COVID-19 has been a boon to Halifax real estate market
HALIFAX -- Three years ago Mark Kenny tried to sell hishouse in Halifax.
"Really had some disappointing results from it," Kenny said.
So Kenny and his wife took it off the market,waited,and then tried again this year.
The couple’s real estate agent, Scott Allison, told them that it was probably going to sell in a weekend.
He was right, and the Kennys did well in the sale.
"It had about 16 or 18 people go through it, and it sold at 10 or 12 per cent above our asking price," Kenny said.
Allison says the real estate market is riding a healthy wave in the sales to listing ratio which measures if houses are selling for more than 100 per cent of the listed price.
"Every house that has been listed in the last month is sold for over asking in a percentage of the sales to list ratio," Allison said. "Recently, a house just sold for $240,000 over asking."
It appears COVID-19 has actually helped the Maritime real estate market.
"We get a lot of free press across North America and around the world for how we have handled the COVID situation," Allison says.
Allison says people are moving here because they feel safe.
As for who is buying properties?
"New Canadians and Canadians coming home," said Allison.
Matt Honsberger from Royal Lepage Atlantic says hypothetically, there are factors that could lead to a downturn in the real estate market.
"If we were to see a significant downturn in the availability of jobs, or all of a sudden the migration pattern towards Atlantic Canada were too slow, I think you could seea bit of a slow down," said Honsberger.
Honsberger does not foresee those things happening anytime soon.
He also says the real estate market has heated up across the Maritimes.
New Brunswick's sales have reached historic highs.
"For the first time in my career, which goes back to 2004, we’ve seen the same kind of market condition in all the areas we are in," Honsberger said.
Allison says as things stand now the inventory of homes for sale is very low.
"We have 1.4 months of inventory," Allison said. "Three years ago we had 7.9 months of inventory in February."
Low inventory of properties for sale combined with a high demand from buyers has resulted in a sizzling real estate market in this region.
On Monday, the Canadian Real Estate Association updated its forecast for home sales activity. Current trends suggest activity will remain strong for the next year resulting in a record number of sales, but those sales are expected to level off by the end of 2022.