The Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market in May

End of May and the Market is still behaving erratically

Normally, at this time of year, most of the spring buyers have bought and most of the sellers have sold. I think that is true this year too. What’s different is that we didn’t really get a surge of activity. I wasn’t busy until April and then my real estate activity fell off sharply. Of course every real estate agent is different. We individually are a reflection of our clients and mine tend not to be young condo buyers or investors, which have different buying cycles. 

Will Bank of Canada raise interest rates?

According to Jean-François Perrault, the chief economist at Scotiabank, an additional 25-basis-point rate hike by the Bank of Canada might be necessary to reassure Canadians about the central bank’s ability to fulfill its mandate. Perrault points out that the 4.4% annual inflation rate observed in April exceeded expectations and remains significantly higher than the central bank’s target of 3% by mid-2023. The Bank of Canada has maintained its policy rate at 4.5% in recent meetings, but Perrault believes a small rate hike would help solidify the central bank’s message and address inflation concerns. Veronica Clark from Citigroup Inc. also supports a similar rate hike, citing the latest consumer price index as justification. Despite market skepticism, both economists emphasize the central bank’s commitment to inflation targeting and the persistent high levels of inflation.

Breweries and pickle ball coming soon to a mall near you

Pickleball, America’s fastest-growing sport, is finding its way into local malls as a strategy that benefits both mall owners and pickleball players. Malls, looking to fill vacant spaces and attract customers beyond traditional stores, are responding to consumer demand for fun and social experiences. They are diversifying their tenant mix to include activities like pickleball, skydiving, virtual golf, and breweries. Pickleball, which combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, has seen a significant surge in popularity during the pandemic, with its player base growing by 159% over three years. The sport has faced challenges finding suitable spaces, with public parks, recreation departments, and retirement communities grappling with limited resources and conflicting interests. By integrating pickleball facilities into malls, players can enjoy the game and take advantage of nearby dining and shopping options. Various malls across the United States, including Stamford, Connecticut; Lake Saint Louis, Missouri; New Jersey; and New Hampshire, have already embraced this trend, repurposing former retail spaces for pickleball. Additionally, a new chain called Camp Pickle plans to open venues combining pickleball with food and drink options in several cities.

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