Tagged ‘Prince Edward County‘

Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update – Year End 2018

With the first few days of 2019 under our belt, we can now look back and see what an interesting and tumultuous year 2018 has been for the real estate market in Prince Edward County (“the County”). There is no question that this last year has definitely been a year of adjustment following the correction that occurred in the spring and summer of 2017 with the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and related messaging from the provincial government that the overheated real estate market needed to be reined in. Moreover, subsequent contributing factors including a series of successive interest rate hikes and the imposition of the stress test which significantly tightened qualification requirements for financing had a marked impact on affordability, and combined to throw cold water onto the market, and restore a sober sense of reality to both buyers and sellers. Having said that, while sales are down across the County, much like most other real estate markets in Southern Ontario, the intricacies of the market are a little more complex and nuanced as buyer demand has remained remarkably strong and steadfast in the County as reflected by the impressively robust sale price trajectory that has continued to break new bounds and set new thresholds throughout the year.

The statistics published by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”) for December are further confirmation that 2018 marked a return to reality from the frenzied market experienced the preceding year, and to some extent can be characterized by regrouping, adjustment and taking stock. Sales were down over 46% from last year with only 15 properties changing hands compared to 28 in December 2017. With the year at an end, a compilation of the sales numbers for each month as reported by the Quinte Board shows that sales of properties across the County for all of 2018 totalled 532 which is 19% fewer than sold in 2017, the year previous. Clearly, that demonstrates a moderation in the market year over year, and is confirmation that the market correction that occurred in urban centres such as the Greater Toronto Area and neighbouring markets clearly had an impact on the County, but interestingly as suggested other market indicators qualify this conclusion or are evidence of ongoing strength and sustainability in the area.

Listings, for instance, remained in relatively short supply and there was little sign of distress selling in the market, or a rush to unload real estate in the County. Despite a year-end boost in listings with 60 properties coming onto the market in December compared to 35 last year in the same month, year over year there was only a 5% increase in new listings in 2018 with a total of 1240 compared to 1181 in 2017 when supply and inventory were remarkably tight. With the decline in sales, however, year-end inventory was up with 382 properties in the County available for sale compared to 207 last year at this time.

But price is probably one of the most interesting indicators as to the state of the County real estate market and stands as confirmation of stable interest and demand in the County. There was a dip in the average sale price in December coming in at $282,800 compared to $418,996 last year, constituting a drop of over 32%, but as discussed in previous market reports, in a smaller market like the County where only 15 properties changed hands, the particular cross-section of properties that sold in a given month inevitably has a disproportionate impact on the numbers, and results in larger statistical swings. When spread over the entire year, however, a clearer picture comes into focus. Despite a slower start to the year when three out of the four months of the first quarter registered a negative year over year price differential, each of the successive months for the rest of the year, (with the exception of December), racked up impressive price gains. This contributed to a boost in the annual average sale price of over 11%. Specifically, the average sale price for properties in the County for 2018, calculated on the basis of the average sale price reported for each month by the Quinte Board, came in at $422,732 compared to $379,445 for 2017.

Finally, those properties that did sell took only three days longer on average to sell (70 compared to 67) than they did last year when market conditions were much more heated and frenetic, and supply was even tighter.

All of these indicators taken together suggest that despite some calming and moderation over the last year, the County real estate market is stable and has legs going into 2019. Broader economic conditions continue to be generally favourable with positive economic output and job creation over the end of last year and extending into the new one. While the cost of borrowing is likely to continue to increase over the long term, (though potentially not as quickly as earlier anticipated), the County is well positioned to weather potential market upheaval given its relative affordability, and its status as a preferred destination to live and invest.

Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update – November 2017

According to the statistics published by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”), the fall performance of the real estate market in Prince Edward County (“the County”) continues its moderating and balancing trend, following several paces behind the experience of its neighbouring urban markets. In other words, and in general terms, inventory is going up and sales are declining, but in the face of all that, and unlike the Greater Toronto Area, properties continue to sell at a swifter pace than a year previous, and average sale prices continue to exceed those recorded last year, though at a somewhat smaller percentage. As indicated in earlier reports, properties in the County continue to be in demand, but with the increase in the number of available listings, and slowing pace in neighbouring markets, the sense of urgency has left buyers who apparently feel that they have more choice, can take more time to consider their options, and wait for the right property to come along instead of pouncing on the first property that crosses their path.


