Did several weeks of lockdown change the way people think about high-rise living? It would not be surprising that a modern and minimalist space that once fostered feelings of freedom to do whatever you want quickly turned into the opposite - four walls closing in with COVID claustrophobia, causing you and your cat to figuratively and literally climb the walls.

Suddenly, the desire to live inside to avoid outdoor chores has been replaced with the desire to have outdoor space to complete those very same chores, but willingly. Time outside to have the privilege to achieve the same tasks that seemed taxing before. It's amazing how a slice of perspective can so drastically change your views on things you thought you'd figured out.

Condo sales in Halifax have fallen by 6.7% year over year. In 2020 YTD, there have been 612 condo sales in comparison to 656 the year before. However, a fairly drastic 36.3% drop in inventory has meant that sale prices are up 6.9%. It is by no means as competitive as the Single Family market, which has seen a 12% increase in average price and a 51% decrease in inventory. But it's perhaps because the Single Family market is so competitive that people still see condos as a viable alternative.

Things to consider

Outdoor Space on the Property

Even though you own a condo, it does not mean you are stuck inside. At the moment, many of our clients are specifically requesting a balcony or at least knowledge there is a common area on the property to enjoy when you aren't in your unit. A courtyard or rooftop patio, for example. Indoor spaces like gyms and pools have lost their luster for the moment, but they are still things to consider when things eventually get back to normal.

Location

A condo is purchased for convenience. That means you have nothing to worry about regarding maintenance outside of your unit. It also means condos are generally in walkable areas. While we remain lucky in Nova Scotia with a limited number of COVID cases, it is still good to think about what you might do if shops and services close again. Whether that's wandering the Waterfront, Public Gardens or the Halifax Commons, various condo complexes allow you to stretch your legs nearby.

Apartment vs Condo

Where the vacancy rate on the Peninsula still sits at a sub 1% level, your monthly costs between a condo and an apartment are comparable in a lot of cases. However, you are applying a portion of your payment towards your equity when you own a condo. When you rent, you are paying someone else's mortgage or lining the pocket of a wealthy developer. I would much rather own something while taking advantage of a 6% increase in prices. You could even use that equity in a few years to move into something further away from the city, with some space for a garden.

What's the synopsis?

While there remains a feeling of claustrophobia for some, condos are still an attractive option for many. The condo market has not suffered in Nova Scotia due to COVID, even though we've lost a large portion of our student population. Sales have dropped but so has inventory, which has caused prices to increase year over year. Regardless of the market, the thing to ponder is whether a condo provides the lifestyle you're looking for. We've got COVID to thank for that profound new perspective.

Interested in making the right move in this real estate market? Contact one of our full time agents to guide you in the right direction. 

     

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