Kitchener-Waterloo

'Extraordinary demand' fuels surge in March home sales

Despite a higher than average number of homeowners listing their properties for sale, realtors say local housing inventories remain tight as buyers snap up homes with gusto, sending the average home price surging 32 per cent to $493,226 last month.

729 properties were sold last month, a 24 per cent surge over the same time last year

Despite a higher than average number of homeowners listing their properties for sale in March, realtors say local housing inventories remain tight as buyers snap up homes with gusto, sending the average home price surging 32 per cent to $493,226 last month. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

"Extraordinary demand" for housing has fuelled a surge in March home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo as realtors sold 729 properties last month, a 24 per cent jump above the same time last year and the highest number ever recorded for the month. 

The Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors called last month's sales figures "exceptionally strong," in a statement released Tuesday, noting sales for the first quarter of 2017 were already 13 per cent above the same time last year with 1,532 properties sold since January 1st.

Despite a higher than average number of homeowners listing their properties for sale, realtors say local housing inventories remain tight as buyers snap up homes with gusto. 

The frenetic pace means the price of an average home in Kitchener-Waterloo has risen 32 per cent over March last year to $493,226, prompting the association of realtors to express concern over housing affordability Tuesday, in an unusual departure from its normally bullish tone. 

Realtors concerned about affordability

"There has been plenty of conversation in the media, in the pubs, and at all levels of government surrounding housing affordability, and it's a concern I share," president James Craig wrote Tuesday. 

"While home ownership is an investment that has served most Canadians extremely well, it's also becoming very difficult for those first-time buyers who are trying to share in that dream and get into the market," he wrote. 

Single-detached homes made up more than half of March real estate sales at 444 last month, up 15 per cent over last year and selling at an average price of $583,144, an increase of 35.6 percent over the same time in 2016. 

Condo sales were also up almost 50 per cent over last March to 164, putting the average price up 25 per cent to $265,524, while sales of townhomes and semis were up 29 per cent and 73, fetching an average price of $368,554 and $412,226 respectively. 

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