July 2020 Canada Realty News Newsletter Article

Happy Summer! The Maritime borders are open, Covid19 cases are finally at a record low and our Real Estate market is hot! Competing offers are once again the norm for good listings and our Sellers Market is driving prices up.

Since my last newsletter 4 weeks ago;

In HRM there have been;

  • 350 new listings
  • 196 conditional sales
  • 674 MLS sales that have firmed up
  • 6 listings that have been withdrawn

Across all of Nova Scotia there have been 1201 MLS residential sales that have firmed up and there are currently 346 conditional sales showing.

112 of the sales across Nova Scotia have sold for $500,000 or more of which 106 of the residential properties are in HRM.

The highest recorded MLS sale in the last 4 weeks is $1,350,000 (this property was on the market for 1 day and sold for full price)

So this months question is… Is it time to buy a second property or move outside of HRM? Currently there are over 2000 active detached residential MLS listings outside of HRM, across Nova Scotia. 555 of those listings are listed with waterfrontage of which;

  • 70 are listed as cottages from $59,900 to $1,150,000.
  • Closer to Halifax, 42 of those listings are listed under $300,000.
  • of which 22 are under $200,000…

Curious about those listings or any others? If you are ready to get back into the market or to buy your dream waterfrontage cottage or, anytime you know someone else who is, please contact me anytime!

Happy Summer!

With Gratitude,
Michele

June 2020 Canada Realty News Newsletter Article

Well… the sun is shining, flowers are blooming and we are almost a week with no new Covid19 cases reported. And, our local Halifax Real Estate ‘Spring Market’ seems to be in full gear. Indications of a re-activated market started about 4 weeks ago and now, the market seems to be moving forward from where we left off around March 8, 2020, the Covid19 Pandemic Nova Scotia Province wide shut down. After 14 weeks, we appear to be right back into the sellers market. It looks like many of the buyers who ‘paused their search’ are coming back, competing on many listings and we continue to have fewer ‘good listings’.

So the question is; are there any ‘deals’? As always, prices are being determined by market demand and they don’t appear to be falling as predicted by many experts. However, in any sellers market, some sellers will list at an established market value plus i.e. 10% because they have heard that our market is going up i.e. 10%. More often than not, those listings become ‘deals’. The ‘market value +’  list price strategy backfires and results in having to lower their price – sometimes more than they would have needed to had they listed at market value. Good marketing, an established market value list price – based on the most recent solds – and working with an experienced agent is the best formula for any seller. The market, if given the right opportunity, will always determine the true maximum value. Speaking of which… there are some great listings out there that have recently come to market… that were priced too high… and … of course!… are now being reduced…

Curious about those listings or any others? If you are ready to get back into the market or know someone else who is, please contact me anytime!

Happy Spring!

With Gratitude,
Michele

May 2020 Canada Realty News Newsletter Article

Hello,
Well, the light seems to finally be blinking at the end of this tunnel! With a little more perseverance and luck we may be back to a kind of test run ‘new normal’ within a few weeks! What a time this is. So much has been learned about ourselves, our communities, our province, our country and the world. I am ever hopeful that the positive outcomes will outweigh the negatives as time goes on. The tragedies, the deaths, the sickness and the challenges will clearly never be forgotten. The ‘why’s’ will hopefully be met with more answers to help dull the sadness for so many people. The fortunate ones, which thankfully includes many of us, especially in Nova Scotia thanks to our amazing government, healthcare and service workers, dedication and leadership, I think will come out of this with a renewed sense of responsibility to find ways to show and live our gratitude. Ever the optimist, I believe that the possibilities are endless and exciting! Please continue to stay safe, healthy and well. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
With Sincere Gratitude,
Michele

April 2020 Canada Realty News Newsletter Article

Hello,
Well, the light seems to finally be blinking at the end of this tunnel! With a little more perseverance and luck we may be back to a kind of test run ‘new normal’ within a few weeks! What a time this is. So much has been learned about ourselves, our communities, our province, our country and the world. I am ever hopeful that the positive outcomes will outweigh the negatives as time goes on. The tragedies, the deaths, the sickness and the challenges will clearly never be forgotten. The ‘why’s’ will hopefully be met with more answers to help dull the sadness for so many people. The fortunate ones, which thankfully includes many of us, especially in Nova Scotia thanks to our amazing government, healthcare and service workers, dedication and leadership, I think will come out of this with a renewed sense of responsibility to find ways to show and live our gratitude. Ever the optimist, I believe that the possibilities are endless and exciting! Please continue to stay safe, healthy and well. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
With Sincere Gratitude,
Michele

March 2020 Canada Realty News Newsletter Article

Hello!