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According to the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report published by the Quinte Board for the wards that make up the County, 41 properties sold in November, three fewer than in October consistent with seasonal trends, and 18 fewer than the year previous, marking almost a 31% decline. Year to date sales are down only 6% given the very active market experienced earlier in the year, with 609 sales being recorded thus far compared to 651 at this time last year.
There was only one more new listing in November 2017 than one year ago when 66 properties came onto the market. Year to date, the County still trails last year’s numbers marginally with 1158 new listings compared to 1186 by this time in 2016. Where the difference is felt, however is in active listings. At month’s end, the Quinte Board reported 300 listings as being available for sale which is 24% more than last year when only 242 were available.
Despite that however, those properties that come onto the market for sale continue to be bought up at a faster pace than last year, continuing a trend that has been established over the last several months in the County. Specifically, properties recorded as sold were only on the market 74 days on average, 4% less time than last year when the average days on market was listed as being 77.
In addition, and as stated, prices just keep going up in the County. The average sale price of properties sold in the month of November came in at $317,461, 7% higher than the same month last year when the average sale price was calculated to be $297,735, a clear indication that demand for property in the County remains strong and that the area continues to benefit from its accessible price point, consistent with the stronger performance of more affordable properties across markets generally, most particularly condominium apartments, in urban centres.
Indeed, as we approach the end of the year and look forward to 2018, affordability will likely be an increasingly influential factor in the performance of the real estate market, particularly as the average Canadian household debt to income ratio sets new records, and is potentially exacerbated by the threat of higher interest rates and ever tightening lending rules imposed by both the government and financial institutions. Rising rates, however, are due in large to the recent strong performance of many of the Canadian economic indicators including job growth and a positive trajectory for the GDP generally, all of which also contribute to inflationary pressures. While instability and uncertainty in the political and economic climate south of the border as well as globally continue to be complicating factors for real estate market forecasting, the economic fundamentals are generally strong and in place for ongoing stability and sustainability in the County real estate market for the end of the year and looking forward to the next.

Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update – October 2017

With the cooling weather and shorter days of autumn, the pace of the real estate market in Prince Edward County appears to be following suit, and reflecting the moderating trends the Greater Toronto Area (“the GTA”) faced over the summer. While choice and desirable waterfront, character and acreage properties continue to find buyers, the numbers produced by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”) in its Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report confirm that while both new listings and inventory are increasing, the urgency of buyers has dissipated, with many holding out until the perfect opportunity comes along. Markets appear to be rebounding in the GTA with both sales and price recovering from the post peak doldrums, just as they have in the Greater Vancouver trading area following the imposition of measures (including the foreign speculators’ tax) intended to reign in the overheated real estate market, but as is often the case, there appears to be a lag of a couple of months in surrounding satellite markets to what is happening in the urban core.


