GTA Buyers in Waterloo Region: Is There REALLY a Spike?

Cliff Rego
Published on September 29, 2016

GTA Buyers in Waterloo Region: Is There REALLY a Spike?

Last week, our team was treated to a great presentation by CHMC which outlined the factors driving the sales volume and price increases in Waterloo Region. One of those factors (to nobody in the room’s surprise): migration of GTA buyers to K-W-C.

But what kind of an impact are our 416/647/905 friends really having on our market?

When we asked for the % increase in GTA buyers in 2016 vs 2015, CMHC wasn’t able to give us an answer. This is understandable; you’d need to go through about 10,000 sales from 2015 and 2016 YTD to get a solid answer. I’m sure we’ll get that sometime early 2017.

For the time being, we thought it would be interesting to see the impact of GTA buyers on our slice of the real estate pie. We have a good sample size – we sell the most homes in the region – so perhaps our results will resemble what’s happening market-wide.

So, we went through every one of our Waterloo Region listings from 2015 and 2016 (we said this would be interesting, not “fun”) to see if GTA buyers were scooping up more of our single family home listings in 2016.

The results:

  • In 2015, just shy of 12% of our listings sold to buyers represented by GTA agents.
  • In 2016? 17%.

That’s around 42% more GTA buyers than last year. On the surface, this is significant – but it doesn’t even tell the whole story.

What our analysis doesn’t account for:

1) GTA buyers represented by local agents.  Our calculations only take into account buyers represented by GTA brokerages. If we were to dig deeper and account for all the GTA buyers represented by a local Waterloo Region agent in their home purchase, that 42% figure above would undoubtedly increase.

2) The number of GTA buyers who have competed for a home and lost. This is interesting from a selling price perspective. GTA buyers don’t always win; when they lose, their offers still put pressure on local buyers, which can increase sale prices. Again, you would need to look at every offer to find a trend…we just don’t have time for that.

So, is there a tangible impact?

From our team’s stats, yes. At the very least, 42% more GTA buyers are submitting winning offers than last year. This increase would also suggest that there is more competition for local homes, driving up prices.

Is this an “A-HA!” moment? Not really. I think we can all speak anecdotally to the GTA effect – but it’s nice to put some numbers to our experiences and guide our buyers and sellers accordingly.

It will be interesting to see the market-wide stats – and even more interesting to see the extent to which this trend continues in 2017.

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