../Morning Post
Posted January 7, 2011
____________________
Real Estate

2010 Marks second highest year for sales in K-W and area

KITCHENER-WATERLOO – The 6,388 homes sold by REALTORS through the Multiple Listing System of the Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Board last year marked the second highest total annual sales in the association’s history.

Last year’s activity was strongest in the first half of the year, particularly March and April when the sale of residential properties were setting monthly records. According to George Patton, President of the KWREB, a number of factors contributed to the early spring surge. “The federal government announced tighter mortgage rules, buyers were rushing to beat the introduction of the HST, and the central bank was forecasting higher interest rates.”

Dollar volume of all residential real estate sold last year jumped 9.3 percent to $1.8 billion compared with 2009, reflecting continued confidence in the local real estate market.

The year finished on a strong note, with 326 home sales last month, a 4.1 percent decrease compared to December 2009, but still well above the previous 10 year average of 225.

Sales of homes in all price categories above $250,000 were up in 2010 compared to 2009, with the greatest rise occurring in the number of homes selling above $750,000, which experienced triple-digit increases.

“The explosion of sales in the highest price ranges was reflected by the 9.3% increase in the average sale prices of detached homes,” says Patton. The average sale price of detached homes was $329,797 last year, whereas the average sale price of all residential real estate sold for $289,338, an increase of 8.6 percent.

The 2010 year was marked by continued consumer demand for condominium style homes, with a total of 1,221 sales, an increase of 8.6 percent relative to year-end results in 2009, and representing nearly 20 percent of the overall residential market share in terms of unit sales by type.

Other housing types showed small decreases relative to the previous year: 4,127 detached homes (down 0.3 percent from 2009), 506 semis (down 1.9 percent from 2009), and 474 townhouses (down 6.1 percent from 2009).

As for the year ahead, the president of the KWREB predicts that the first three months of 2011 will be relatively flat with a very busy March, April and May with which to look forward. Continued Patton, “Whatever your real estate plans are in 2011, be sure to consult with your REALTOR first. A REALTOR is your best ally in the purchase or sale of real estate.”

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