One of the most anticipated pre-construction condo projects in Kitchener Waterloo, City Centre has recently started selling units.
There will be two towers, 17 and 14 floors, that will house about 380 units. In addition, the site plan calls for retail, underground parking, and a boutique hotel and spa where the Mayfair currently stands.
I have floorplans for the units, but can’t post them online. If you’re interested in more information, email me by clicking here
Ground has been broken on a sales office that will drive growth in downtown Kitchener. Representatives from Andrin Homes, the City of Kitchener and the Downtown BIA were on-hand at a ceremony Tuesday morning that marked the beginning of construction on what will become a dedicated, 3,500-square-foot sales pavilion.
“The sales centre itself will have two, fully furnished model suites,” says Anne Marchildon, vice-president, Sales and Marketing with Andrin Homes. “The exterior of the sales centre (will also be) representative of what the building will look like, (from the) brick colour, the panel colours, the window details, all of that sort of thing.”
The sales centre will also include a 2,000-square-foot presentation area with multimedia capabilities to allow potential buyers to go through the project step-by-step.
Marchildon calls Kitchener a “very good” municipality to work with.
“They’re very forward-thinking, they do their homework, everybody is looking to the same objective,” she says.
Kitchener’s Director of Economic Development, Rod Regier, is admittedly excited by this next step in the project.
“It’s coming at the right time,” he says. “We’ve had some great announcements in the downtown recently with The Tannery and The Communitech Hub developed there, followed by the Google move. So we’re very excited about where this fits into the overall constellation.”
Regier says the next step is to get more people living in the downtown and he believes Tuesday’s announcement is a positive move in that direction.
Centre Block has sat dormant for almost a decade after the city learned of plans for a pornographic movie theatre and began buying up property. To date, Kitchener has spent about $9-million acquiring lands in the area bounded by King, Young, Duke and Ontario streets. Previous efforts to develop the property, including a potential relocation of the Main Branch of the Kitchener Public Library, have failed.
There were 65 condos sold in Kitchener in April 2010
Of interest to real estate investors, there were 3 sales at the Kaufman Lofts, a complex where several of our clients own rental units. A one bedroom sold for $200,000; another 1bed went for $212,000; and a two bedroom went for $272,500.
This building continues to be very desireable for home buyers and real estate investors due to it’s affordable price for a newer property, great location, and funky feel that appeals to tenants and owners.
The most affordable condominium sold in Kitchener went for $114,000, and the most expensive condo sold in April went for $305,000
Research from Keller Williams Realty International
Canada’s economy continues to show its resilience as a “string of indicators suggest Canadian economic growth is robust, and gaining strength.”
Inflation has begun to rise, so to keep within the targeted 2 percent, the Bank of Canada plans to follow suit with raising its interest rate. It will not extend the conditional commitment to keep interest rates at historically low rates past the original expiration date this June.
The economy is looking stronger, the housing market is still hot, and confidence has risen. The government previously warned that the loonie’s rise to parity with the U.S. dollar could pose potential setbacks for Canadian businesses that export. With much improved demand from the United States and a more entrenched recovery in Canada, the government’s tone has changed. Flaherty has stated that the loonie “continues to keep the nation’s economy competitive.”
While things are certainly looking up from a year earlier, it’s important to note that the commodity base of Canada’s economy leaves it somewhat susceptible to external forces such as global demand, currency rates, and commodity prices.
Existing home sales activity totaled 42,799 units in February. This stood 44 percent above activity in February 2009 and was 59 percent above the December 2008 level, when sales reached their lowest levels since June 2000. New, tougher mortgage rules (in effect April 19) the new harmonized sales tax in Ontario and British Columbia (beginning on July 1), and the prospect of higher short-term interest rates in the coming months will act as catalysts to push potential home buyers off the fence and heighten an already strong spring market.
Average Home Price:
Low supply and strong demand continued to boost prices. The national average home price was $335,655 in February, up 18 percent from February 2009 and 22 percent more than January 2009 (when prices fell to the lowest level in almost three years).
