Home sales in the Kitchener and Waterloo area last month reflect a typical February, the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors says.
While the 377 sales recorded last month represented a 20.5 per cent drop from February 2017, that total is more in line with average statistics as opposed to the overheated market conditions of a year ago.
“When we consider market activity we have to acknowledge that sales from the previous year or two were an anomaly,” association president Tony Schmidt said Monday in a news release. Measured against the ten-year average of sales, “it was a pretty typical February.”
Overall inventory is still low, with 667 active listings on the association’s Multiple Listing System at the end of the month. While that’s 61.5 per cent more than a year ago, it’s still far from the ten-year February average of 1,445 listings.
“While listing inventory is increasing, this is a slow process and we expect home inventory to remain low for at least the remainder of the year,” Schmidt said.
The average sale price of all residential properties last month rose to $478,801, an increase of 3.1 per cent year-over-year. The median price stood at $436,143. Detached homes sold for an average of $577,609, up five per cent from last year; the median detached price was $524,000.
“The market has certainly cooled from this time last year, which is to be expected with the government’s efforts to make home ownership more difficult for home buyers,” Schmidt said. New rules went into effect in January, implementing a more stringent financial “stress test” on buyers.
Many analysts had warned that skyrocketing prices in many markets, especially in the Toronto area, were unsustainable.
Local sales in February saw year-over-year volume declines in all residential categories except for condominium units, which experienced an 11.3 per cent increase in sales over last year. That category commands the lowest average price.