toronto real estate market report October 2017

In October, 44 properties changed hands in the County which is both 7 fewer than the month previous, and 17, or 29% fewer than the 61 which were reported sold the same month in 2016. Overall, notwithstanding the robust pace of sales experienced in the first half of the year, sales year to date now trail last year’s numbers by 4% with a total of 568 sales being reported by months end in October compared with 592 at this time last year.
In addition, the number of new properties coming onto the market in the County increased in October, both as compared with September as well as the year previous. A total of 89 properties were reported as new listings which is 27% more than the 70 that came out in October 2016, and brings the number of new listings year to date to 1091 which, based on the earlier shortage of properties is still 3% behind last year’s figures at this time when 1120 new listings were reported. That, combined with the decline of sales inevitably has an impact on inventory. Not surprisingly active listings were also up 19% with 345 active listings being reported as available at month’s end compared to 290 last year at the same time.
Despite that, and perhaps due to the prolonged shortage of desirable properties available to buy in the County for so long, the average days on market continues to be lower than last year with the average property selling in 70 days compared to 74 one year ago.
Consistent with the comments at the outset of this report that desirable properties continue to find buyers, and confirmation that there is still strong demand for the right property (even if buyers are being pickier), the average sale price continues to go up, and not insignificantly. In fact, those properties that did sell, did so for 24% more than they did last year with the average sale price coming in at a very respectable $365,619 compared to $294,402 in October 2016. Any suggestion therefore that properties in the County have in any way lost their luster, or that there is a broader slackening of demand is misplaced. Rather, under the circumstances, and given what has happened in nearby urban markets, a sense of measure and sanity appears to have returned to the market, where qualified and interested buyers are simply less inclined to pay whatever it takes to get a foothold in the market and are instead, and as indicated, prepared to wait for the right property to come along and act decisively at that point.
Reports confirm that urban markets, both locally as well as across Canada are returning to a more bullish track, with Toronto in particular, being in the early stages of same as its suburban market continues to lag. But it is still too early to tell what the impact of further tightening in lending criteria with the imposition of broader stress tests to conventional mortgages will be. Some speculate that it could prompt a brief surge in activity as buyers try to lock in prior to the imposition of the more stringent financial qualification requirements. Generally speaking, however, the broader economic outlook appears positive with indicators generally strong despite the ongoing threat of potentially destabilizing caveats on the international stage with respect to trade and protectionism, amongst other influences.

Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update – August 2017

Moderating conditions continue to predominate across Prince Edward County (“the County”) in the second half of summer and as we move into fall. The Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report prepared by the Quinte and District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”) confirms that the real estate market for the area is not as frenetic or overheated as it was earlier this year, but that despite calming trends, continues to manifest most of the fundamentals reflective of a healthy and stable market. Despite a slight increase in the number of listings, product supply remains generally tight and when desirable properties do come to market, they do not tend to linger on the shelf for long.


Whether due in part at least to an ongoing shortage of inventory, or attributable more to an infusion of buyer caution prompted by the market adjustment currently taking place in the Greater Toronto Area, or a combination of both, sales in the County in August are down again year over year. The decline in sales recorded by the Quinte Board, however, was not at the same pace or to the same degree as recorded in previous months. Specifically, the Quinte Board recorded 59 properties as having sold in August compared to 72 last year, constituting a drop in sales of 18%. Year to date sales are essentially on a par with 2016 coming in just short of last year’s numbers. Based on calculations from numbers obtained monthly from the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Report, 473 properties appear to have sold thus far this year compared to 480 the year previous, signaling only a 1% shortfall.
As indicated, the number of new listings was up in August year over year. The Quinte Board recorded 95 properties coming onto the market, 11 more than the 84 recorded In August 2016, a 13% increase. Given the chronic shortage of properties in the market and the increased pro le of the County and consequent on going strong demand for real estate in the area, any increase in supply is welcome at this stage and will not likely fully alleviate the pent-up demand which has built up over time amongst buyers looking for property in the County. Year to date new listings continue to lag behind last year’s numbers with a total of 928 recorded thus far compared to 958 at this time last year, which amounts to a 3% negative differential, but highlighting the nature of the persistent property shortage. Further confirmation of this is found in the pace at which properties that do come onto the market sell. The average days on market for sold properties continued to shrink. According to the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report, the amount of time it took for properties in the County to sell was on average only 51 days which is 37 days or 42% less time than last year when the average number of days on market for properties sold came in at 88 days. Having said that, the general inventory has increased somewhat with the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report showing 454 properties available at month’s end compared to 395 one year previous, an uptick in the range of 15%.
Another indicator of the general health of the market is average sale price. According to the Quinte Board, the average sale price of properties that sold in the County in the month of August came in at $393,129 which is 13% higher than August 2016 when the average sale price was $347,646. Demand for property in the County remains strong and combined with a scarcity of listings continues to push the price of properties higher. Further evidence in this regard suggesting that the County real estate market has legs is the fact that the average sale price of properties sold in the County in August is also higher than it has been since April when market conditions were at their hottest and frothiest.
All in all, prospects for the fall are optimistic. Broader economic indicators including employment figures continue on an upward trajectory, to the extent that the Bank of Canada surprised most market commentators by raising interest rates earlier than anticipated and for the second time this year, pointing to better than expected economic performance across many sectors. Reports also point to the fact that housing starts are on the rise, an indication of broader sector confidence and optimism despite recent market adjustments and increasing interest rates, which thus far are not anticipated to exert significant downward pressure on the market, though it may have somewhat of a moderating effect on the extent to which buyers are prepared to stretch to secure their property of choice. Interestingly, it would appear that inventory may be one of the biggest determinants of the pace of sales and activity in the County real estate market moving forward, as buyers cannot buy what is not for sale.

Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update – February 2016

Property, property, everywhere property, wherever you look in Prince Edward County (“the County”), but hardly a listing for sale! Well perhaps a slight exaggeration, but the scarcity of property for potential buyers has definitely been a consistent story these many months in the County. The County is not unique in this regard, but rather this appears to be a recurring refrain across southern Ontario in many of the markets served by this brokerage. With low interest rates continuing to support healthy demand, inventory has not been able to keep up. February is no exception and this appears to be the determinative force in the market outlook moving into the spring months when the real estate market in the County traditionally picks up and comes alive.


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According to the latest numbers released in its Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report, The Quinte and District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”) disclosed that only 85 new properties came onto the market in the County in the month of February, a 14% drop from last year when 98 were reported as being listed. This number is also down significantly even from January when 104 properties were listed (which itself was a 32% decline from the numbers reported for the same month the year previous). These numbers combined to bring year to date figures to 189 which marks more than a 24% decline from last year at this time when a total of 250 new listings had been logged by the Quinte Board. The net effect of all of this is that there is simply less to buy with inventory being calculated at only 368 active listings across the County which is 26% less than was available last year at this time when 496 active listings were recorded when the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report was issued.





Not surprisingly, sales have not kept up with last year either, though the numbers do not trail the decline in inventory to the same degree. Rather the number of properties sold in the County was only two fewer than last year, 22 as compared to 24, an 8% drop. Year to date then, 41 properties have been recorded as sold in the County in 2016 compared to 48 last year at this time, which makes for a 14.5% drop. All in all therefore, sales have not fallen as quickly or at the same rate as inventory. The numbers actually suggest that there is steady demand, but you simply can’t sell what isn’t for sale. With buyers chasing after fewer properties, the market remains tight and the average sale price for properties sold reflects this. The Quinte Board reports that the average sale price for February 2016 came in at $287,488, 22% higher than one year ago when it was calculated to $234,354.





Finally, according to the numbers released by the Quinte Board, it actually took longer to sell the particular sample of properties that did sell in February compared to those that sold in the same month last year, specifically on average 114 days compared to 72 days in February 2015. While this number is not definitive in what it indicates, it could be interpreted as indicating that with as little on the market as there is, even the harder to sell properties that had been languishing on the shelf were selling as there is limited new product to choose from.



65 & 71 & 77 BRIDGE ST, PICTON WARD | $2,999,000


Generally speaking, the state of the County real estate market remains on strong footings moving into the rest of the year. As indicated, the cost of financing remains affordable as is the price point for the area compared to comparable markets served by this brokerage. After considerable economic volatility, particularly in the equity markets, precipitated in large part by the collateral negative impacts from falling oil prices as well as an ongoing sputtering recovery in other economic sectors and a lackluster domestic job market, conditions appear to have stabilized somewhat with the American economy continuing to gain traction and some of the positive spin offs from a lower Canadian dollar starting to take root. One clear message stands out and that is, taking all of the foregoing into account, property owners contemplating putting their property on the market should not hesitate to do so as demand is strong and property is scarce, and it is reasonable to expect a positive uptake and reception for any property that reflects good value.


Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update – December 2015

As is the case every year, with January comes a look back at the year just passed and new year musings as to what the coming year will bring. This year is no different. With all of the figures reflecting the performance of the Prince Edward County (“the County”) real estate market in for 2015; sales and listings numbers logged, reviewed and justified,then recorded in the Enhanced Statistical Query Report produced by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”); the very strong and positive performance of the 2015 market is confirmation of the fact that the County has definitively taken its place on the map as a go to destination of choice in Southern Ontario.

The County real estate market closed out the year on a very strong note with December’s figures defining tight market conditions with limited product, ongoing strong demand, and rising average sale prices. December’s real estate performance contributes to the strengthening trend experienced in the County throughout the year, ending the season on the same high note. Having said that, 2016 has started off on a rather negative economic footing with steep declines in the equity markets, both here and south of the border, further compounded by falling oil and commodity prices which so far appear to be outweighing any consequential positive impact of the sliding dollar on the manufacturing and export markets. This mixed with historically high household debt levels and the potential for moderate tightening in lending conditions may add to the broader economic pain being experienced across the country, and dampen real estate prospects somewhat for the year to come.


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As stated in earlier reports, the smaller sampling of properties represented in the wards that constitute the County real estate market inevitably results in greater statistical swings depending upon the particular cross-section of sales that took place within the period in question, but continues to provide some indication of market strength and the direction in which it is trending. According to the Enhanced Statistical Query Report, the Quinte Board reported a 14% increase in sales in the month of December compared to the last month of the year in 2014. Specifically 33 properties were reported sold this December compared to 29 last year. That brought the total number of properties sold in the County in 2015 to 591 as set out in the Quinte Board Enhanced Statistical Query Report representing reconciled annual sales from the period spanning January 1 through December 31, 2015. This constitutes an 8% increase over the 548 sales recorded in the County during 2014.


Sales across the entire Quinte Board were equally robust with sales in December besting those from the year previous by 8% (188 vs 174) and annual figures coming in15% better than in 2014 with a grand total of 3399 properties changing hands compared to 2966 the year before.


As indicated, property supply remains tight with listings down again in December with only 40 new properties coming onto the market compared to 46 the year previous, a further 16% decline bringing the annual deficit in listings for 2015 to 9% with a total of only 1418 properties coming onto the market this year compared to 1555 last year. Not surprisingly, combined with the robust pace of sales, year-end reported inventory was down 23% for the month of December with only 280 active listings compared to 362 at the same time the year previous. Listings for the broader Quinte Board are also down 7% for the month year over year and 3% overall on an annual basis.


As an aside, the properties that did sell in December took 26% longer to sell than did those that sold in December the year previous, potentially reflecting the fact that the limited supply of properties is pushing sales to properties that otherwise would not have sold and had been lingering on the market. Interestingly enough, annual comparisons for the entire year also reflect a longer time period to sell the properties that did sell despite the higher volume of properties that changed hands. Perhaps again that is a reflection of the fact that more of the older supply of properties that would otherwise not be reflected in the sold statistics were being snapped up with the hotter market.


Finally, consistent with the fundamental principles of supply and demand and the logical outcome of a stronger market with tight or limited supply, average sale prices continue to rise. In December the average sale price came in at $329,788, a whopping 47% above the figure recorded in December 2014 when the average sale price for the month was $224,272. Even spread over a longer period of time, and representing a broader cross-section of properties, the increase in the average annual sale price for 2015 compared year over year with 2014 was 17% ($304,075 in 2015 vs $$259,406 for 2014), a hefty increase reflecting the heightened real estate activity and interest in the County.


All in all an impressive performance and a positive note to end 2015, and a promising way to ring in the New Year. Only time will tell what 2016 will bring considering some of the economic clouds on the horizon and some rumbling in the world of debt financing. That said, County properties remain well positioned moving forward with respect to comparative value and affordability, and will continue to benefit from the natural attributes of the area including its scenic beauty and proximity to higher priced and vibrant urban centres.