Kingston Area Update

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Kingston and Area home sales edge higher, new listings jump in November

Home sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association posted a small year-over-year increase in November 2015.

Residential property sales numbered 193 units in November, up 2.1 per cent (four sales) from the same month a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis home sales are currently running six per cent ahead of the first 11 months of 2014.

“While home sales came in above year-ago levels in November, it did mark a slowdown from activity in August, September and October,” said Jack Green, President of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association. “Overall for 2015, the big picture for both sales activity and price growth is that it’s been a decent year for both, although they probably looked a bit stronger than they actually were in comparison to a subdued 2014.”

The average price for homes sold through the Association’s MLS® System in November 2015 was $273,993, down 1.1 per cent from November 2014. The less volatile year-to-date average sale price was $292,977, an increase of 3.7 per cent from the first 11 months of 2014.

There were 537 new residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System in November 2015, jumping 37 per cent from last November and marking a new record for the month.

Active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 1,697 units at the end of November, down 8.7 per cent from the end of November 2014.

There were 8.8 months of inventory at the end of November 2015, down from 9.8 months at the end of November 2014 but above the long-run average for this time of the year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The value of all home sales was $52.9 million in November 2015, an increase of one per cent from a year earlier.

Sales of all types of properties numbered 224 units in November, rising 5.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis. The total value of all property sales increased 4.5 per cent from a year earlier to $61.1 million in November.

Source: Canadian Real Estate Association

Home Inspections

CBC News ran a three-part series called Behind Four Walls, which looked at home inspections.

Latest interest rate trends

interest_rate_trends_hi-resKeep up to date with the latest interest rate trends and what they mean in the housing market.

The Canadian Real Estate Association tracks rate changes (or not) in the Bank of Canada’s overnight lending rate and summarizes key points on economic growth and inflation here.

Recent Canadian Stats

realty difference kingston real estate



Each month at midpoint, the Canadian Real Estate Association provides resale data from the previous months to inform members and the public.

View the latest monthly stats.

Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

ar127971542731527A buyer’s market and its opposite, a seller’s market, are terms defined by a statistical measure.

Buyer’s Market

In most Canadian markets, a buyer’s market occurs when the sales-to-listing ration is 35% or less (or approximately 7 sales to every 20 listings). This is a market when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers; it’s a market where prices will drop over time as home owners become more and more eager to sell their property.

In such a market, your home may take longer to sell and you will have less negotiating power in terms of the selling price. Fortunately, you will be in the driver’s seat when making an offer on your next home.

Seller’s Market

A seller’s market, occurs when the sales-to-listings ratio reaches 55% or more (or approximately three sales to every five listings). Seller’s market occurs when there are a lot of qualified buyers in the market place, like when interest rates are low, and not enough homes for sale in the market. When these conditions occur, bidding wars will drive up prices as multiple offers come in on sought-after properties.

Toronto and Hamilton have experienced seller’s markets for the last few years.

As a seller, you will probably have more negotiating power and obtain a higher selling price for your property. Unfortunately, you will be on the other side of the fence when purchasing your next home.

Balanced Market

The number of homes on the market is roughly equal to the number of buyers (supply equals demand). In this market, prices are stable and homes sell within a reasonable period of time. It is a calm atmosphere with buyers having a satisfactory number of homes from which to choose.

Kingston has been feeling like a buyer’s market the last few years, but actually the prices have been fairly stable and even increasing slowly.  It’s not the market we had been used to, with a steady increase in prices for years and years, but it is still quite healthy.

Sources: Moneysense

Managing humidity in your home

If you’ve lived in Kingston for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed how actively we manage the humidity in our homes!  Buyers new to our area tend to see dehumidifiers as a sign of trouble, but we point out that almost every home has one.

Even brand new homes with hi-tech ventilation systems have a lot of moisture, because although lumber is kiln-dried, it still takes some time to dry out completely.  In an unfinished basement, it is not uncommon to see some moisture building up, especially when there is a temperature differential between inside and outside that causes condensation.

In Kingston’s older homes with stone foundations, water is a fact of life.  The important thing is to minimize it keep it moving OUT!

Terrace, B.C. home inspector Terry Fulljames discusses reducing humidity at the source, improving indoor ventilation, dehumidifying and improving window thermal efficiency to prevent condensation.

Homebuyer’s roadmap

About radon

HST and Home Sales

HSTResale homes are exempt from HST, with very few exceptions.

For example, if the home being purchased was first bought by a corporation and therefore GST was never paid on it; or if the home has been substantially renovated from its original structure, it will be subject to HST.

The Canada Revenue Agency defines substantially renovated as follows:

“Major changes have to be made to meet the definition of a substantial renovation. In a major renovation project, the interior of a building is essentially gutted. This type of renovation project qualifies as a substantial renovation. Generally, 90% or more of the interior of an existing house is the minimum that has to be removed or replaced to qualify as a substantial renovation.”

If you are not sure whether a specific home has been renovated enough to incur HST, check with your accountant, lawyer or tax professional.

HST is payable on certain services associated with the purchase of a home, such as legal fees, real estate commissions, moving fees, appraisals, and home renovation services.

New homes are subject to HST, but a rebate is available for buyers. Check with the builder or developer for details.