Is this a hot market to watch?

A new report projects that Nova Scotia will come out ahead of the national average for economic growth this year, with a rise in population as workers from out West return home. But what does this mean for landlords in the region?

“In most local markets, property owners expecting to make huge leaps in value overnight will be disappointed,” said Vanessa Roman, a real estate agent and the host of HGTV’s Reno vs Relocate.

“The more sensible and realistic outlook is that housing values here will continue to be a solid, but longer-term investment opportunities.”

The BMO Blue Book, which was released on Monday, projected that Nova Scotia’s GDP will grow 1.9 per cent, up from a 1.6 per cent pace in 2014.

“Despite lower energy prices, two key oil and gas corporations intend to continue their multibillion-dollar explorations of Nova Scotia’s offshore,” said Carolyn Booth, senior vice-president of the Atlantic provinces division for the bank.

“Many Nova Scotian workers are returning from Western Canada, which has provided relief to Nova Scotia’s labour market, which has long experienced a shortage of skilled workers.”

Roman added: “There is also a big increase in the number of military relocations both in and out of Nova Scotia this year, which also helps to boost the overall market activity in the area.”

This influx in the labour force and population growth for the province translates to more renters and a flurry of real estate activity. In Fairview, for instance, sales were up 14 per cent compared to the same time last year, while Halifax South sales were up 25 per cent and Dartmouth sales were up 14 per cent.

Teranet-National Bank's latest price index, published yesterday, showed that house prices were up 0.7 per cent in April compared to March, and up 1.2 per cent compared to the previous year.

Sheelagh Priestly, an agent with Sutton Group Professional Realty, based in Nova Scotia’s South Shore, has noticed a flood of action in her area.

“Three tracts of land that had been on the market for years all sold in the last month,” she said.  “In terms of investment, the ROI is great.”​

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