The housing market’s move from red-hot to simply sizzling will continue into 2018, but Waterloo Region will continue to see some of the fastest rising prices in Canada.

That’s according to RE/MAX, which released its forecast for the coming year on Thursday.

According to the report, the average residential sale price in the Kitchener-Waterloo market this year was $470,965. That number is 22 per cent higher than the 2016 figure, and second only to Niagara as the biggest increase in Canada.

While 15 of the 32 markets surveyed by RE/MAX saw double-digit price increases in 2017, the forecast doesn’t call for any of them to repeat that sort of activity next year. Windsor is projected to lead the country with a nine per cent increase, with Waterloo Region’s six per cent projected increase leaving it in a tie for fifth-highest.

If the average local sale price does increase by six per cent, it would leave the region with a figure just below the half-million-dollar mark, at $499,223. It would also leave house prices up approximately 50 per cent over four years.

Despite the increases, the region’s average home sale price is still well below the average sale price in places like Barrie or Hamilton.

Real estate agent Troy Schmidt says he likes to use Whitby as an example of the region’s relatively low prices. Located approximately the same distance as Kitchener from downtown Toronto, Whitby’s average sale price is nonetheless about 20 per cent higher.

“Kitchener-Waterloo is still very cheap compared to other areas in the GTA,” he says.

Schmidt says there has been a definite slowdown in the market since earlier in the year, with there being fewer showings of homes that hit the market. He estimates that 30 per cent of homes are still receiving multiple offers.

Looking ahead to 2018, Schmidt anticipates a slow start to the year due to tighter restrictions on mortgages, with many more homebuyers having to undergo stress tests to determine if they could still afford their mortgage were interest rates to rise.

He expects a lot of prospective homebuyers to sit back for the first few months of the year, waiting to see what the new rules due to the housing market.

“By the time spring kicks in, we should be running into full force,” he says.

RE/MAX says there are a number of factors contributing to the big price increases locally, including the region’s strong tech sector and the number of new condo developments going up.

With reporting by Max Wark