Lower rates to help Kitchener market

by Jordan Maxwell27 Jan 2015
The overnight interest rate cut from the Bank of Canada [BoC] last week will boost home sales and activity in Kitchener, Ont., a market that is seeing tremendous growth of the last year, according to a local Realtor.
Dustin O’Connor, a Realtor with Century 21 in Kitchener, said that the interest rate cut will most likely spur more people to invest in housing and aid new builds to sell quicker than they have been already.
“There’s a lot of new builds happening and the interest rate cut is good for us because it keeps the market hot, keeps people thinking about buying their first home or purchasing a second property to invest in,” said O’Connor in an interview with REP. “It inspires confidence, that’s for sure.”
O’Connor has been selling homes all over the Kitchener-area, in Guelph, Waterloo, Cambridge and even some places in and around the GTA.
He added that he’s had many clients who are leaving Toronto, selling their $600,000 homes or properties that are worth even more and instead moving to a place like Kitchener where the average home is approximately $335,000, according to numbers from the Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Board.
As a result, O’Connor said that many investors are purchasing two homes – one to live, one to rent; some even side-by-side – after selling out in Toronto.
And with a bevy of universities and colleges in Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph, there are plenty of opportunities for landlords to capitalize on a strong rental market. Being close to the 401 highway also helps, he said.
“There are several universities around here so the rental market is strong and investors can make a lot of money in a single-family home, broken up and rented in separate units,” O’Connor said.
The end of 2014 saw a seven-year high for home sales in the Kitchener-Waterloo region as residential sales jumped three per cent compared to 2013, according to KWREB stats.
The area also had a strong December with an 11 per cent increase compared to the same month in 2013, while single-family, townhomes, semi-detached and condos all saw increases of more than three per cent.
The dollar volume of sales in 2014 increased 7.2 percent over the previous year, totalling $2.21 billion surpassing the two-billion-dollar mark for only the second time in the region’s history.
What’s more, the average sale price of all residential sales in 2014 increased four per cent year-over-year to $336,302. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $382,798 (up 4.3 per cent), semi-detached for $256,606 (up 2.9 per cent), townhomes for $287,951 (up to 3.4 per cent) and condominiums sold for an average of $222,359 (up 2.5 per cent).
With the interest rate, O’Connor expects the market to continue to thrive as consumers gain confidence in Ontario due to falling oil prices.
“I expect the market to stay hot and bigger things to happen this year. It’s good time to be in Kitchener.”

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