It would seem that when it comes to real estate, the expression “no man is an island” applies equally to Prince Edward County (“the County”) even though ironically, it is often thought of as an island, or almost one. In other words, the phenomenon affecting Toronto and many of the other markets served by this brokerage, in which too many buyers are chasing too few properties has definitely reached our fair shores. This real shortage of new and active listings combined with strong demand for properties in the County is creating fierce competition, increased pressure on prices, and disappointed buyers losing out when they aren’t able to act quickly enough to secure the latest desirable property which comes onto the market. Multiple offers on properties selling within days of being listed is increasingly commonplace in this hot market.    

 

As the number of sales surge and prices continue to escalate in nearby urban centres as well as comparable satellite destination markets, properties in the County when they do come onto the market are being snapped up at a swift rate and at prices close to, and sometimes exceeding list price. As the season progresses this trend is only likely to continue, with the key qualification and challenge being a lack of inventory.

 

   

According to the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”) Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report for the County for the month of April, sales were relatively consistent with last year with 61 properties changing hands compared to 66 in April of last year. As indicated, despite strong demand, sales were constrained by the fact that there was so little available to buy. Year to date sales tallied so far reflect this as well with 144 sales reported year to date compared to 149 one year ago. Sales across the entire Quinte Board, however, reported a 27% surge with 283 for the month of April compared to 222 the year previous, and a 17% increase year to date with 649 sales recorded compared to 554 in 2015 at this time.

 

 

As reported, listings are not keeping up with demand with only 138 new listings coming onto the market in the County this month, marking a whopping 31.5% decrease from a year earlier in April 2015 when 202 properties were listed. Year to date figures amount to 466, 21% below last year’s 589 new listings. Needless to say when combined with the robust pace of sales, a shortage of inventory is inevitable with active listings at this point trailing 2015 by 28.5% with only 453 properties recorded on the market at the time of the printing of the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report compared to 634 last year at this time. With properties being scooped up, and stronger demand absorbing much of the residual inventory, fewer listings are hanging around on the shelf. It should come as no surprise then that statistics for the average time it takes to sell a property in the County have also gone down considerably from 93 days on market in April 2015 to 75 this last month, a decline of 19%.

 

Statistics for the Quinte Board reflect the same trend as do many of the surrounding real estate markets with fewer listings and a reduction in expired listings.

 

 

One anomaly in this picture is price. According to the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report, the average sale price of properties sold in the County has actually declined by 14% year over year coming in at $256,343 compared to $297,374 last April. As indicated in earlier reports, however, this anomaly can be attributed largely to the smaller statistical sample base for real estate in the County which results in larger statistical swings depending upon the particular cross-section of properties sold at any given period of time. In this case there would appear to have been a greater concentration of sales at the lower price levels this month, or conversely fewer of the higher priced sales that may have occurred in April last year.

 

All in all, however, a bullish report for the County in what should prove to be a very robust and vibrant real estate market this season, assuming that more properties come onto the market. Interest rates remain at historical lows with little sign of changing any time soon, and the economy is showing very few indications of volatility or significant disruption within the foreseeable future. With no sign of let up in the steady demand for property in the County, conditions are ripe for Sellers contemplating listing their properties for sale, so long as price expectations remain realistic and in line with value.

   

Richard Stewart Vice President & Legal Counsel

Cover photo by Maja Petric via Unsplash

 
 

 

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