Prince Edward County (‘the County”) is definitely in the spotlight these days both as a tourist destination as well as a place to hang your hat, either for the short or long term. It is receiving a lot of attention for a range of reasons, including its food, beauty, and cultural offerings, to say nothing of increasingly becoming a centre for style and trend setters.

 

A variety of items have shown up recently in the press singing the area’s praises and touting the County as the next “IT” destination. It is no surprise then that property sales continue to be strong across the County as well as the broader area serviced by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (‘the Quinte Board”). The rate of sales in the County for May, however, is a closer reflection of activity last year at this time as compared to the month of April when activity far outpaced that which was experienced the year previous. A slight moderation in the comparative rate of sales year over year is not inconsistent with what is happening in other neighbouring markets served by this brokerage, but with the number of new listings down and a surge in sales in higher priced properties, average sale prices continue to show strong growth. Having said that, comparative affordability and excellent value continue to be one of this market’s aces in the hole.

 

According to the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report prepared by the Quinte Board 59 properties were sold in the County in May, only one fewer than May of last year. Year to date, sales in the County are generally on par with where they were last year at this time with 197 properties sold in 2015 compared to 202 last year, only 5 properties fewer. Across the broader Quinte Board 406 properties changed hands which is 7% more than the 380 in May 2014. Year to date numbers for the Quinte Board generally continue to be considerably stronger with 1338 sales overall compared to 1152 last year, representing a 16% jump. As indicated, sales in the higher priced categories appear to be experiencing the strongest surge in interest with sales across the Quinte Board in all price categories above $240,000 surpassing those for the month the year previous, particularly at the most expensive levels. This, compounded by a decline in new listings (a 10% drop in the County with only 182 new properties coming onto the market compared with 203 in May, 2014) appears to be contributing to strong price growth with average sale prices rising 21% year over year in the County. Last year in May an average priced property in the County sold for $261,188. This year the average sale price in the County in May came in at $316,901.

 

New listings year to date in the County, however when counting all new properties listed from the beginning of the year are relatively on par with last year with 772 in total compared to 775 at this time last year. Inventory too is remarkably consistent with last year with the Quinte Board recording 725 active listings in the County at the time of the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report, only 3 fewer than last year at this time. Across the broader Quinte Board, the story is relatively consistent with 5% fewer new listings year over year for the month of May with 857 compared 899 last year. Year to date, there are 4% more new listings across the Quinte Board (3667 versus 3512).

 

Finally, according to the Quinte Board, the particular cross section of properties that sold in the County in May of this year took on average 90 days to sell which is 30% longer than the sample of properties that sold in the County in May of last year (which took 69 days on average to sell).

 

All in all, conditions suggest a healthy steady market with little indication of significant change moving into the summer season. Interest rates will continue to remain low into the foreseeable future with the main potential qualifier for the real estate market being that neither North American, nor broader international economic markets have been able to churn out the positive numbers signifying a return to general economic recovery that were anticipated earlier this year. It is hoped therefore that the lackluster economic performance being experienced in other sectors does not spill over into the real estate market.

 

 

Prepared by: Richard Stewart, Vice-President & Legal Counsel, Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

 

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