Investors in Nova Scotia’s HRM remain bullish on the market, despite the latest CREA numbers suggesting a boom from the much-touted shipyard contract could take more time than expected.
“I think Halifax has a pretty solid record historically,” Paul MacNeil, a 26-year veteran sales rep in Halifax, tells REP. “I can see some changes here; immigration will be changing things.”
While Halifax saw year-over-year increases in the average sales price, namely a 1.8 per cent rise, that’s still below the national average of a 5.9 per cent increase. The hike in the number units sold throughout the HRM was higher at 9.3 per cent, likely a function of supply continuing to outweigh demand.
That means investors are still in a position to capitalize on the HRM’s current buyers’ market, ahead of the city’s $2 billion shipyard contract.
Like many of Halifax’s industries, the shipyard is effectively a government project phased in over a number of years. Its announcement two years ago stirred interest in the Halifax region and, for investors, not only lifted their expectations in the number of potential renters, but also boosted their confidence in the much-awaiting housing boom.
That boom hasn’t yet happened.
“You might get more density in the northern parts,” says McNeil, pointing to the shipyard. “But in terms of a city, you need more than that to keep it going.”
Still, MacNeil isn’t alone in believing the future for Halifax is a good one.
“Evidence suggests that some sellers have begun to soften their position on what they are willing to accept by way of offers in regards to price,” says CREA’s chief economist, Gregory Klump. “Over the rest of the year, CREA expects that sales will gradually draw down inventories, return the market from buyer’s to balanced territory, and ultimately cause prices to become firmer.”
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