K‐W Home Sales ease ever so slightly in 2011, Average sale price increases 4 percent

K‐W Home Sales ease ever so slightly in 2011, Average sale price increases 4 percent

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (January 5, 2011) ––   The 329 residential sales through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) of the Kitchener‐Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in December mirrored sales from the previous year. December’s results bring the total number of residential homes sold by REALTORS® through the KWAR MLS® System in 2011 to 6,252, a 2.1 percent decrease compared to 2010.

The total dollar volume of all residential properties sold last year increased 1.8 percent to $1,881,532,761, reflecting the steady price gains, and ongoing demand for homes in the higher price ranges.

The average price of all residential properties sold in 2011 increased 4 percent to $300,949. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $342,659 in 2011, a 3.9 percent increase relative to 2010. In the condominium market the average sale price in 2011 was $205,354, a 3.5 percent increase over the previous year.

“2011 was a great year for home buying and selling,” says Sara Hill, president of the KWAR.  “Waterloo region continues to be a desirable place to live with a strong local economy. Low interest rates certainly continued to support buyers while sellers benefited from steady gains in home prices.”

Home sales in 2011 included 4,118 detached homes (down 0.3 percent from 2010), 1,200 condos (down 1.7 percent from 2010), 497 semis (down 1.4 percent from 2010), and 372 townhouses (down 21.5 percent from 2010).

Looking back at 2011, the president of the KWAR observed that the beginning of the year started with slower sales activity and that by June, sales started to gain momentum.

“Moderate demand in early 2011 was likely the result of the many buyers who purchased in the latter part of 2009 and early 2010 to avoid anticipated higher mortgage rates, and the HST,” says Hill.  “Then, when adjustments to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages were implemented in March of 2011, this may have further impacted the ability for some to enter the housing market, particularly first-time buyers.” First-time buyers are an important segment of the KW real estate market, according to the president of the KWAR, “because the population of KW is younger than the provincial average.”

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