Waterloo District – The frenetic property market in the area continues to cool.
Average prices for all residential properties fell for the fifth consecutive month in July. Apartment-style condominiums were the only real estate type that saw a monthly increase.
According to data from the Association of Realtors in the newly incorporated area of Waterloo, the median total housing price across the area was $75,301 last month, down 4.9 percent from June and 1.2 percent lower than July 2021.
The overall average crossed the million-dollar mark in February for the first time, as it finally reached the climax of an unsustainable market punctuated by bidding wars, no-conditions bids and six-digit monthly increases.
The median detached home price was $842,241 in July, down 7 percent from June, and down six percent year on year.
“I think it signals a return to a balanced market,” association president Megan Bell said on Friday. “If we look at the fact that this could create a healthy and balanced market, it will benefit everyone.”
Sales volumes are also down, with 550 residential properties sold through the association’s Multiple Listing Services (MLS) system last month, down about 33 percent compared to July 2021, and 32.3 percent below the five-year average prior to July.
“I definitely think outside influences make people hold back a bit,” Bell said, as raising interest rates increases the cost of home ownership and causes people to reconsider what they can afford.
Bell suspects that others may have halted their home searches because they are enjoying returning to activities and events that COVID-19 has canceled for two years.
The July stats reflect area-wide sales, following the merger of the Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo homeowners’ associations.
Bell, who was president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Society, was appointed to the new position this week. The president of the Cambridge Society, Val Brooks, was appointed the immediate former president of the new group.
“The biggest advantage is that we now have a complete snapshot of the area as a whole,” Bell said, adding that merged associations can now speak with one stronger voice.
In the past month, residential and semi-residential homes have seen a dip in prices as well. The median cottage price was $642,750, down 3.3 percent from June, but 3.6 percent higher than a year ago.
Half-price averaged $661,087, down 5.4 percent per month, but one percent higher than in July 2021.
Condominiums saw their average price increase 4.1 percent compared to June, to $521,731 — a 20.4 percent increase from a year ago.
“The apartments will always be an attractive feature for first-time homebuyers or even beginners,” Bell said. “We know that people have lowered their affordability every time interest rates go up.”
Inventories continue to grow, with 1,174 new listings added to the association’s MLS system last month, which is a 34 percent increase over last year, and 9.2 percent more than the 10-year average prior to July.
There were 1,283 homes for sale at the end of the month, up 215 percent from a year ago, but still 19.5 percent below the previous 10-year average of 1,593 properties.
Homes took an average of 18 days to sell last month, in line with the previous five-year average of 17 days.