Halifax is the capital city of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia and a popular destination for homebuyers seeking to live in a vibrant, coastal city. Known for its rich maritime history, world-renowned seafood, and bustling arts scene, Halifax has something to offer for everyone. The city’s real estate market is fueled by factors such as a growing population, and an improving municipal infrastructure that includes modern roads, public transportation, and community services. With a variety of neighborhoods to choose from, homebuyers can find everything from historic homes to modern waterfront condos. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, Halifax’s real estate market is worth exploring.
” The Halifax Regional Municipality has seen massive gains in home prices in the last three years with a peak in April 2022 with the average home selling for $564,000. This is due to a few obvious reasons and a couple that folks may not completely realize. Halifax is the largest city East of Montreal, and over the past 5 years we have seen a strong increase in multiculturalism with our food and entertainment scene exploding. We have a provincial government that for many years has focused on encouraging immigration. We have also seen massive population gains through in-migration; Nova Scotia has been a “have-not” province for decades and now we have more young people moving back home than ever!
We are seeing a push on single-family, condo, and apartment developments. Our market is still very seller centric and I do not see that changing for the foreseeable future until substantial development happens. Our inventory across the board is very below demand, as I mentioned earlier, and I worry that we are going to see another price run-up in Q2 of 2023.
I keep hearing from buyers and those thinking of buying “is now a good time to buy?”. I constantly say that the BEST time to buy is always yesterday. If you can afford the payments and you find a home that you love, then do not wait to get into the market! We are only going to see continued inventory pressures that will inevitably mean increased prices, especially if rates come down at all. ” – Nick Ogden
The Halifax Regional Municipality has seen massive gains in home prices in the last three years with a peak in April 2022 with the average home selling for $564,000.
Real estate can be a great investment opportunity, especially in a country like Canada where the housing market has traditionally seen a stable trend to the upside. If you’re considering investing in Canadian real estate, now may be the perfect time to do so.
Let’s take a look at the last major recession as an example of what we may have in store for our future. According to Listing.ca, the median price of a home in Toronto was $338,000 in December of 2008, around halfway through the infamous great recession which officially started at the tail end of 2007. 10 years later in December of 2018 that same home would be worth $702,500, over doubling your initial investment. Flash forward another 4 years to today and the median price of a home in Toronto is sitting at $840,000. Looking at any data over the past decades of the Canadian real estate market will show similar trends of gradually rising home prices, marked by the occasional recession which shaves 10-30% off the top. The trend has remained however that homeowners in Canada who have bought and held for any significant amount of time have seen quite a decent return on their investment.
One of the most important factors to consider when investing in real estate is your financial situation. It’s important to have a solid financial foundation and be in a position to afford the investment. Rising interest rates have indeed made it even harder for Canadians to afford their monthly mortgage payments, but at the same time home prices are down from their peak meaning lower down payments and monthly equity payments.
“Owning a home has more costs associated with it than most people think. You have to take into account things like maintenance, utilities, property taxes. Closing costs alone can add another 5% of the home’s value to the cash you’ll need.” – Head of mortgage advisory Ali Hussin
The Bank of Canada interest rate announcements influence the mortgage rates offered by banks and lenders. When rates are higher, mortgages become less affordable and demand for mortgages drop. As a result the real estate market sees less sellers and demand is lower which has a downward effect on the price of homes. On the other hand, when mortgage rates are low, it becomes easier to afford a home and demand rises as a result, putting upward pressure on the price of homes.
Interest rates, inventory, municipal infrastructure, the job market, and population are all important factors that can impact the real estate market in Canada.
Interest rates play a key role in the real estate market because they affect the affordability of mortgages. When interest rates are low, it becomes easier for people to borrow money to purchase a home, which can lead to an increase in demand for real estate. On the other hand, when interest rates are high, borrowing becomes more expensive and demand may decrease.
Inventory refers to the number of homes that are available for sale in a given area. When inventory is low, there may be more competition among buyers, which can drive up prices. When inventory is high, there may be less competition and prices may decrease.
Municipal infrastructure, such as roads, public transportation, and community services, can also impact the real estate market. Areas with good infrastructure are more desirable to buyers, which can increase prices. Areas with poor infrastructure may be less desirable and prices may be lower as a result.
Similarly, the job market also plays a part in real estate prices in a specific city. If job prospects are poor and there aren’t many employment opportunities, there may be less demand in a given city.
Finally, population plays a huge role in the real estate market. Areas with a growing population experience increased demand for real estate, which can drive up prices. On the other hand, areas with a declining population experience decreased demand and lower prices.
If you’re a skeptic when it comes to the idea of an increasing real estate market, and historical data isn’t enough to convince you that a massive crash isn’t on the way, it might be a good idea to get a refresher on our microeconomics.
The price of homes in the housing market is largely a function of supply and demand like most markets. The current dip in prices can be attributed to rising interest rates which brings down mortgage affordability and therefore demand. At the same time Canada’s real estate market has held a similar trend to its steadily increasing population. After-all people need a place to live and more people means more demand for housing.
With the Canadian government committing to record increases in immigration to combat labor shortages, it’s easy to imagine why demand will remain high in the future. On the supply side of things however, experts are predicting that the plan for new housing in cities like Toronto won’t be enough to improve affordability.
Going with a big bank over a mortgage broker is one of the most common mistakes first time home buyers make, and this usually leads to you leaving money on the table. Sure, it can take a little longer to shop around and compare offers, but if you apply at a mortgage brokerage like Perch, you can shop and compare mortgages from 30+ lenders in one place and see what you qualify for. Your mortgage advisor is your best friend in this process, and they can let you know about the pros and cons of each lender’s offer.
Shopping around with a mortgage broker could save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. Taking the time to research different lenders, compare rates and terms, and choose the mortgage that suits your situation can pay dividends years into your homeownership journey.