WATERLOO REGION — The average price of a home in the Kitchener and Waterloo area has jumped $100,000 in just three years.
Monthly statistics released Friday by the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors showed the average price of all residential properties sold through the association’s Multiple Listing System in January was $421,104.
In January, 2014, the average stood at $321,591. Those statistics include sales in Kitchener, Waterloo and Woolwich, Wellesley and Wilmot townships.
“Demand continues to be the driver for the increase in the average sales price,” association president James Craig said.
“It just speaks to the lack of supply,” he said. “It’s forcing more people to compete for the product that is out there.”
While the January average actually dropped 0.5 per cent over December’s results, it represents a 19.1 per cent increase over January, 2016 numbers.
There were only 367 active listings at the end of January, compared to 1,068 a year ago.
“We’ve seen a number of months where we’ve been significantly down,” Craig said, adding that low inventory numbers like these haven’t been seen since 2007.
It has created a highly competitive market, with quick turnover and bidding wars.
“Not all properties are going to have that quickness or see the multiple offers, but ones that are in good shape and in good neighbourhoods are definitely going to see that type of activity,” said Craig.
The average number of days on the market has shrunk to 22 days, compared to 47 in January 2016.
“You need to find a place to buy first before you even consider selling,” Craig said.
Where it may have been risky to buy before selling a few years ago, it’s certainly a seller’s market today, he said.
Sales volume was also up year-over-year by 5.8 per cent. A total of 327 residential properties were sold in January, including 194 detached homes and 79 condominium units.
The average price of a detached home topped $500,000 for the second month in a row, reaching $501,821 in January. That represents an increase of 22.7 per cent year over year.
That $500,000 average price benchmark was exceeded for the first time in December.
Average prices for townhouses and semi-detached homes were up about six per cent over December totals, to $323,946 and $353,295, respectively.
Apartment-style condominiums experienced a slight (2.8 per cent) drop in average price from December, down to $237,220. Despite the drop, that still represents a 17 per cent increase over January 2016.
Looking ahead, Craig said he’s hoping to see more inventory come onto the market, which would provide some balance.
However, “winter isn’t the ideal market for that to happen,” he said.