KITCHENER -- The average price for a detached home in Kitchener-Waterloo surpassed $900,000 for the first time in February.

According to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR), detached homes sold for an average price of $910,126 last month. That represents an increase of 35.4 per cent over February 2020.

“Competition for homes continued to be extremely intense in February, leading to a record-breaking number of home sales for the month,” Nicole Pohl, president of KWAR, said in a news release.

There were 597 residential homes sold in February, an increase of 27.8 per cent compared to last February. The 10-year average for residential sales in February is 407. Those sales included 337 detached homes, 101 condos and 47 semi-detached homes.

The average price for all residential properties was $752,289 in February. Apartment-style condos sold for an average of $415,322, townhouses sold for an average of $609,566 and semi-detached for an average price of $684,787.

“We continued to see dramatic increases in the average price in February due to the persistent and fierce competition for homes in our region combined with short supply,” Pohl said in the release.

Pohl said some buyers are frustrated by the local housing market, since low inventory and mortgage rates have resulted in multiple offers and higher prices.

“The rise in the average price we’ve been tracking the past several months has included some exceptional sale prices," Pohl said.

Homes were on the market for an average of 10 days in February, down from 17 days in the same month last year.

Some home sellers have decided to sell privately to save on commission fees.

"We decided to just go for it really as mores as a social experiment and as a young family trying to maybe keep a little more money in our pocket going forward to achieve our dreams that we're looking for," said private seller Andrew McDonald.

McDonald took a job in Huntsville and listed his home on Friday. He said activity has been encouraging.

However, realtor Shaw Hasyj with Shaw Realty Group said showing a home is just part of the job.

"Houses are selling quickly," he said. "Do they sell themselves? Absolutely not. There's still 180 different things that have to take place when you're selling a home."

Hasyj said finding willing buyers might not be a challenge, but negotiating and avoiding liability pitfalls requires experience.

"I'm insured, bonded and licensed and, if something goes wrong during a transaction, even during an appointment, I tell my clients 'come after me,'" Hasyj said.

"We've been in contact with some lawyers and I think that the process going forward, from what it's been explained to us, seems relatively straightforward," McDonald said. "We'll be in constant communication with the lawyer going forward."

Hasyj also said selling without a realtor can mean leaving money on the table.

"If you're going to sell your home and it's $2,300 over asking, if we strategically price it accurately to get that surge, that bidding war on it," he said.

With reporting by CTV News Kitchener's Ricardo Veneza