Halifax market comes off of shipbuilding high

While the number of home sales climbed to 6,528 in July – up 6% over June – that’s down by more than 20 per cent from November, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada.

Halifax home prices are also weaker, averaging $263,932 in July, down 1.7 per cent from June 2012.

That earlier record-setting performance last November followed the announcement Ottawa would give its $25-billion shipbuilding contract to Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding Inc. The news set off a flurry of home sales as sellers looked to cash in on newfound interest in the market and the expected influx of migrant workers.

The buyers of those properties have in many cases been investors from outside the province.

But at least one mortgage broker cautioned against moving to buy on the heels of the shipbuilding buzz.

"But given the start dates for the project, there’s no harm in waiting as long as 12 months before purchasing properties in and around the shipyards site in order to give the market time to come down from its post-announcement excitement,” Brad Compton, a former financial analyst, told CREW.

Those words are offering hope to the many investors still looking to get into the market ahead of that spike in rental demand. Still, prices aren’t likely to fall much further even if sales slow, according to the Conference Board.

In fact, prices in Halifax will be in the 4.5 to five per cent growth range, on par with the average seen here over the last 23 years, Robin Wiebe, chief economist for the board, told The Chronicle Herald. “To us, if the market is balanced, like Halifax’s is, it stands to reason that price growth should be more or less aligned with its long-term average.”

Halifax as an real estate investment destination is the focus of the upcoming Investor Forum in Halifax, October 20, 2012,

For more information or to register for the Investor Forum, please visit www.theinvestorforum.ca

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