Winter is nearly over and the Real Estate Spring Market seems to have started early. Competing offers have been the norm in February on ‘good listings’ – the highest number of offers that I am aware so far is 11 offers! 

Here is the ‘at a glance’ MLS® February sales data for HRM as compared to February 2019. Sales were up over 25% and selling prices were up approximately 10% across HRM, based on median sales prices.

  • In HRM there were 443 residential MLS® solds with an average selling price of $324,213. (median selling price $299,900.) last month
  • Compared to 351 residential MLS® solds in February, 2019 with an average selling price of $299,220. (median selling price $269,500.)

Peninsula Halifax Only – Sales were up over 13% and selling prices were up approximately 7% based on the median sales price.

  • there were 53 residential MLS® solds last month at an average selling price of $435,665. (median selling price  $415,000.)
  • Compared to 46 residential MLS® solds, in February 2019, at an average selling price of $428,634. (median selling price $383,000.)

As always, thank you for your support and for your business!

Please contact me anytime to discuss your property’s current market value, your possible buying or selling plans or to request a timely general market overview. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards, Michele   

February 2020 Canada Realty News Newsletter Article

The question on most people’s minds seems to be ‘what will happen to our prices this year?’ While some of the out of province larger markets are more subject to price fluctuations, we are fortunate that our local Halifax market still seems to be staying the course of steady progressive growth. Last year, 2019, our market tipped over to a sellers market with prices increasing almost across the board, especially for well maintained properties. 2020 is forecasted to be a continuation of the same. So is this the right time to buy or sell? Since real estate markets are cyclical, each year offers different levels of buying and selling opportunities so, in my opinion, it very much depends on your next 5-7 year goals.

Please contact me anytime to discuss your property’s current market value, your possible buying or selling plans or to request a timely general market overview. In the meantime I have included a snapshot of our HRM 2019 solds by ‘season’ below to help you track and compare the market as we move forward into 2020.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards, Michele    

2019 Halifax Regional Municipal MLS® Solds by Season

January to March

  • 1144 Sold MLS® Listings

April to June

  • 2639 Sold MLS® Listings

July to September

  • 1538 Sold MLS® Listings

October to December

  • 718 Sold MLS® Listings

Is the supply of detached homes, under $200,000. on the Halifax Peninsula really changing?

Is the supply of detached homes, under $200,000. on the Halifax Peninsula really changing?

For anyone considering a move to Halifax and wanting the conveniences of short easy walking, biking or a quick bus ride to downtown Halifax, the first place they usually look is ‘The Peninsula’. Divided into 4 areas; south, west, central and north, most areas offer the urban walk-able living lifestyle with close proximity to shopping, cafe’s, restaurants, theaters, Churches, green spaces, parks and community gathering places.  And, of course, surrounded by the ocean with the Halifax Harbor on one side and the Northwest Arm on the other. Next comes the question of affordability…

Generally speaking, since 2012, less than 1% of detached homes sold on MLS® on the peninsula were under $200,000. and an average of 3% of detached homes sold on MLS® on the peninsula were over $1 million dollars.

On the entry level end, since 2012, excluding condo’s, the actual percentage and number of detached homes MLS® sold under $200,000 hasn’t really changed (except for 2016-2017) but what these numbers don’t show is the size of the homes sold. Each year the listings under $200000. tend to be smaller and typically are bungalows.;

2012-2013 .6% of total Halifax Peninsula Sales (4 homes)

2013-2014 .7% (4 homes)

2014-2015 .7% (4 homes)

2015-2016 .8% (5 homes)

2016-2017 1.6% (11 homes)

2017 (Jan-Sept) .6% (3 homes)

On the high end, since 2012, the MLS® sales of properties over $1 million dollar has generally been increasing.

