Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate News from Kenny & Lori Chen February 2018   
  Real Estate News




Kenny & Lori Chen
Broker & Sales Represtative

901 Victoria St. N.
Kitchener, Ontario
519-500-3588 or 1-888-615-9231
Fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese & Cantonese
www.KennyChen.ca


 
Happy Chinese New Year and all the best in 2018!

It's important to be aware of the latest home trends, especially if you're looking for ways to make your home more appealing to buyers. This month’s article outlines some of the popular home trends for 2018.

There's also some great advice on how to maintain your smoke alarms as well as a website that will challenge your brain and donate to charity at the same time!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Kenny & Lori

In this issue...
Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update 
January home sales snowed under by low inventory.

There were 270 residential sales in January through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), a decrease of 18 per cent compared to January 2017.

“On the surface, activity appears to be somewhat sluggish in January, says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President.

“However if we set aside the past two years, it was a very typical January in terms of the number of sales. What is less typical is that listing inventory is still at historic low levels, and we continue to see multiple offers on properties putting upward pressure on prices.”

Total residential sales in January included 149 detached (down 23.6 per cent), and 70 condominium units (down 11.4 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 27 semi-detached homes (down 18.2 per cent) and 22 freehold townhouses (up 10 per cent).  

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in January increased 9 per cent to $458,750 compared to January 2017. Detached homes sold for an average price of $554,857 an increase of 10.7 per cent compared to January of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $246,821 for an increase of 4 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $371,095 (up 14.5 per cent) and $388,974 (up 9.7 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month increased 6.8 per cent to $431,143, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 4.2 per cent to $495,000.

“While the tougher mortgage rules that came into play on Jan 1st have sidelined some homebuyers, the reality is we’re still experiencing more demand than supply right now,” says Schmidt.

REALTORS® listed 486 residential properties in K-W and area last month, an increase of 10.45 per cent compared to January of 2017. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of January totaled 588, which is 56 per cent more than January of last year, but still well below the previous ten-year average of 1507 listings for January. Months of inventory continues to track at a low 2 months.

The average days it took to sell a home in January was 32 days, compared to 23 days in January 2017. While the majority of MLS® System activity is properties for sale, REALTORS® also represented landlords and tenants in 51 residential leases in January, an 18.6 per cent increase compared to January 2017.

Schmidt says, “There is no question that the expansion of the stress test on mortgages is going to be hard on consumers. For those entering the market, the stress test combined with higher borrowing costs is going to push some buyers out of their desired market. Some homebuyers will be looking to other areas, and more affordable housing types, which is a vicious circle. For some home hunters, Waterloo region is still seen as one of the more affordable markets.”

Student Rental within $200K in Waterloo 
Attention Investors and Parents! Only $199,900 

Welcome to unit #208-30 Hickory St E. Waterloo. Great opportunity for a 3 bedroom condo in a prime Waterloo location. Ideal accommodation for your child while they attend university, with the opportunity to rent out other rooms. Loaded with potential. Walking distance to Wilfrid Laurier and The University of Waterloo. Live-in superintendent, controlled entry, on-site coin-operated laundry, 1 parking spot. Close to amenities and public transit. Worry-free condo investment - no residential licensing required. Solid concrete construction. Healthy reserve fund. Walk to future ION stop and Go transit stop. Fully rented to end of August 2018, $1,500/month+ Hydro. MLS®#: 30633180.

CITYCENTRE CONDO FOR SALE 
Welcome to #1210-85 Duke St. W. Downtown Kitchener for $398,000 

It is ready for you to move in and live in City Center Condo of Downtown Kitchener. Spacious 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and features 985 interior/65 exterior square feet, perfect for professionals! This sophisticated residence offers spectacular views. City Center is walking distance (97 Walk Score) to restaurants, shops, Kitchener Market, parks, schools, beside City Hall and an ION/LRT stop right at your front door. That island in the Kitchener has been upgraded to larger countertop size and new cooking pots drawers were installed. One parking and one locker included. 

Call us now to book your private viewing! MLS®#:30611154.

K-W Home & Garden Show 
Get a head start on your gardening and reno plans!

The annual K-W Home & Garden Show is coming to town which means that spring is just around the corner!

Come out and enjoy Waterloo Region’s most popular home and garden show where over 150 exhibitors are on hand to help you with your renovating, decorating and landscaping questions.

This show is the place to be if you’re planning on sprucing up your home as it’s a great opportunity to connect with a variety of professionals and get answers to your questions – all under one roof!

The K-W Home & Garden Show will be held at the Kitchener Auditorium between Friday, March 23rd and Sunday, March 25th. Hope to see you there!

Hot Home Trends for 2018 
Curious about what’s trending in homes and gardens this year?

It’s that time of year when homeowners are thinking about revamping and refreshing their space.  Here are a few of the latest trends and styles that are gaining steam:

  1. Ziggity Zag - Geometric patterns are making a comeback! It could be as simple as adding a few accent pillows or for a bolder statement, consider some patterned wallpaper.

  2. Concrete Ideas - This versatile material is becoming increasingly popular for sinks but can also be used in more unique ways such as furnishings, wallcoverings and tile.

  3. Sleep Easy - Embrace minimalist bedrooms this year with soothing neutrals and plain furniture pieces. Keeping the space simple will help you enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

  4. Full House - Multigenerational living is a major home design trend for 2018. Additional kitchens, basement renovations, and seperate entrances are just some of the ways homes are reflecting this trend.

  5. The Heart of the Home - Homeowners are injecting warmer, brighter tones on their kitchen walls and cabinets. Sinks made with materials like stone, copper, concrete or granite will also steal the spotlight in 2018.

If you're thinking about breathing some new life into your home with a new year’s makeover, be sure to take the latest trends into account during the planning stage. Hopefully these ideas have given you inspiration to inject some new style into your home!

Smoke Alarm Smarts 
Smoke detectors are important but they’re often overlooked.

Countless tragedies are prevented each year by smoke detectors. Here are a few tips to ensure your smoke detectors are in full working order:

  1. Test each alarm regularly by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.

  2. Blow the dust out of the alarm whenever you check or change the batteries.


  3. Don't "borrow" the batteries for the TV remote as you'll likely forget to replace them.

  4. Smoke alarms should be replaced at least every ten years to ensure proper working order.

  5. Don't install alarms near windows or doors as drafts could stop smoke from reaching the alarm system.

  6. There should be at least one alarm installed on each floor including the basement and preferably every bedroom.

Alarms can be hard wired, battery powered or preferably a combination of both. Interconnected smoke alarms are best because when one alarm goes off, they all do. If you have any questions, your local fire department will be more than happy to help.

Educate and Donate 
Smarten up and end hunger, a few grains of rice at a time!

Next time your kids are on their devices, send them over to www.FreeRice.com where they can learn and donate at the same time!

Users answer multiple choice questions on a range of subjects including math, language, geography and science.  When a question is answered correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Program.

These questions aren’t just for kids; in fact, anyone can benefit from this game as you can adjust the difficulty level. The vocabulary section will definitely give you some mental stimulation so it’s a win-win!



PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes?  Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold?  Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you!  Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.