Local real estate market cooling as interest rates rise, say industry professionals

Interest rate hikes have been another hurdle for many people still trying to buy a home.

The Waterloo Region Realtors Association (WRAR) released its August report on Wednesdayindicating that the local housing market continues to cool, with prices declining as the average price for all residential properties in Waterloo Region fell to $750,849.

“Today’s announcement by the Bank of Canada to raise its key rate by 75 basis points to 3.25% is discouraging news for borrowers as it affects their purchasing power,” said Megan Bell, President of WRAR in a press release.

The most expensive unit was a single-detached home with an average price of $851,654, while the lowest-priced housing option was the condominium category with an average price of $464,959.

Owen Lennox, a realtor with Lennox Realty Group, said he’s seeing a lot of bookings in the housing market right now, especially from buyers who aren’t sure what the best course of action is. He said sellers are also rethinking how best to secure the sale of their property.

“He’s kind of [the housing market] back to where, honestly, it really should be. It was way too fast before, and people really had to make really quick decisions,” Lennox said.

RECOVERY FROM HOME INSPECTIONS

The average home is currently on the market for 22 days, compared to an average of 16 days last August.

Home inspectors like Chad Hussey, who works at Pillar to Post Home Inspections, saw less business as homes sold within days of listing, many people opted out of a home inspection.

“During the pandemic it’s dropped about, at least probably 75%,” Hussey said.

“A lot of people, once they moved in before they moved all the furniture, had us come in and do an inspection to let them know what they bought,” he said. “Let’s hope there won’t be any big surprises.”

Hussey said pre-purchase home inspections are back on the rise.

“Now they know exactly what condition they have, what budget and what to expect,” Hussey said.

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