Kingston real estate market - a reality check (March 2024)

The Kingston real estate market has been creeping its way back to sort-of normal for two years now. But as a society, we are still battle scarred from the pandemic and struggling with high costs for food and accommodation.

  Kingston in particular has perhaps hit a rough patch, losing 400 full-time jobs in January of this year alone. The financial difficulties at Queen’s University and the current hiring freeze and cutbacks are reason for sellers to remain realistic when marketing their properties, especially higher-end listings.

  Meanwhile, the federal government continues its egregious underfunding of our military. CFB Kingston is an embarrassment of dilapidated buildings, drafty, mold-filled barracks, and rusty, broken fences. Entering the CFB Kingston recreation centre on a rainy day means dodging an obstacle course of buckets to catch drips from a roof that never seems to get repaired.

  Listings are still on the low side and lots of people need homes.

But buyers are hard-pressed financially and they’re pushing sellers even harder. We used to advise sellers to give their property six weeks on the market before considering a price drop. But these days, the chance of a full-price offer is highly unlikely after three weeks, (longer for country properties). Hence, the importance of hitting the sweet spot in initial listing price.

    If sellers resist the wishful thinking behind the urge to “try” a higher price, and choose a listing price based on a careful study of sale records, they will do OK.

   The median price of a home in Kingston was down four per cent over January 2023, and just under 40 per cent of listings are finding buyers.

   The days of an easy sale are over. Buyers are getting very picky, choosing the best listings and leaving the rest to languish on the market. At the height of the pandemic frenzy, there were barely 100 active residential listings in Kingston. Today, there are over 1000.

    Successful sellers will be those who bring a property to the market well-maintained and updated. Homeowners who have let repair and maintenance slide, either through oversight or lack of funds, need to price fairly to sell.

   If you’re thinking of selling in the next five years, you should be taking stock of what needs to be done to get your property in the best possible shape. It can take a while to get everything done, and you may need to space out expenses - not to mention how long it takes to book trades people these days.

  Everyone’s lives are busy. It’s not just the cost of repairs and upgrades, but the time and trouble it takes. Save a buyer time and money, and your property sale will go well.

  Kingston is still a very desirable place to live, listings are still on the slim side, and I’m confident this will continue to buoy up Kingston property values, and prevent any significant back-sliding.

  For more advice and information on the Kingston real estate market, call me for a chat. Answers to questions are always free. :)

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