August 1 2018 Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News

real estate news

Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News

August 1 2018


Wednesday August 1 2018. In this week’s Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News: online reviews, mid-summer real estate update, charts and maps, waterbeds, averages, tech talent, the speed of revolutions and looking back

Online reviews

I had two separate clients tell me in the past week of their experiences finding their real estate agents through online review sites. In both cases they were sadly disappointed when the promise did not match the reality. In the first case, my new clients were unaware that real estate is local. Choosing a highly recommended realtor out of Mississauga where the game is played very differently led to a total break down in communications with the local selling agent. We tend to be a little less “Republican” in our deal making approach here in Waterloo Region. We tend to prefer conversation over confrontation. The second case was a young local agent doing lots of online videos and social media and with so many real estate agent review sites offering to lend a hand for small fee, it is likely he paid to rise to the top of one or more of the local realtor review sites. Paying bots or hired guns for fake reviews is a good very short-term strategy. 

We have come to trust online reviews. I always check the reviews before I buy something on Amazon although I was recently listening to a podcast talking about how this is being gamed in certain categories. 

I check reviews on Airbnb as well, but those are peer-to-peer reviews.

Peer-to-peer reviews tend to be the most accurate whereas anonymous and paid reviews tend to be the the least trustworthy, as two of my current clients recently found out the hard way.

Mid-summer update

One of the things I look at everyday is the supply of homes for sale in Kitchener Waterloo. Supply has been steady at around 770 homes for sale (500 freeholds) for as long as I can remember (about ten weeks) but yesterday the number of freeholds (non-condos) dipped below 500 units for the first time. As we enter August, it is not unusual for new listings to dry up and for inventory to shrink. Many realtors, myself included will tell clients to wait now until the second week of September to list. That’s when the Autumn market will take off.

6 charts that explain Canada’s June housing surge.

I cannot resist a good chart! Or six.

Whatever happened to waterbeds?

When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, it seemed as if everyone I knew had a waterbed. Once a groovy, sexy novelty found only in the Playboy mansion, it’d entered the mainstream, with waterbed stores on every corner. At the peak of waterbedmania, in the mid-1980s, it was 1 in 5 mattresses sold in the US. But after that, poof.

Averages lie

Anyone who regularly reads my blogs knows that I have a problem with how real estate is reported. In the past I’ve blamed reporters for not understanding statistics. But even statistics, notably average sale price gives a misleading picture of what is really going on. Also, digging beyond the average, for example, shows that purchasing power is a supply problem, not a demand problem. Perhaps our government is focused too much on the average and should re-shift its focus from curtailing demand to increasing supply.

Scoring tech talent in North America 2018

Thirteen metrics measured each market’s depth, vitality and attractiveness. Toronto added the most tech jobs in 2017 with wages lower than any US hub.

Canada’s top places to live ranked

I don’t know why KW isn’t at the top of this list. Otherwise, this is excellent and interactive, with some cool data sets.

Maps of the spread of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions

This is about the acceleration of the pace of technology. I like charts. I like maps too. This one has both.

Then and now

I’m becoming an old timer with talk like this. I’m currently helping some repeat customers buy their third home. We started the process last night, we commented on how electronic signatures, wifi, online storage and other things have changed the way we work. We did everything up on their back patio without any paper, seamlessly.  


Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News


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