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).

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


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

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 anytime.

All the Best for 2014!

Looking ahead to 2024 housing prices…

Halifax Real Estate – Nova Scotia

2011 Local Real Estate Market off to Good Start….

March 7, 2011

March school break usually marks the transition into our Spring market. This year is different. The February timing of the Canada Games held in Halifax this year has focused ‘Spring Market Enthusiasm’ early. Open house activity, new listings and sales are picking up pace. Mortgage rates are also supporting the confidence. Most Halifax and HRM prices are still very affordable by national standards. And though the average national consumer debt has recently been reported as being at an all time high, demographic shifting is fuelling the market… especially amongst baby boomers and first time home buyers. Some properties are being sold to cash in & enjoy the benefits of lifelong retirement planning and investments, others to consolidate debt, move up or downsize. Rents are also changing and in many cases climbing with the recent change in Nova Scotia tenancy laws granting immediate tenure. More incentive to own versus rent…

Best Regards, Michele… Halifax Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker

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