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Halifax home prices to rise 5 per cent by end of 2024: report

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A new report released on Friday by the Royal LePage House Price Survey said the aggregate price of a home throughout Canada has increased 4.3 per cent year over year to $812,100 in the first quarter of 2024.

Royal Lepage Atlantic president, Matt Honsberger told CTV’s Todd Battis in an interview Friday the Canadian real estate market has hit a “critical tipping point.”

“I think a lot of people didn’t realize we were in the middle of taking a breath last year,” he says. “It didn’t maybe feel like we were, but now were at the point where there’s a huge population growth that we’ve seen over the last five years. Interest rates have risen and that’s had its effect on the economy.”

Honsberger says estimates show that interest rates are expected to start coming down, putting more upper pressure on the housing market.

“We still think there are a lot of people sitting on the sidelines waiting for that moment where they see the rates drop,” he says.

The report also states the aggregate price of a home within Halifax has increased 7.0 per cent year over year to $508,100 in the first quarter of 2024.

The median price of a single-family detached home has increased 8.0 per cent year over year to $575,000 in the first quarter of 2024, while the median price of a condo increased modestly by 0.8 per cent to $404,900.

Honsberger says they have seen around 35 per cent of the homes in Halifax sold at or above the listed price in the first quarter of 2024.

“That means there are people out there competing for homes again and if you’re waiting for the rates to start coming down again, you will likely be competing with a lot more people,” he says. “I don’t know if the rate help is going to be offset by the increase in price.”

Honsberger added that inventory in Halifax is low as the city continues to grapple with a housing supply shortage, which is keeping upward pressure on house prices.

“You read what the federal government announced today (Friday) with their housing initiatives. They clearly are aware that there is a supply issue and that’s very true here in Halifax. Were at about half of what we would normally expect.”

He adds Charlottetown and Halifax has seen more sales in the first quarter of 2024 than 2023. While Fredericton and Saint John are down, and Moncton is right around par.

“It’s a little bit varied across the region, but really what I would say is Halifax tends to be the leader there and then New Brunswick tends to follow.”

When compared to the rest of the country, Honsberger said the Atlantic region is still a bargain.

“Certainly New Brunswick, Charlottetown those kind of places,” he says. “Halifax yes I think has kind of been seeing price increases to the point where it computable to some of the bigger and midsize markets across the country. When you get to New Brunswick there is all kinds of incredible value there.”

“Were walking this delicate balance of trying to make housing affordable for those trying to enter the market, but if that opens the door up to many more rushing in then it’s going to push prices back up again,” he adds.

Honsberger said people are ultimately looking for a “front door.”

“That is the big change we saw during the pandemic. In Halifax here we were building as kinds of stock, densifying downtown, were trying to encourage apartment buildings and things like that downtown, and during the pandemic we discovered people wanted to go out to their backyard, or out their front door.” 

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