October has come and gone.  We were lucky enough to spend some COVID responsible time with family over Thanksgiving and the kids still got to go trick or treating.  However, the Halloween costumes weren't the only thing causing a bit of fear in the HRM.  Things continue to be difficult for Home Buyers in Halifax.  The real estate market has been competitive all year and it shows no sign of getting any easier.  Worryingly, the opposite is looking more likely. 

The average price of a single family home in the Halifax area jumped by another 1.7% in October to $375,567.  That's a 13% increase from a year ago and a continuation of the sharp upwards trend we've been watching since May.  Sales are up by 12.8% year over year and our inventory has been consistently dropping month over month.  In September, there were 866 homes for sale and in October, there were 780.  This is a 50% drop in the number of homes for sale compared with October of 2019.  It is an even more substantial drop of 63% from October 2018. This has meant the amount of time it takes for a home to sell has decreased by 18.3% year over year and that Sellers are now on average, getting more than 100% of their list price.

What's next?

Nova Scotia, up until a few days ago, has been doing extremely well with COVID case numbers. Despite the recent clusters, our performance during this pandemic has made us a very attractive option for people across the country. We are seeing a large number of people coming from other parts of Canada to start a new life in our province.  This, coupled with a reluctance of people within Nova Scotia wanting to move, is causing a serious shortage of inventory.  With the nervous prospects of another lockdown this winter, I do not expect to see an uptick of listings in the coming months.  If sales do not slow down, there could be a greater competition for homes over the winter than we are seeing at the moment.  For Home Buyers, that unfortunately means things are likely to continue to get more expensive. 

Silver linings?

Interest rates are ridiculously low and in many cases, the monthly cost of home ownership is actually becoming more affordable than rent.  Rent costs are going up across the HRM and we've already seen evidence of that with calls for rent control.   With that unlikely to happen any time soon, people can take advantage of low interest rates to get into homeownership and fixed costs for the next several years. So, even though homes are getting more expensive, homeownership still remains an attractive option.  As I said in my last blog, it is extremely frustrating for a Buyer in this market.  Yet, if you overcome the obstacles to get on the property ladder, you'll be a Seller in a Seller's market.  That's the best place to be. 

What now?

If you'd like to talk to us about the real estate market, get in touch with our team below. Our advice is free and we can discuss your specific situation to ensure you make the most of your next move.  We help:

  • Home Buyers (Even if you are brand new and have no idea where to start)
  • People looking to sell to upgrade their home
  • People looking to sell to downsize
  • Those looking for investment properties

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Posted by Chris Perkins on
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