With the market remaining consistently tight throughout most of this year, it is remarkable that the sales numbers have remained as strong as they have. Indeed the same complaints contained in many of our earlier reports that there is so little available to buy remain just as pertinent today, if not more so, as they were when they first became one of the dominant stories in the real estate market for Prince Edward County (“the County”).  

Like many of the markets served by this brokerage, a scarcity of property has become an entrenched problem in the County, just as it is across much of Southern Ontario, particularly areas surrounding the Greater Toronto Area which has seen precedent setting growth in both sales as well as prices. These market conditions have stretched the bounds of affordability for many in urban centres, and forced buyers to either adjust their expectations or look elsewhere for the lifestyle and accommodation they desire and can a ord. But with sellers reluctant to put their properties on the market until they have secured somewhere to go, the situation is even more pronounced.  

Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update  

 

With the release of the Quinte and District Association of REALTORS® (“the Board”)’s Enhanced Statistics Statistical Report for the month of October, the numbers paint the picture and highlight the story. At the time the statistics were obtained from the Board, there were only 327 active listings available in the County. Inventory therefore is down 35% from last year at this time when 506 properties were listed as available at the end of the month. And while numbers traditionally decline in the fall and as the year draws to an end, it is still worth nothing that there are almost one hundred fewer listings available on the market now then there were one month ago when the Board reported 422 properties available.  

The situation is not being alleviated either by the fact that there are still fewer properties coming onto the market this year compared to last. The Board reported 71 new listings this October compared to 77 last year in the same month, resulting in an 8% drop year over year, bringing the year to date totals to 1108 which amounts to 16% fewer than the 1313 recorded last year at this time.  

 

prince edward county real estate update

1 MORTIMER ST, PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, PICTON

 

As indicated, given that there is so little to buy, it is surprising that the Board logged the same number of sales for the month as it did in 2015. At the time the figures were obtained from the Board 59 properties were reported sold in October of each year. Given the tight conditions, however, it follows that those properties took less time to sell and were not on the market for nearly as long as those which sold last year were. Specifcally the average days on market for the properties which sold in October went down by 34%, taking only 75 days on average to sell, 39 days fewer than the 114 days the Board reported it took on average to sell the properties sold in October 2015.  

Finally, because of the smaller sampling of properties which make up the statistics for the County real estate market, the particular cross section of sales that take place in any month has a disproportionate impact on the statistical swings recorded by the Board. In this case the particular composition of properties sold resulted in a reduction in average sale price to $304,805 at the time that the statistics were obtained. This is 15% less than the average sale price recorded for properties sold in October 2015 which came in at $357,609.  

 

 

Prince Edward County Real Estate Update

 

47 PAUL ST ST, PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, PICTON

 

It is too early to tell what if any impact the new federally imposed stress tests for insured mortgage qualification, or the reporting requirements for principal properties will have on the market in Southern Ontario and the County in particular. Recent statistics for both the County as well as the Greater Toronto Area and satellite markets suggest little if any so far. The impact may percolate through to the market over time, however, affordability in the major urban centres, as well as a shortage of supply by all accounts appear to be the most significant factors for the market moving forward and into the new year. While some banks have begun to adjust rates moderately upwards to account for increased costs imposed by some of the new federal lending initiatives, there is still no sign of any significant increase in lending coming any time soon given the ongoing need to stimulate lackluster economic growth. The provincial government, however, has indicated that it has no intention of imposing foreign controls, costs or restriction on non-resident buyers, and is reluctant to consider further government intervention in the real estate market given potential unintended consequences. The effects on an already softening Vancouver real estate market have been quite dramatic with almost 40% fewer sales year over year and prices starting to fall.  

 

Prepared by: Richard Stewart Vice President & Legal Counsel

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