Market Watch February 2024

Waterloo Region Home Sales Sluggish in February, Prices Steady

WATERLOO REGION, ON (March 5, 2024) — In February, there were 485 homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System of the Waterloo Region Association of REALTORS® (WRAR), representing an increase of 9.7 per cent compared to the previous year and a decline of 19.0 per cent compared to the previous 10-year average for the month.

“Home sales remained sluggish in February, up over last year’s record-breaking low, but still well below historical norms for February,” says Christal Moura, president of WRAR.

Total residential sales in February included 281 detached (up 9.3 per cent from February 2023), and 110 townhouses (up 10.0 per cent). Sales also included 73 condominium units (up 30.4 per cent) and 24 semi-detached homes (down 14.3 per cent).

In February, the average sale price for all residential properties in Waterloo Region was $755,934. This represents a 0.7 per cent decrease compared to February 2023 and a 0.7 per cent decrease compared to January 2024.

  • The average price of a detached home was $889,280. This represents a 0.5 per cent increase from February 2023 and a decrease of 2.2 per cent compared to January 2024.
  • The average sale price for a townhouse was $629,734. This represents a 2.2 per cent decrease from February 2023 and a decrease of 1.8 per cent compared to January 2024.
  • The average sale price for an apartment-style condominium was $459,455. This represents an increase of 0.2 per cent from February 2023 and an increase of 3.1 per cent compared to January 2024.
  • The average sale price for a semi was $673,638. This represents an increase of 1.0 per cent compared to February 2023 and an increase of 4.2 per cent compared to January 2024.

“Examining benchmark and average prices for various property types over the past twelve months reveals a stable housing market in Waterloo Region,” says Moura. “With the approaching spring market, both buyers and sellers can take comfort in the steadiness of prices we’ve seen, reinforcing the value of homeownership as a secure and prudent investment in the long run.”

There were 800 new listings added to the MLS® System in Waterloo Region last month, an increase of 18.7 per cent compared to February last year and a 6.9 per cent decrease compared to the previous ten-year average for February.

The total number of homes available for sale in active status at the end of February was 943 an increase of 38.9 per cent compared to February of last year and 2.9 per cent below the previous ten-year average of 971 listings for February.

At the end of February, there were 1.7 months of inventory, a 54.5 percent increase compared to last year and 17.2 percent above the previous 10-year average. The number of months of inventory represents how long it would take to sell off current inventories at the current sales rate.

The average number of days to sell in February was 23, compared to 20 days in February 2023. The previous 5-year average is 16 days.

TRREB: Buyers Re-Enter the GTA Housing Market in February

TORONTO, ONTARIO, March 5, 2024 – Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales and new listings were up on an annual and monthly basis in February 2024. Selling prices also edged upward compared to a year earlier. Population growth and a resilient regional economy continued to support the overall demand for housing. Higher borrowing costs kept home sales below the February sales record reached in 2021.

“We have recently seen a resurgence in sales activity compared to last year. The market assumption is that the Bank of Canada has finished hiking rates. Consumers are now anticipating rate cuts in the near future. A growing number of homebuyers have also come to terms with elevated mortgage rates over the past two years. To minimize higher monthly payments, some buyers have likely saved up a larger down payment, chosen to purchase a less-expensive home type and/or looked to a different location in the GTA,” said TRREB President Jennifer Pearce.

REALTORS® reported 5,607 GTA home sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in February 2024 – an increase of 17.9 per cent compared to February 2023. Even after accounting for the leap year effect, sales were up by 12.3 per cent year-over-year. New listings were up by an even greater annual rate than sales in February, pointing to increased choice for buyers. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, February sales were lower following two consecutive monthly increases while new listings were flat. Monthly figures can be somewhat volatile, especially when the market is approaching a transition point.

Home selling prices in February 2024 remained similar to February 2023. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark edged up by 0.4 per cent. The average selling price of $1,108,720 increased by a modest 1.1 per cent. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, both the MLS® HPI Composite and the average selling price edged upward.

“As we move through 2024, an increasing number of buyers will re-enter the market with adjusted housing preferences to account for higher borrowing costs. In the second half of the year, lower interest rates will further boost demand for ownership housing. First-time buying activity will also be a contributing factor, as many renters look to trade high monthly rents for a long-term investment in which they can live and build equity,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

“Population growth has been at a record pace and with the anticipated lower borrowing costs, the demand for housing – both ownership and rental – will also increase over the next two years. Unaffordable housing not only has a financial impact but also a social impact. Recent research conducted for TRREB by CANCEA in our 2024 Market Outlook and Year in Review report underscores the negative impact of unaffordable housing on peoples’ mental health and life satisfaction. It’s comforting to see that there has been some real building happening in the GTA and that the provincial government is rewarding those municipalities that are working to eliminate the red tape and meet those homeownership needs,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele

If you are considering buying or selling, contact me anytime to answer your questions, big or small. I’m here to help!

Move forward with confidence!

Lance Nielsen

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