Sales-to-Listings Ratio While new listings edged up 2.4 percent to 73,849 units from January 2010, the highest level since October 2008, strong resale housing demand continued to draw down inventories. At the end of February, there were 15.4 percent fewer homes listed for sale than a year before. Even after three consecutive months of slowly building supply, inventory levels remained near record lows with 4.7 months of homes available for sale. As national sales activity has slowed in recent months while new listings continued to rise, the housing market has become more balanced with a sales-to-listings ratio of 58 percent.
Average for: 25-Year Amortization, 5-Year Term In March, the 5-year conventional mortgage rate rose to 5.85 percent. With rates on the upswing indicating that the housing market is poised to cool off, the projected, gradual softening of the market will add to a more sustainable long-term affordability level for many Canadians.
Sources: Conference Board, The Canadian Real Estate Association, Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Bank of Canada
2010 Budget: Continued Stimulus and Plans to Balance
In early March, the government outlined their plans for the 2010 budget. Experts believe a steady hand in an uncertain global economic environment will help maintain Canada’s position as one of the strongest economies.
Flaherty plans to spend the remaining $19 billion of the $47 billion two-year stimulus package as outlined in last year’s budget.
Although the actual deficit number has been widely debated in the press, the government plans to return to a balanced budget in the coming years through targeted cuts in public service spending, freezing foreign aid, limiting military spending, and raising employment insurance premiums.
Lower corporate income taxes are still on target to be adjusted from 19 percent to 15 percent along with a commitment to free and open trade, as shown through a lack of tariffs, are intended to make Canada an attractive place for businesses to invest.
Source: Financial Post
Mortgage Insurance Changes
Over the past year, Canada’s housing market has proven to be robust. Although the most recent indicators point to a balanced market, the government is taking steps to ensure the stability of the market with efforts to prevent a bubble.
The following changes to mortgage insurance will take effect on April 19:
1. Even if borrowers opt for an adjustable rate mortgage, they must qualify for the current fixed-rate mortgage.
2. The maximum equity a borrower can withdraw during a refinance has been lowered from 95 percent to 90 percent of the property value.
3. Down payment requirements have quadrupled for investors who do not intend to occupy the property from 5 percent to 20 percent.
Another very busy month for real estate in Kitchener Waterloo – 724 homes were sold in April 2010, up 12.6% from April 2009′s volume. The previous record for sales in April was set in 2007 with 711.
The average price of a single detahced home sold in Kitchener Waterloo in April rose to $327,196, an incrase of 12.3% over the average price reported in APril 2009.
The average value of a semi-detached home incrased 17.4% from $196,429 (average, April 2009) to $230,582 (average, April 2010), and the average sale price of condos increased 7.2% to $176,117.
Volume is up; Prices are up.
Mortgage interest rates continue to rise, so if you’re looking to make a real estate investment in the next few months, it is profitable to lock in your loan interest rate now (ask me for details on how to do that) so you don’t end up paying more each month for the same property.
For questions about the current real estate market in Kitchener Waterloo, call me now at 519 772 4376, or email me at Benjamin@BenjaminBach.com
Days on market is down from 55 to 43 for the year.
Sales to active ratio 25.8% was 16.2% in 2009, meaning 1 in 4 listed homes is selling each month, or that we currently have a 4 month supply of listings.
Sales$ to list$ ratio was 98.4% - it was 97.7% 2009. That means that the average home for sale in Waterloo ended up selling for 98.4% of the price it was listed for – so on average, a home listed for sale at 200K is selling for $196,800
Average sale price for a detached home is up 14.2% to $322,974 for the year.
Average sale price for a semi-detached house in Kitchener Waterloo is also up 6.1%, to $213,602 for the year.
Average sale price for freehold townhomes down 8.9% to $228,768 for the year.
New listings up 23.2% for the month to 1133 and number of listings for the year 2892 is up 13.5%.
Let’s assume a real estate investor is looking at a 1 bedroom condo here. There are units available around $180,000 – a unit at this price is amongst the smallest available, but still in demand by buyers and tenants alike.
