May 15, 2019 Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News

Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News 

May 15, 2019

Wednesday May 15, 2019. In this week’s Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News: Ion, Civic Centre condo, Westmount Place development, condos, ageing in place, swimming pools, top Canadian startup ecosystem, provincial Canadians, car buying habits…

1

I’ll be on the Ion

It was made official last week that the Ion will in fact launch this spring (with minutes to spare). Finally! To make the good news even better, following the official launch, the region will allow for 11 days of free transit service for the LRT, Mobility Plus, ION buses and Grand River Transit buses. 

2

Lot vacant for more than 30 years gets condos

The large vacant lot had several grand homes in the 1970s, before the Civic Centre was designated a heritage district. After 30 years sitting vacant, a piece of property near downtown Kitchener is getting two six-storey buildings with about 234 units comprised of one- and two-bedroom units.

Early concepts show plans for Westmount Place development

The mixed-use development has been is planned on the corner of Westmount and Erb Streets in Waterloo. A total of five towers are shown in the concept work: three along Erb, a fourth along Westmount and a fifth right on the corner.

Who lives in Canadian condos?

Generally, the following rule of thumb seems to apply: For every 10 condominium units built, 6 will become owner-occupied, 3 will enter the rental stock, and 1 will go unoccupied.

4

Should you retire in place or move?

It’s easier to do nothing than something, so although a majority of people say they are going to age in place, they may be doing it because it’s easier to stay than to make the effort to investigate places and relocate.

5

How much does a pool add to the value of a home?

There are people who simply do not want to buy a home with a pool, just like there are people who won’t buy across from a cemetery, on a busy street or a corner lot. But how much does having a swimming pool add to the price of a home for the rest of us? According to this article, a good rule of thumb is to work out what the cost of installing the pool represents as a percentage of the cost of building or buying the house. Generally that figure is around 10-15 percent. Then take half that figure and apply that percentage to what would have been the sale price of the house.

6

Toronto-Waterloo takes top Canadian spot in startup ecosystem rankings

The Toronto-Waterloo region, moving up three places, from 16th to 13th, in Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report for 2019 becoming Canada’s top startup ecosystem.

7

Canada: A nation of strangers

According to data from Statistics Canada, only 15 per cent of Canadians live outside of their province of birth. We are not a mobile people. And we never were. During the early part of the 20th century, our great age of nation building, that number was below 10 per cent. We immigrated from overseas, picked a province and then stayed there. By comparison, in the United States, more than 30 per cent of Americans leave their state of birth. We don’t even vacation in Canada. If you live in Ontario you are far more likely to have spent time in Florida than in Alberta.

8

Forget diet and exercise. Better cities deliver better health

In the places around the world where people live the longest, they don’t actually pursue health. They live longer because health ensues from their environment.

9

How we buy cars in Canada

I was interested in this article about how Canadians buy cars as there are a lot of similarities (and a few notable differences) about how we go about buying our biggest and our second biggest purchases. Basically, a new car purchase is easier, shorter and more predictable than a new home purchase. For example, the article says that the average car shopper spends about 8 weeks in the process of researching, shortlisting, test-driving… their purchase, whereas with real estate it can take 90 days, six months and sometimes more than a year. Another similarity is that car buyers are most likely to visit car websites when the temperature is between 14 and 16 degrees. Real estate is similarity impacted by weather (and holiday weekends).

10

What to read next:

The real estate problems with weed

Last week on Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate News: buyers, sellers, home sales, supply, prices, SJAM, school rankings, cats, more cats, offer price, Tesla, livability, nuclear testing, spam calls, robocalls…and cats

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