As we approach the end of the year, the real estate market for Prince Edward County (“the County”) is slowing down consistent with seasonal trends. Comparatively speaking, however, the statistics for the month of November contained in the Enhanced Statistical Query Report produced by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”) for the County real estate market reveal that the strengthening trend which has been gathering momentum through the second half of the year continues apace and is building towards a strong finish for year end. The numbers across the entire territory included within the Quinte Board show even stronger results with unit and dollar volume sales both outstripping those recorded for the area last year.

As indicated in earlier reports, the smaller sampling of properties that make up the real estate market in the County result in the inevitably greater statistical swings that are reflected in the Quinte Board numbers depending upon the particular and specific cross-section of properties that constitute the sales activity within the area for the period in question. With that in mind, it is important to temper any conclusions derived from these statistics with the qualification that they may be unduly influenced by the composition of a few sales on the extreme end of the scale, or a coincidental cluster of activity in one particular segment of the market. Having said that the report does support a consistent strengthening trend and an increasingly tighter market with sales outpacing new product coming onto the market.
Specifically, according to the Enhanced Statistical Query Report for the month of November, the County experienced a 10% increase of sales year over year with 32 properties recorded as sold compared to 29 last year for the same period. That brings the year to date total to 516 sales thus far in 2015, a near dead heat with last year when 519 properties had been sold by this time. As indicated, market strength across the broader area served by the Quinte Board including Trenton, Belleville, Marmora, and environs has been more impressive with monthly sales exceeding those for last year at this time by 19% (216 compared to 182 in November 2014) and year to date figures reflecting a generally similar positive differential of 16% (3234 compared to 2792 last year at this time). Dollar volume comparisons reflect a 30% jump for the month year over year and a 25% year to date increase. 
Inventory continues to be tight. 21% fewer new listings came onto the market in the County this November compared to last – 61 compared to 77. Year to date, new listings are down 10% with a total of only 1362 new properties for sale compared to 1509 last year at this time. Not surprisingly there is less available for sale with 7% fewer active listings being reported at the end of the month (495 at the time of the report compared to 532 one year earlier). Listings for the broader Quinte Board, however, are generally on par with where they were last year.
Incidentally, despite the increase in the number of sales in the County, the particular cross section of properties that did sell were on the market for 53% longer than those which were recorded as sold during the same period last year. One potential explanation for this is that with fewer properties on the market attention is being pushed towards those properties which have been on the market for some time, and the tighter market and stronger demand is precipitating the sale of those properties.
Finally, despite that active market, average sale price in the County for the first time in several months did not go up, but rather held firm and was virtually unchanged from the year previous coming in under $300,000 (specifically $296,127) for the first time in many months and since the first half of the year. This is likely attributable to the vagaries of the property stock that sold for the month rather than telling of any particular price trend.
All in all, another positive result for the County real estate market, contributing to what will likely be an excellent year end tally. The economic outlook for the region is stable with trends shifting in favour of the economies of the central provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and prospects for a healthier export market being further buoyed by a weakening Canadian dollar and strengthening American economy. Barring any unexpected turbulence or upheaval on the global stage, forecasts for the County real estate market continue to look positive with the area continuing to garner increasing attention both at home and abroad, and investors showing sustained interest in the unique character and attributes for which the County is known.
Prepared by: Richard Stewart Vice President & Legal Counsel
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