According to the statistics released by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”), the fall real estate market in Prince Edward County (“the County”) continues to produce positive and promising results as we move into the final stretch of 2019. Demand remains strong, but with more properties coming onto the market, there is more for buyers to choose from, which in turn appears to have diminished any sense of urgency to many transactions, and has potentially moderated the relentless trend and pace of price increases.

 

 

As in previous reports, it is worth reiterating that any statistical analysis based on a smaller sampling of properties and transactions inherent to a market as specific and contained as the County, is inevitably more susceptible to swings and volatility, depending on the particular cross-section of real estate activity at any one time. Having said that, the prognosis for a more balanced market is consistent with the Quinte Board’s reports of increases in inventory, and stability in price and sales.

More specifically and further to that, the number of sales recorded in September was remarkably close and consistent with last year’s numbers coming in at 53, only two behind the number posted for September 2018 (or a 3.5% drop). This month’s figures contributed to a total of 375 properties sold year to date, which trails last year’s performance of 390 sales at this point by 4%.

The counter point to that is that more properties came onto the market this September than last. In fact, the Quinte Board logged 142 new listings which marks a significant jump over last year when only 83 were recorded. This surge in new listings by hopeful sellers, apparently optimistic about market prospects, constitutes a 71% increase over last year’s figures, pushing the year to date total into positive growth territory for the first time in many months, coming in at 945 new listings thus far compared to 897 in 2018, a gain of approximately 4%. Not surprisingly, this uptick in new listings has resulted in noticeably greater inventory, with 641 properties being available for sale at months end, compared to only 530 at this time last year. There is therefore almost 21% more property on the market this September than there was last year.

The average sale price of the properties sold in the County in September was calculated by the Quinte Board to be $481,751, which was approximately 6% below what it was in September 2018 when it was reported as $512,675. While this could be attributed simply to a higher concentration of sales in the lower priced range or a short term paucity in higher end sales, these numbers are born out by the stability/slight reduction in the median sale price which measures the midpoint in price of all properties sold. It was remarkably consistent with last year’s figure, down less than 1% ($475,550 compared to $480,000 one year ago).

Interestingly, those properties that did sell, did so at a faster rate than they did the year previous, taking only 61 days on average to sell compared to 71 one year ago. That indicator highlights the fact that the market remains a healthy and vital one and that there is a ready market of buyers who took less time to make up their minds this year to commit than they did last year at this time.

On face value, September’s numbers point to a healthy and stable real estate market in the County. Impressions of a reduced sense of urgency, underpinned by an increase in inventory are further indicators of a more balanced and sustainable market. Similarly, early evidence of a moderation in prices in contrast with the steady increases experienced throughout much of this year is consistent with that. The County continues to enjoy its enviable position as an affordable alternative to comparable markets, and with the broader fundamentals of a healthy market in place, including strong economic output and employment reports, most indicators point to a positive yet balanced forecast for the rest of this year and into the next.

 

PREPARED BY:

Richard Stewart, Vice President & Legal Counsel

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