Waterloo Region as we know it today started out from the humblest of beginnings – a smattering of farming communities spread out across the central portion of the Grand River watershed in the early 1800s.  From there, we’ve grown to a total of over 625,000 residents, concentrated overwhelmingly in the major population centres of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.  And, just as the Region itself has adapted over the years to streamline local government for its citizens (the amalgamation of Hespeler, Preston and Galt into the City of Cambridge in 1973, and the formation of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in the same year), local professional bodies are coming together today to better serve the needs of our residents.

As of the beginning of this month, the Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors and the Cambridge Association of Realtors are no more – replaced by the Waterloo Region Association of Realtors.  This new administrative body encompasses nearly 2,500 members, all of whom now share access to one of the most advanced data-gathering systems in the business.  As members of the newly formed WRAR, we at Chestnut Park West aim now (as always) to provide our clients with the most up to date and accurate information on all goings on in the world of real estate across Waterloo Region.

I wanted to ensure that readers were fully up to speed on the recent merger before passing along the most recent market update, as the combination of information from what were previously two independent markets (Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge) does have an impact on the data we receive every month.  If you’ve been following the market over the past number of months or years, you’ll know that statistics are typically presented in a year-over-year format.  For example, this past June, the average sale price of a home in Kitchener-Waterloo was $791,674 – which we know was a 4.2% increase over the June 2021 figure of $759,115.  However, post-merger, the metrics have changed.  We don’t have a combined KW-Cambridge figure from 2021 to compare things against.  Instead, for the next several months, I will be comparing the numbers to where the market stood the previous month rather than the previous year.  It’s a tighter snapshot but will hopefully give you a better micro-view of prevalent trends.

With that update sorted out, let’s have a quick look at where our combined Waterloo Region real estate market stands as of the first week of August 2022.  Last month, the average sale price of a home stood at $752,301 – while that number now includes properties in Cambridge and North Dumfries, the dominant trend remains one of a correction to the red-hot market of the pandemic era.  While general uncertainty and increasing mortgage rates have each played a large part in cooling down the market – as we’ve discussed before – the dominant force remains supply and demand.  1,174 new listings appeared in July 2022 across Waterloo Region, a significant spike over what the summer market typically produces.  More homes for sale means more supply for buyers, who can now afford to be a little pickier.  This is also reflected in an increased average time spent on-market before a property sells – up to 18 days last month.  This is up significantly from where we were only several months ago, when average listing periods were closer to seven days or less.

Turning to look at average sale prices by property type, we see that values for single detached homes are down once again, to $842,241.  While this can no longer be a direct comparison, June’s figure for Kitchener-Waterloo was north of the $920,000 mark.  It’s true that including Cambridge statistics in this average has an impact, but the overall trend can’t be dismissed.  Average values for semi-detached properties are likewise down, to $661,087.  Interestingly, condos seem to have bucked this trend, with average sale prices remaining quite strong at $521,731.  Once again, it can’t be a direct comparison, but a slowing market is evident in the total number of sales last month in Waterloo Region.  Only 550 properties of all types changed hands in July 2022, as against June’s figure of 561 (which didn’t include Cambridge or North Dumfries).  Again, a slow down is to be expected in the traditional summer market, but it’s worth taking note of the general trend, nonetheless.

As always, if you have any questions about the state of the real estate market, or any questions or concerns about the merger of KWAR and CAR and how it might impact your own property search or sale, feel free to get in touch with me directly at any time!  Enjoy your week.

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