Following a long drought of new listings, and at long last, lilacs were not the only things blossoming in May. According to the new Matrix data platform of the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”), new properties also finally came into bloom in Prince Edward County (“the County”) after a cool and slower spring. A chronic shortage of good properties has been one of the defining characteristics of the County real estate market this year. As indicated in earlier reports, statistical analysis of real estate activity in the County must be undertaken with a critical and measured eye given the smaller sampling of properties at issue. The smaller market makes it more susceptible to being disproportionately influenced by a few outlying sales, or shifts at the extreme ends of the market. Having said that, the increase in property availability appears to have had a very positive impact on real estate activity in the County.




As indicated, new listings in May are up almost 28% over last year with 36 more properties coming onto the market (166) compared to last May when only 130 new listings were recorded. That brings the year over year new listings tally more into line with 2017, which it must be remembered was a year already coping with tight market conditions. Year to date figures based on cumulative monthly calculations is only 5 properties apart with new listings for 2018 trailing last year’s numbers by 1 % (578 as compared to 573 at the end of May 2017).


With more properties available, sales increased significantly from last month and earlier this year with the year over year negative differential decreasing from 39% in April to 26% in May. Specifically, a busy May in the County produced 64 sales (up from 47 in April) but still down from the frenzied pace of spring 2017 when 67 properties were reported sold in May. Year to date, and due to the slower pace and shortage of available properties earlier in the year, sales lag behind last year at this point by 35% with only 198 recorded sales compared to 303 one year ago.


Further evidence of a robust market, however, is found in both sale price as well as the speed at which properties sold. The average sale price of properties sold in May came in at an impressive $475,522, almost 27% higher than the heady days of May 2017 when the average sale price was logged as $375,736. The median sale price too was up over 11%, indicating that the midpoint of the market is surging higher as well, calculated to be $390,250, posing potential affordability challenges for buyers looking to get a great deal in the County. There is no question that despite a few sales at the higher end of the market, the more accessible price points continue to garner the greatest amount of attention with some selling in competitive multiple o er situations, at premiums in excess of the list price.


As mentioned, not only are properties selling but they are selling quickly. In fact, the Quinte Board reported that the average days on market for properties that sold in May was only 36 days, almost 43% or 27 days faster than they did in last year’s sizzling real estate market. It is noteworthy that while properties continue to sell at an even faster pace in the neighbouring urban market that is the Greater Toronto Area, particularly in central Toronto, participants in other real estate markets around the world would be astounded by the pace at which County properties in a predominantly rural setting are sold.


Despite ongoing uncertainty on the trade front with our neighbor to the south causing ripples of unease across the broader economy, as well as the threat of further interest rate hikes pursuant to signals from the Central Bank of Canada, (now potentially dissipating with ongoing disruption and lack of certainty as to the potential impacts of tariffs and threatened trade war), economic conditions continue to be relatively strong with positive employment and related economic output numbers. That mixed with the ongoing attention received by the burgeoning tourist, wine, food and related hospitality and recreational industries in the County, as well as its continuing competitive affordability advantage over comparable destination markets, bode well for an active and healthy real estate market in the County as we move into summer.


Prepared by:Richard Stewart Vice President & Legal Counsel

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