Bidding wars, document costs, viewing lineups: Halifax’s housing market heats up

2021-04-19 20:15:56

Two years after transferring to Halifax from Eire, Sarah and Nick Moriarty started home looking.

After dropping a number of bidding wars, the couple provided $50,000 over the checklist worth on a home – and included a handwritten letter by their seven-year-old daughter who was excited to plant greens within the backyard – earlier than they lastly sealed a deal.

“It was actually irritating and tense and we virtually gave up,” mentioned Sarah Moriarty in an interview from the household’s new house in Bedford, a suburban neighborhood of Halifax.

“I feel the letter did pull on the sellers’ heartstrings as a result of that they had a number of presents and I don’t assume ours was the very best.”

The true property frenzy that has lengthy been the norm in Toronto and Vancouver has hit the East Coast, with cities like Halifax on the epicentre of the area’s frenetic housing market.

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Dwelling costs within the Nova Scotia capital have reached document heights, with promoting ways like under-listing a home to draw a number of presents, bidding wars, and folks shopping for homes sight unseen changing into more and more frequent.

“I went to viewings the place I used to be double-booked with one other potential purchaser or there have been lineups outdoors,” mentioned current first-time homebuyer Dylan Ryan. “I bid on in all probability 15 homes and I wasn’t throwing out lowball presents, I used to be providing above asking.”

The 28-year-old finally paid $308,500 for a semi-detached home within the Spryfield neighbourhood, virtually 20 per cent above the $259,000 asking worth.

“I actually began to marvel if I might ever get a home,” he mentioned. “I felt determined.”

It’s a scenario being fuelled by a mixture of traditionally low rates of interest on mortgages, a scarcity of stock and a rising inhabitants.

“Younger households have began taking a look at Nova Scotia as a doable house to lift their youngsters,” mentioned Donna Malone, president of the Nova Scotia Affiliation of Realtors.

“I’ve had individuals say to me, `We determined we didn’t need to elevate our children in a rental in downtown Toronto.”‘

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Certainly, Nova Scotia has been held up as a beacon of hope to pandemic-weary Canadians, with its low COVID-19 an infection charges, comparatively inexpensive actual property and simple seaside and wilderness entry.

An internet marketing campaign launched by Tourism Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Enterprise Inc. in late 2020 inspired individuals who do business from home to contemplate transferring to the province, buoying a multi-year development of constructive interprovincial migration.

But the confluence of forces has pushed demand for housing within the province far past provide.

Residential gross sales exercise in Nova Scotia was up a staggering 65.8 per cent in March year-over-year, in keeping with the Canadian Actual Property Affiliation.

The scenario has pushed the common worth of a house in Nova Scotia up greater than 25 per cent in March in comparison with the identical month final 12 months, the affiliation mentioned.

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In Halifax, house costs climbed practically 35 per cent in comparison with the 12 months earlier than – among the many highest within the nation, CREA mentioned.

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Nonetheless, the common seasonally adjusted house worth in Halifax was $457,017 in March, considerably beneath Toronto or Vancouver, which each topped one million {dollars}, and cheaper than the Canadian city residential common of $707,026, the affiliation mentioned.

“It’s nonetheless very comparatively inexpensive for those that are coming from outdoors Halifax … nevertheless it’s changing into unaffordable for people who find themselves in Halifax,” mentioned Kelvin Ndoro, a senior analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Houses which might be 2,500-square-feet or greater have seen probably the most demand, with year-over-year gross sales development of 158 per cent as patrons proceed to search for more room, the nation’s housing company mentioned in February.

“With individuals working from house, massive household properties are in model once more,” Malone mentioned.

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But with costs above ranges that housing market fundamentals would in any other case dictate, Ndoro mentioned there’s proof of overvaluation. This might result in incentives for extreme building and probably the chance of a worth correction, he mentioned.

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“Our housing market evaluation factors to excessive vulnerabilities within the Halifax market,” Ndoro mentioned.

Malone, who focuses on promoting properties in Lunenburg County, mentioned with stock down, exercise up and rates of interest at all-time low ranges, she doesn’t count on the market to chill down any time quickly.

“Because the stock comes available on the market, there are patrons already ready for these properties.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed April 19, 2021.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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