2012-2013 2.4% of total Halifax Peninsula Sales

2013-2014 2%

2014-2015 2.9%

2015-2016 3.8%

2016-2017 4.9%

2017 (Jan-Sept) 3.6%

So what does this mean? My professional opinion is to buy anything detached under $200000. (excluding main thoroughfares) on the peninsula to maximize your real estate investment – especially if you are a first time home buyer!  Compromise on space, forgo costly renovations (except paint and utilities) and hold until the increase in the market pays for your utility upgrades and doubles your down-payment to buy your next home. It may happen faster than you think! Logic and historical real estate patterns says that any real estate that offers time saving easy lifestyle living will become more valuable as our demographics shift and our needs and demands re-prioritize. Consider how in 2000 approximately 40% of all MLS® sales of detached properties on the Peninsula were under $200,000. compared to less than 4% so far this year. According to NSAR and CREA our HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) overall prices have increased 4.2% in the last year.  It also lists our average price at $297,700. but that is based on MLS® sales of properties covering all of HRM which is a very large area. (approximately 1 hour by car from one end to the other).

http://creastats.crea.ca/nsar/

Ready to buy? Call me anytime. ‘Let’s Talk Real Estate!’

~ Michele Vyge-Fraser (902) 830-6397

Red Door Realty Agent/Associate Broker with over 20 years experience

 

Fall 2014 – Halifax Real Estate Market – Are Prices Really Falling?

Oct. 20, 2014

A quick snapshot of MLS® across HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) residential sales in the last 30 days as compared to the last 3 years, 2005 and 2001 suggests that average prices have fallen just over 1% in the last year;

2014 – Sold 343 – average list price $266,813.41 average sold price $255.835.06 – list to sale ratio 95.9%

2013 – Sold 355 – average list price $269,108.25 average sold price $258,847.39 – list to sale ratio 96.2%

2012 – Sold 433 – average list price $252,334.13 average sold price $245,433.97 – list to sale ratio 97.3%

2008 – Sold 408 – average list price $221,522.42 average sold price $215,925.09 – list to sale ratio 97.47%

2005 – Sold 470 – average list price $187,758.94 average sold price $181,318.50 – list to sale ratio 96.6%

2001 – Sold 490 – average list price $129,376.69 average sold price $125,130.59 – list to sale ratio 96.7%

Considering the speculative spike in prices and new housing sales from 2012-2013, this adjustment on primarily re-sale properties was inevitable. The question is, ‘is our market moving up again?’

A comparison of Halifax median household incomes from Statistics Canada says that before tax dollars has risen an average of 2.06% each year from 2008-2012. More importantly, using a factor of 3x household income and the 2012 Halifax median household income of $80490. suggests a safe affordability of $241380 in 2012. Average prices were almost 2% higher. That may not sound like a lot but given our Maritime cautious progressive growth culture, market price sensitivity and other factors, it was enough to tip the market scales in favor of buyers in 2014.

Assuming similar median household income increases from 2012-2016 the safe affordability average price in HRM should increase to $267387.42 in 2016. Still lower than the average selling price 2013 yet based on the current average selling price, if average prices increase 2% per year for the next couple of years, the average price could be $266170.80. Some experts suggest that real estate markets become severely unaffordable when average real estate prices exceed 5x household incomes. Others suggest that the affordability factor should now be 5% to reflect the low interest rates and reductions in household debt.

What determines market conditions? In its simplest form a buyer’s market happens when there are more listings than sales, a seller’s market happens when there are too few good listings to satisfy buyer demand and a balanced market happens when both sides are more or less equally satisfied. Until recently, our local challenge has been a buyer’s market with too many seller’s holding at list prices that are too high. Their rational? In quite a few cases seller’s want to recoup both their original investment and 100%+ of their expensive renovation costs. The reality is, unless we are in a seller’s market, approximately 50% of renovation costs is a more realistic expectation if completed within the last 3 years on homes purchased in the last 7 years – unless the renovations are utility items i.e. windows, roof, wiring, plumbing in which case 100% payback is acceptable by most buyer’s.

