If the first month of 2020 is any indication of how the Prince Edward County (“the County”) real estate market is going to perform for the rest of the year, then all things considered the outlook appears to be a very positive one. Right out of the gate, most indicators appear to be strong with January’s numbers pointing to ongoing tight market conditions with persistent robust demand outstripping supply. The resultant competition for properties continues to place upward pressure on prices making shortage of supply and affordability the likely dueling, yet complementary defining catch words for the 2020 County real estate market.

 

 

According to the Quinte and District Association of REALTORS®, (“the Board”), sales were up by almost 12% year over year in January, and surged over 30% ahead of the month previous with 38 sales being recorded by the Board compared to 34 in January of 2019, and 29 in December. This builds on the market’s momentum that showed itself to be particularly evident towards the end of 2019 and contributed to the year ending in the positive column as far as sales are concerned despite earlier market weakness due in part to a combination of the lingering impact of the broader real estate correction, tougher and more restrictive lending conditions, and a shortage of supply.

Luckily, January did produce a few more new listings than the year previous with 96 properties coming onto the market compared to 90 one year ago, marking an almost 7% increase. These numbers provide some relief as well from December when only 56 properties came onto the market. Despite the slight increase in new listings however, inventory was still down a bit given that faster sales pace. At month’s end 393 properties were listed by the Board as available for sale compared to 397 the year previous, amounting to a decrease of only 1%.

Not surprisingly, prices did continue their upward climb, rising over 4% to $414,594 from $397,734 in January 2019. As indicated, this trend is likely to continue given the ever pressing affordability challenges in neighbouring urban centres, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area where increasing numbers of buyers are being pushed further afield to get a foothold in the real estate market.

With the ongoing steady demand and limited supply, properties that are listed for sale took less long to sell than they did last year at this time with the Board reporting the average days on market falling from 89 to 72, year over year, marking a decrease in the number of days it took to sell by over 19%. The median days on market, representing the midpoint of the market posted an even greater decrease from 79 to 47 days on market, a difference of over 40%.

All in all, January’s performance is likely indicative of the sort of market conditions that can be expected for the rest of the year in the County. Barring any destabilizing impacts from unexpected events or disruptive forces, economic fundamentals continue to look generally positive. Migration into the province remains strong with no end in sight, job creation and economic output are generally robust, and the performance of equity markets is reflective of that. In addition, interest rates appear to be in a relatively stable zone for the foreseeable future. That, mixed with the undeniably attractive characteristics and attributes of the County, including its relative proximity and accessibility to services, infrastructure and transportation corridors, contribute to the growing recognition of the benefits of investing in County real estate, and the generally rosy outlook for the market moving forward.

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