The Halifax housing market has been a strong performer in 2021, and the trend is expected to continue through the end of the year. The significant uptick in market activity was largely prompted by COVID-19, when remote work, and the desire for more space and affordability impelled many homebuyers to make the move to Canada’s east coast. Rising home sales and prices, coupled with low days on market and record-low inventory, are giving sellers the upper hand in the region. This echoes conditions seen from coast to coast, with seller’s markets identified in 26 of 29 regions analyzed in the RE/MAX Fall 2021 Housing Market Outlook Report.
RE/MAX NOVA broker Ryan Hartlen reports that many first-time homebuyers who were previously were in search of single-detached homes, have now turned their sights toward semi-detached and townhouse options, due to rising detached prices. The impact of high demand has also been felt in Halifax’s condo property segment, which saw sales increase more than 55% year-over-year, and prices followed suit.
The Halifax housing market experienced the most-pronounced price growth in condominium properties at +29.1% year-over-year, followed by detached homes at +24.3%, and townhomes at +21.7%.
It is anticipated that average prices across all property types in the Halifax housing market will increase another 6% by the end of 2021.
Also limited in the Halifax market is new construction inventory, with delays and price increases, forcing some to walk away from their purchases. More developments are still on the horizon but will contribute to the current sellers’ market. Over the fall season, it is anticipated that young families will drive demand and inventory levels will slightly increase with typical seasonal trends but not to any extent of balancing the market.
National Canadian Housing Market Trends
Conditions in the Halifax housing market are echoed across the rest of the country, with single-family homes seeing the most pronounced price increases year-over-year in 2021, rising between 6.8 and 27.3 per cent across 26 or 29 markets surveyed in the report. And much like Toronto real estate, activity in this property segment is being propelled by strong demand by young families, a trend that RE/MAX brokers and agents expect to continue through the fall.
The average residential price in Canada, across all housing types, is anticipated to increase by 5% in the remaining months of 2021.
“Housing activity throughout the pandemic has remained strong, so it comes as no surprise that the outlook for the remainder of the year continues on an upward trajectory, which is great for homeowners and their equity, but challenging for first-time buyers who have been priced out of the market,” says Elton Ash, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Canada. “We must continue to educate Canadians from a practical, real world, point of view. What is affecting the Canadian housing market right now? Low Interest rates, economic stimulus, higher home-buying budgets, a higher savings rate, homeowners too scared to sell, and not enough new construction. These factors have created current market conditions.”
Adds Alexander, “The Canadian housing market has historically given homeowners great long-term returns and solid financial security, but there’s no doubt that the rapid price growth we’ve experienced recently is cause for concern. However, it’s not cause for panic. The data shows single-detached home price acceleration may be starting to level off in some urban centres, but prices continue to rise in many smaller cities and communities that were once havens for affordability. Real estate has been a boon to the Canadian economy, during the pandemic and before it. We believe in the long-term health of Canada’s housing market, but in order to protect it, we need to acknowledge and address the housing supply shortage. Our current government needs to stop applying band-aids and cure the problem at its root.”