Despite the fact that we are entering the darker colder days of fall, and the fact that October has seen some cooler than normal days, neither were reflected in the pace and activity of the real estate market in Prince Edward County (“the County”). Rather, according to statistics made available by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”), October’s market performance is further confirmation of shifting priorities favouring communities like the County which offer more space, a sense of peace and refuge, fresh air, open spaces, and generally better and healthier lifestyle at more affordable prices. As stated in earlier reports, this evolving hierarchy of choices is made ever more available by the increased use of, and reliance on technology in the workplace, giving buyers the flexibility to invest in property where they really want to live and spend their time.
Even after the remarkable performance of the County real estate market over the last few months, October’s numbers continue to astound. To start with, sales in the County more than doubled year over. Specifically, 51 properties changed hands in October 2019, but that number ballooned to 103 this last month, amounting to an almost 102% increase. Year to date sales have swollen to 752 compared to 489 at this time last year, an increase of 54% year over year.
While according to the Quinte Board new listings increased almost 11%, that does not even come close to keeping up with demand and the pace of sales. 114 properties did come onto the market compared with 103 one year ago, bringing the year to date total to 1101, which unfortunately trails last year’s figures, if only by 1% , but the impact on supply is real. At month’s end only 290 properties were listed by the Quinte Board as being available for sale compared to 592 one year ago. In other words, the County has less than half the property inventory this year than it did last at this time.
In addition, those properties that sold, did so at a faster pace taking on average 81 days to sell compared to 87 days one year ago. A more meaningful statistic is median days on market which takes the significance of outlier sales out of the equation and measures the midpoint of duration on the market prior to selling. That number came in at 21 days. And compared to last year’s figures in October, namely median days on market of 48, properties are selling over 56% faster than they did one year ago.
Needless to say, and coming as no surprise, when demand so far outstrips supply, as it seems to be in the County real estate market, significant pressure is applied to prices. According to the Quinte Board, the average sale price of the properties that sold in the County in October came in at $584,887, creeping ever closer to $600,000 as an average sale price. The reported number constitutes an increase of almost 27% over last year’s posted average sale price in October of $461,333. The median or midpoint sales price also reflected a hefty increase, calculated at $500,000 compared to $420,000, an increase of over 19% year over year.
Despite the fact that Ontario appears to be experiencing a second wave of the corona virus, and the full brunt of the collateral economic damage caused by the pandemic has yet to be fully determined and factored into economic modelling or forecasts, the fundamental underpinnings of the County real estate market continue to look very strong and positive. Even if some early weakness in urban condominium markets may be detected, and some calming of the generally frenzied real estate markets experienced over the summer across Ontario may be discernable, there is no indication that the factors contributing to the surge in demand and growth in interest in County real estate is either temporary or will diminish any time soon. All in all, indicators point to the conclusion that the quantum shift in this real estate market is here to stay.