Some of the trends identified in last month’s market report for real estate activity in Prince Edward County (“the County”) seem to be playing out in October’s numbers released by the Quinte and District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”). An increase in the supply of property and a moderation in sales is contributing to a generally calmer and more balanced feel to the market. Consequently, buyers do not appear to be pressed to peremptorily pull the trigger on a purchase until they have fully considered their options, and have all their ducks in a row. The less frenetic pace is reflected in greater price stability as well, which in many ways, is good news for the long term health and sustainability of the County real estate market after so many months where market watchers have witnessed the relentless upward surge of skyrocketing sale prices, wondering whether or where it would end.

 

 

Once again, new listings were up in October. 97 properties came onto the market, marking an almost 13% increase over the same month last year when 86 new listings were recorded. With these new numbers, year to date comparisons come in 6% higher than last year, making up ground for the first half of the year when supply consistently fell short of the year previous. Adding up the monthly tally to date, a total 1042 properties have come to market so far this year compared to 983 at this time last year.

 

Sales however, were down again with only 49 properties changing hands in October compared to 60 one year ago. This marks more than an 18% shortfall, and brings year to date figures to 424 which is 6% fewer than the 450 that were recorded as sold at this point in 2018.

 

Not surprisingly, the combined impact of these two divergent trends contributed to the supply of property available for sale in the County, with the Quinte Board calculating an increase in real estate inventory of almost 16%, with 580 properties recorded as being available for sale at the end of October compared to only 501 last year.

 

As indicated, the numbers reflect that more stable and balanced conditions have settled in and taken root in the County with prices generally levelling out. The Quinte Board reported that the average sale price of properties in the County in October was $461,897, only marginally above the price recorded in October 2108, which was $458,766. The mean sales price or midpoint of properties sold was also remarkably stable (down 1% from last year), coming in at $420,000. This is below the average sale price, and suggests that the bulk of sales continue to take place in the more moderate price ranges, well below the half million dollar mark, with the average sale price being pushed upward by a few higher end sales.

 

Finally, and consistent with the general trend of October’s statistics, properties for the most part took somewhat longer to sell than they did last year at this time, requiring on average 86 days to sell which is 11 days more than the 77 days recorded as average days on market in October 2018. This likely is a product of a combination of factors including more product to choose from, calmer market conditions removing any real sense of urgency, and buyers continuing to grapple with financing costs and hurdles.

 

Overall though, the real estate market in the County remains strong. Demand is steady and anecdotally appears to be more constant in nature, and less subject to seasonal variations and swings. Moreover, the general pool of buyers is increasingly broad and varied, drawing from an ever wider demographic, with the locational attributes and comparative advantages of the area, including relative affordability, becoming increasingly apparent to an ever growing constituency. Finally, the general economic health of the province, and robustness in both the job market and income trajectory are further factors contributing to a positive outlook for the property market through to the end of the year and into the next.

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