System of the KWREB increased 9.4 percent in August  to $280,493 on an annualized basis.

Scharf reminds consumers to use caution when looking at averages. The average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all residential properties sold.  In August, there was a 38.5 percent increase in homes selling for more than $400,000, 61 compared to only 44 in August of 2009, which helped to bump up the average residential sale price.

According to the president of the KWREB, a growing population, a diverse local economy, and the availability of low interest rate mortgages should continue to maintain the affordability of homes.

“Waterloo region is a great place to live, and invest in real estate,” says Scharf. “And we’ve had many  reminders of that lately” he said, noting the federal funding announcements for the region’s rapid transit project, and news earlier in the month from the Real Estate Investment Network naming Waterloo region the best place in Ontario for real estate investment.

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