(These figures are all projections. Contact Benjamin for a personalized consultation)
The sheet above (click to enlarge it) shows us the assumptions we’re using:
$1200 a month in rent
$3000 condo fee and $1700 in property tax annually etc.
It also shows us the mortgage options – this investor is using a 20% downpayment, and getting a 80% LTV (Loan to Value) mortgage.
A real estate investor recently asked me why people like buying condos at the Kaufman Lofts in Kitchener, Ontario
Between the terrific location (across from the new Health Sciences campus at the corner of King and Victoria St in downtown Kitchener), the iconic nature of the property – Kaufman Footwear has been there since the early 20th century – and the premier rents the condos generate, they can make a great real estate investment.
Click Play to watch the video. This looks at the reasons investors like buying condos here, and goes through the potential cash flow that the rental unit can generate.
Homes and condo’s are moving very quickly in Kitchener Waterloo these days – our clients are involved in a multiple offer situations fairly regularly on smaller properties (condos, 5 bedroom student rental houses etc), and we’re even seeing multiple offers on apartment buildings that are in good shape, well rented and fairly priced.
So far in 2010, 56 homes have sold in 3 days on market or less, 144 residential properties have sold in less than 7 days, and 357 have sold in inside of two weeks (note: these Days on Market times include days where the property was tied up with a conditional offer, and due diligence periods).
That means over 32% of homes sold in 2010 were listed on the MLS for less than 14 days (note: a small % of these homes may have been relisted)
And now, another unit at one of the condo complexes that is seeing particularly brisk sales, 565 Greenfield, located in South Kitchener near Fairview Mall, has had another complex sold days after it hit the MLS in KW
The complex was built in the early 90′s, and is made up of 9 identical walkup buildings, that each have 11 identical condo homes in them. Each unit is a 2bedroom 1 bathroom home.
These condos are desireable to home buyers and investors alike, because of their great location, and low price point.
What have units been selling for here recently? Lets take a look at the sales since Jan 2009
The unit numbers denote whether the condo is on the basement level (1-3), the main level (4-7) or the top floor (8-11). The top two floors have balconies for the condo, off of the living room.
If you own a condo here, we have buyers actively looking.
Our firm, Keller Williams, represented 5 of the last 11 buyers purchasing in the complex, and we’d love to sell your condo too.
The best type of buyer is an educated buyer – knowing what to ask can save you lots of time, money and headaches, especially why buying real estate.
Today, let’s look at 3 things you should know before buying or investing in a Kitchener Condo
The one thing you can’t upgrade about a property is the location. Everything else – kitchen, flooring, bathrooms, paint, landscaping etc. can be changed, but location is fixed. Choose wisely!
Our clients look for condo buildings near major amenities like shopping, restaurants and major employers. Recently, investors have started looking for properties near the Light Rapid Transit system that is coming to Kitchener Waterloo, since tenants (and new owners we resell too) like living near major transportation hubs.
2) Age & Condition
The second thing we want to look at before finalizing an agreement to buy a unit in a condominium is the age and condition of the unit, and the overall property.
Most of our clients stick to condos about 20 years old or less, with many buyers prefering to purchase new condo construction like the Kaufman Lofts (now built), Centre Block, or any of the developments in Waterloo like Bauer Lofts or 144 Park. Many buyers and owners just find less maintenance with newer properties, although each complex is different; we recommend getting a home inspection done before purchasing a condo.
3) Financial Health of Corporation
The third thing often gets overlooked, but is very important. When you’re investing in a condo unit, you’re also buying a proportional share of the condo corporation, which controls & maintains the condo, and is made up of people who own units in the complex.
If the complex is mismanaged, and there is a budget shortfall at the end of a year, they will come to YOU as an owner to make up this shortfall.
This is why we do our due dilligence before ‘firming up’ a purchase agreement, and reveiw the Status Certificate with our client’s lawyers.
Buy in a good area; buy a well maintained condo; research the condo corporation financial health before committing.