Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and economic uncertainty, the housing market remains red hot in Northumberland County.
The average year-to-date sale price is $566,197, with the average price for September alone soaring to $595,559.
“The best way to explain it for real estate is that everything that is typical is not typical this year,” realtor Jacqueline Pennington said.
“We started off fairly strong in January and February, before we saw a significant decrease in the spring. What’s interesting is coming out of that we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of homes sold and the average sale prices in Northumberland County.”
But for anyone looking to buy a home, inventory is a challenge.
Pennington tells Global News Peterborough that inventory has fallen off by 12 per cent in 2020.
“We have more people looking to purchase than we have inventory available,” she said.
That’s leading to more bidding wars, which is helping drive the average sale price up.
Pennington said Northumberland County, which borders Durham Region to the west and Peterborough County to the north, is attractive to home buyers because of its proximity to urban centres.
Motorists can take the 401, the 407 or VIA Rail to get into the Toronto area fairly quickly.
Another thing that’s driving the market is interest rates, which remain very low.
“Homeowners and potential homeowners across the country feel more confidence that they can get a mortgage and get into the market and they can support themselves financially in that decision,” said Andrew Pyle, an economist and senior wealth advisor for ScotiaMcLeod in Peterborough.
“I think that’s keeping the market more vibrant than what the experts predicted in April and May.”
Pyle says the Bank of Canada isn’t expected to raise interest rates any time soon due to the pandemic and the current state of the economy.
But he warns it won’t stay that way forever.
“That’s what homeowners need to factor in. It’s not where the rates are today but where they might be in five or 10 years when things change,” he said.
As for whether the bubble bursts on the market in Northumberland County, Pennington says she doesn’t think it will.
“I think it slows down into the winter before picking right back up in the first quarter next year.”