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Kitchener-Waterloo housing market picks up pace in May

Real estate for sale signs are shown in Oakville, Ont., on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.
Real estate for sale signs are shown in Oakville, Ont., on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Richard Buchan

While the Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market nearly ground to a halt in April, sales were on the way up in May, according to area realtors.

A total of 419 homes changed hands in May amid the coronavirus pandemic, 80 per cent more than a month earlier, according to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors. The group says that while the numbers were improving, it will still be 40.5 per cent lower than a year earlier.

While there were fewer sales than a year earlier, prices still rose 6.5 per cent year-over-year to $568,275.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — When is the right time to put your house up for sale in Ontario?

“In May we saw the strong appetite for homes in the Kitchener-Waterloo area is still very much alive,” KWAR president Colleen Koehler said. “But as the virus continued to circulate in the community many would-be sellers were reluctant to put their homes on the market.”

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GTA real estate prices staying up despite coronavirus crisis
GTA real estate prices staying up despite coronavirus crisis

While the year-over-year price has increased, the average cost of a home in May was slightly below April ($568,738) and well below the average price in March ($583,752).

Part of the reason for the slower sales in May was a lack of product on the market.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Ontario realtors offer tips on how to get your house ready for sale

KWAR says 577 new listings hit the market last month, which is almost half of what was made available in 2019.

The realtor group says that on average, it took 20 days to sell a house in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, just one extra day over a year earlier.

Koehler says those who are looking to enter the market at either end should talk with realtors about the digital tools that have been put in place for safety as we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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