While recent reports suggested some moderating trends in the Prince Edward County (“the County”) real estate market, the statistics released by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”) for the month of November confirm the underlying reality that, regardless of minor ebbs and flows in the pace of activity, demand for property in the County remains strong. In fact, the November numbers would indicate that whatever pause in activity the market may have gone through over the last couple of months was only that, and rather than a reflection of any pullback, was more a case of pent up demand waiting for the right conditions to gel and crystalize.

 

 

According to Quinte Board statistics, 44 properties changed hands in the County over the month of November. That represents an increase of over 83% over last year’s sales activity when only 24 properties were reported sold in November. November’s sales bring year to date figures to 468 which takes 2019’s performance almost to the threshold of that accomplished in 2018, where by this time 474 sales had been reported in the County, leaving a shortfall of only 6 properties.

 

The number of new listings also increased but not nearly at the same pace. By month’s end 54 properties had come onto the market in November, up almost 26% from one year ago when 43 new listings had been recorded. Year to date 2019 remains slightly ahead of where we were last year at this time with the total number of new listings thus far coming in at 1096 compared with 1026 one year ago, an increase of 7%.

 

Inventory remains up year over year by almost 12%, but due to the noticeable surge in sales experienced in November, the inventory surplus has been reduced somewhat from levels recorded over the last couple of months. Specifically, 51 more properties were available for sale compared to last year, with 488 listings reported for sale at the end of November 2019 compared to 437 one year previous.

 

The increased activity and strong demand did have the effect of pushing the average sales prices up over the half million dollar mark once again, coming in on average at $513,179, over 11% higher than last year’s number of $461,058. The median sales price, representing the mid point of the properties sold in the County was $450,250 almost 17% higher than November of last year when the Quinte Board determined it to be $385,000.

 

With higher prices and the apparent temporary lag in the market referred to at the outset of this report, it is not surprising that the average days on market for properties sold increased. On average it took 91 days for properties to sell in November which was almost 23% longer than last year in the same month when it took on average 74 days for properties to sell.

 

Generally speaking, the real estate market across Southern Ontario remains remarkably strong and healthy, with any sense of a correction or significant market slowdown being more of an unpleasant memory. As indicated in earlier reports, the biggest challenge for many, particularly in urban markets remains one of affordability, particularly with first time buyers finding it increasingly difficult to get into the real estate market. The County continues to enjoy a competitive advantage in that regard, but as prices steadily appreciate, the decision to purchase in the area cannot be undertaken lightly, and must be assessed in the context of competing priorities and commitments. All things considered, however, and given the general health of the economy, investing in the County real estate market continues to be an attractive proposition, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

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