Earlier this year I attended a CMHC market review session and challenged the accuracy of list to sale ratios being presented to the public. My question was ‘are these calculated numbers telling the whole story including the original list price?’ The response was ‘the original list price is not the marker, it is the list price that ultimately attracts the winning offer – even if reduced – that most accurately reflects the list to sale ratio’. And that ‘days on market’ are also presented to the public which should help everyone understand the tenacity and conditions of the market.  Agreed. However… I continue to maintain that for the sake of simple accuracy and headlines, list to sale ratios should reflect original list prices to be true to reflecting market conditions. That this is significant information on many levels but most importantly they guide confidence levels and decisions of real estate clients and they feed into government considerations regarding interest rates. As my clients know, as an agent I review the list price history of the subject and comparable properties as part of determining market value and guiding our negotiations strategy. High list to sale price ratios suggest a changing market in favor of seller’s.

Next article… a comparison of annual list to sell ratio’s. In the meantime, with so many listings still on the market there are some exceptional ‘deals’ out there. Please call me anytime to move on your real estate goals.

~ Michele Vyge-Fraser (Red Door Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker) (902) 830-6397

Numbers Suggest Our Market is Ready for 2014 Move-up Buyers!

If Craig Alexander – TD Chief Economist is on the money again, these numbers could suggest that our market is ready for our move-up buyers to make their move in 2014. I would love your opinion. Happy New Year – May 2014 be better than ever!

In an article by Roger Taylor – Chronicle Herald – March 4, 2013                                                                                                        “… Craig Alexander, senior vice-president and chief economist with TD Financial Group was quoted saying ‘Halifax’s housing affordability is the envy of the rest of the country. “If you compare the average income of individuals in Halifax to the price of homes, there are no signs of excess valuation,” Alexander told me on the phone from Washington, D.C., where he was attending a conference. Alexander says it only takes about 3½ to four years of income to fully pay for an average home in Halifax. The national average is about five. Toronto is modestly above the national average. In a hot market like Vancouver, it takes 11 years’ worth of income to acquire a home. Having low affordability works in favour of first-time home buyers, but an economy also needs home prices to grow to allow existing homeowners to benefit from the appreciating value of their home over time, he says.The worst thing to happen to the economy would be boom-and-bust cycles. Alexander says he hasn’t identified an economic catalyst that would lead to a significant weakening in the Halifax real estate market.“I don’t think (Halifax) economic activity will be booming (in 2013). But at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything on the horizon that would suggest a correction in sales and prices is imminent.”
Changes to mortgage insurance rules last year may have discouraged some people from purchasing a home, says Alexander, but he believes that will abate as time goes on and people have time to adjust to meet the new financing requirements. The shipbuilding work has been slower to happen than most would have hoped, but he says it will happen and the economy will benefit from that activity.
“I just don’t subscribe to the idea that Halifax is headed for a significant economic correction.”

The CMHC’s Matthew Gilmore agrees that 2013 will be relatively flat for the economy and, more specifically, the Halifax real estate market. But things should start to pick up closer to the end of the year, and economic activity should really improve in 2014. Although sales will be flat this year, home prices should grow by two or three per cent, he says.”

I have heard both Craig Alexander and Matthew Gilmore speak over the last few years and am always impressed with their common sense approach and accuracy. Written in March of last year, it is interesting to review it again as we start 2014. The  point that most stands out for me going forward is the idea of it taking 3 ½ – 4 years of income to fully pay for an average home in Halifax as compared to the national average of about 5 years. Considering the median total income in 2011 for Halifax was $78690. (According to Statistics Canada) we should now be closer to at least $80000. Times 4 suggests an average HRM affordability of $320000. My 2013 housing statistics review in my newsletter last month confirmed much of their positions in the article.  (to subscribe please contact me or go to michelevygefraser.com)

A quick recap of 2013 MLS ® HRM residential only sales:

3401 sold between $50,000 -$300,000
(compared with 2144 currently for sale)

656 sold between $300,000 -$350,000
(compared with 444 currently for sale)

1051 sold over $350000. of which 17 were over $1 million
(1206 currently for sale $350000 -$1.m & 47 over 1 million)

Again, if Craig Alexander is on the money, these numbers could suggest that our market is ready for our move-up buyers to make their move in 2014. What is your opinion? Are you ready to buy or sell?
Please call or send me an email at 902-830-6397 or novascotiarealestate@gmail.com anytime.

All the Best for 2014!
Michele

Looking ahead to 2024 housing prices…