What we learned in 2017. A look back  

look back at 2017

A look back at 2017

It might seem a little early to do a “look back at the year 2017”, but it’s not. The learning has been learned and now, before the focus shifts to the holidays, let’s have a look at what that learning about Kitchener Waterloo real estate was.

Measuring what matters

Peter Drucker famously gave us the quote, “what gets measured, gets managed”. With that in mind, for a couple of years now I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of houses that I show, sell, see, and sometimes houses that clients send me because they are interested in it for one reason or another.

So let’s go to the spreadsheet and see what we can learn.

Showings and tellings

My first showing in 2017 was on February 2nd.

My last showing for the year was on November 7th.

Thus, I showed 414 listings in essentially 9 months. That is on average 46 homes shown per month. But those showings were not spread evenly over the year. For example, although I was (in theory) working full time in August, I only showed 8 homes (to 3 clients). But in April, I showed 72 homes and in March I showed 67.

Here is the breakdown:

F: 52

M: 67

A: 72

M: 28

J: 52

J: 40

A: 8

S: 37

O: 33

What I learned:

The spring market is always reported to be the busiest time of year for real estate. That’s true. This year, the April announcement of the 16-point plan to cool the Ontario real estate market, cooled it in May – though the sellers came out in full force and the buyers stayed home.

But then, I think June and July were typical.

I read somewhere that 60% of real estate transactions happen before June 1st. I think that is true. Since May was down, I did 53% of my showings before June 1 – pretty much what you’d expect.

Homing in on home buyers

Over the course of the year, I worked with 38 home buyers. One client saw 3 homes before buying one. Another saw 42 before buying.

In terms of time to buy, the spreadsheet tells me that the average buyer takes anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to buy.

What I learned:

If you knock out the outliers, the average number of homes that clients saw before finding the right home to buy is about 16. And, once someone decides to buy – once they start touring homes, they usually move quite quickly. Again if you knock out the outliers, six to eight weeks would be typical. Condo apartments, in my experience are always much quicker to buy and longer to sell than single family homes.

Blog posts

I’m not blogging as much as I used to, at least not here.

I finally got focused on my real estate news site and then started another blog.


Why not! If one is good then two are better.

Actually, I didn’t want this blog to lose focus (homebuyers). The second blog is just general real estate news and the third is geared more toward home owners and home sellers. But that is an aside.

Here are the notable posts from 2017:

Most read

House prices will rise in 2017

Forecasting posts always do well. There is something in our psyche that makes us want to know what will and might happen. Every year I do a forecasting post and every year it is one of the most read. Last year, it predicted that house prices would rise by 8%. I think that is 2-3% too low. I think we will find at at the end of the year that home price rose by at least 10%.     They went way up fast and then floated back down again.

Holding offers

In February, I wrote a blog post titled “Holding offers” as it was a new phenomenon for us and we were still figuring out, as buyers, how it worked. It became one of my most read blog posts for a few months running.

Bully offers

Then in March, when things started getting really crazy, I wrote a post called “What’s the deal with bully offers?” explaining what they were, how they worked and what they meant from the perspective of buyers, sellers and their agents. Again, it was a new phenomenon and inquiring minds wanted to know.

Cannot close

Following in June, I wrote a blog post called, “What happens if a buyer cannot close?” The market had cooled in May and now buyers who bought when the market was white hot were getting cold feet as it was time to close. They were weighing their options. It got a lot of eyeballs.

School rankings

School rankings is a perennial favourite post. I have been writing about school rankings since 2011. For the record, things don’t change that much year to year.

KW Neighbourhoods Guide

This was my summer project. In August, when I only showed eight houses, I finally had time to get a big bite into this guide to neighbourhoods. It has proven to be a Top Ten most read blog post already. That is not really a surprise.

Most time spent on site

Though some post get lots of views, other posts get fewer view but people linger longer, reading every word. Below are the posts that held people the longest.

What types of homes are most burglarized?

This was actually a surprise. I guess people are generally interested in crime and the likelihood of becoming victims of a crime.

Waterloo and York Regions – two tech hubs

I honestly don’t know why this post had so much time spent on it. It wasn’t even very long.

All agents are the same

Again, I don’t know why people spent so much time on this post. If I were to guess, I would say that other real estate agents were reading it. I spend a lot of time reading real estate blogs. I  know other local (and not so local agents) read this blog (because they tell me) so I think it was them (us).

Some personal favourites

26 reasons for the housing shortage in KW

It came up in so many conversations and there was so much news about the inventory shortage that I started taking down all the reasons mentioned and before I knew it I had 26 – a nearly complete list. They say that blogging is like doing the laundry —> there is always more. This post saw almost everything done, ironed, folded up and put away.

Sellers are forgetting the rules and hurting home prices

Anyone who has ever had a job sometimes get frustrated with the way that job is. Be it the boss, the coworkers, the atmosphere and working conditions…sooner or later you have to blow off some steam and go on a rant about everything that is wrong with your job. This post was a rant.

4 real estate marketing strategies we should have left int he 90s

This one was another rant. What can I say? I’m passionate about real estate.

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