January 9 2019 Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News


Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News 

January 9 2019

Wednesday January 9 2019. In this week’s Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News: welcome back, a look back to 2018, housing correction, days on market, looking ahead, Silicon Valley housing, saving a dying town, quit your job and live abroad, Kurt Vonnegut’s strategy.

Looking into 2019

One of the great things about being a Realtor is the time off. I suppose we are a little like school teachers in that way – nice long breaks at Christmas and summertime, when the market tends to slow. I essentially took December off. There were a few things I had to do, some paperwork, some planning and organizing, a couple of final walk throughs and some email inquiries…

We left for Memphis, Nashville and the Great Smoky Mountains in early December and got back in time for a traditional Christmas with the family and now here we are in 2019. I’m ready. 

Normally, the real estate market gets off to a slow start, a slow ramp up into the springtime. We currently have fewer than 500 homes for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo, of those about 150 are condos. I was at an open house on Shakespeare on Sunday. The visitors were streaming in. It sold for above asking price as we all knew it would. 

So welcome back to my real estate news blog and Happy New Year. I’m certain it will be a good one! 

Big 3 real estate statistics from 2018

The three important real estate statistics of 2018

  • The number of homes bought and sold in Kitchener-Waterloo last year was down by 11.1%
  • Average prices were up 3.4%
  • Average days on market increased to 24 days, from 19 days in 2017

Here are all of the statistics.

This is how Canada’s housing correction begins

After Canada emerged from the Great Recession relatively unscathed, we were the envy of the world. Thank housing for that. When turmoil and uncertainty held back business investment and crushed exports, Canada’s economy continued to grow while unemployment fell. Thank houseing for that, too. The willingness of consumers to borrow and spend on houses, (and cars, furniture, restaurants, you name it), has been Canada’s primary economic engine for more than a decade. 

But now interest rates are on the rise.

Why the number of days on market is important

Last year the number of days that listing stayed on the market before selling increased by five days. Why is this statistic important? 

Here’s why. 

Predictions for the 2019 Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market

Mark Twain once said that history does not repeat itself — but it rhymes. I expect Kitchener-Waterloo real estate activity in 2019 to be much the same as in 2018. It’s the same dance. We know the tune, but maybe lost the sheet music. So it’s a new year. Here’s what’s going to happen. I promise.

Silicon Valley town is home to the priciest real estate of 2018

Aside from the millionaires working in Silicon Valley, it’s likely most of the country has never heard of a small town called Atherton. But the quiet neighborhood, located just 20 minutes away from the headquarters of Google and Facebook, which features no shops or restaurants, was the nation’s most expensive place to live in 2018.

How to save a dying town

We drove last year from Lake Louise to Kitchener-Waterloo, through the prairies and then northern Ontario. The biggest cities like Winnipeg, Regina and Thunder Bay seem to be growing and doing pretty well. The small towns we went through in northern Ontario, not so good. Many are mining towns with closed mines. The nearby towns, the roadside motels were cleared out and abandoned. Here is a story from the Financial Post about schemes to keep the towns alive.

Quit your job and live abroad in 2019

You’re thinking about it. I am. Here are 10 places so cheap you might not need to work

Selling your investment according to Kurt Vonnegut

Many years ago, in a Kurt Vonnegut novel I remember reading about a character who would pick a stock by selecting the next two letters from the next two words in the book he was reading. As soon as he had doubled his money he would sell the stock and pick another. I remember thinking at the time that that was a terrible investment strategy. I mean really, why sell a stock if it is on its way up, right? Why not keep it until it peaks and starts going down?

But it is the simplicity that makes it a great investment strategy. The strategy takes all the hocus locus out of the reasoning. It takes the thought out and the pressure off.

We over-analyze things. We employ confirmation bias. We are human. We are flawed. We believe what we want to believe. We believe in magic. We believe in our superstitions, our logic, our world view. 

Life is much nicer when we set up certain rules, guideposts and procedures. And, then get on with it. Earlier this week, I wrote, don’t wait till spring to sell your home. 

Need more local commentary and news? 

Check out KW3, my new short form blog posting effort.

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