With a population of 25,000, Prince Edward County is a small town and this is reflected in the size of the overall real estate market. The number of homes sold each year did not reach 400 until 2013, though sales have grown significantly since then. More on overall market
Homes Priced Over $300,000
More recently, the residential real estate market in Prince Edward County has fragmented in recent years into two increasingly independent sub-markets.
The market for homes priced over $300,000 is largely driven by demand from Toronto. Initially these buyers were seniors or near-seniors. Recently, however there have been an increasing number of mid-career professionals and artists who are attracted by the lower cost of housing and the small-town, supportive lifestyle. The fate of the this market is heavily influenced by what happens in the Toronto market for detached homes.
During the Toronto housing bubble in 2016-17 when panic-stricken buyers pushed the price of houses up to record highs, this was reflected in a bubble market for County homes in the $300,000 plus range. Similarly, ever since the Toronto market began to slow after the province imposed the tax on foreign buyers in April 2017, the County followed suit. As a result, conditions are significantly more favourable for buyers than they were are year ago.
Although home sales in this price range are heavily influenced by Toronto, the County is still much different from the Toronto market. Even at the height of the bubble during the spring of 2017, homes took on average 22 days to sell, an eternity by Toronto standards. While historically homes have sold, on average, for 95% to 96% of asking price, this reached an all-time high last spring of 99% to 100%. In other words, at the peak, houses were selling on average at asking price -not the premiums over asking price seen in Toronto- and auctions were the exception rather than the rule. More on homes priced over $300,000
Homes Priced Under $300,000
Most of the demand for houses priced under $300,000 comes from local residents rather than out-of-town buyers. As recently as 5 years ago, the majority of houses sold in the County were priced under $300,000, but thanks to renovations and upgrades for Airbnb conversion, these homes now account for a small and shrinking minority of sales. Although demand from local residence is strong, the number of listings has fallen by 85% over the last five years. The selection of homes in this price range is now quite limited compared to demand and these homes are selling rapidly as a result. More on homes priced under $300,000
The same Toronto-based demand has had a significant impact on the price of vacant land. As sales have grown and listings have declined over the last several years, an increasing number of would-be home buyers have been unable to find something that meets their needs and have chosen to build instead. More on vacant land
Waterfront properties have traditionally sold at a premium, and the County is no exception. Waterfront in the County takes many forms: sandy beaches are a rarity, pebble beaches or limestone shelves are more common, with marsh plants not uncommon in shallower areas. While properties on the open waters of Lake Ontario enjoy fabulous ocean-like views, the rough lake waters limit the recreational use of waterfront. The views from the sheltered waters like the Bay of Quinte offer less dramatic views, but make up for it in recreational uses like swimming and boating. Although waterfront properties thus differ significantly, as a very rough rule of thumb, waterfront properties sell for a premium of approximately $1,000 per foot of water frontage. More on waterfront
The County offers a wide range of investment opportunities. Historically, low-rise multi-residential rental were the most popular investment properties, but only a handful of such properties come on the market each year in the County. Most recently, the most popular form of investment has been conversion of single-family homes to short-term rentals. More on investment properties
Prices Changes Differ By Area
With its vast and varied territory, the different areas of the County do not perform identically in the real estate market. Partly because of its proximity to Toronto, real estate in the western end of the County has been hot in recent years, with the greatest increase in median prices occurring in Consecon.