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Shifting market: Nova Scotia real estate sales slide as prices increase


Nova Scotia homeowners and potential buyers continue to adjust to a changing market - one vastly different than the same time last year.

New figures from the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors reveal 972 units were sold in the province in September - down almost 28 per cent from the same month last year.

However, the average price is up 7.3 per cent to $379,000.

If that feels a bit like a paradox, experts say it's not.

"The demand is still there," says Matt Dauphinee, the president of the association, adding that home ownership remains a valid and valuable goal for most Nova Scotians, who are actually more likely to find properties they can afford now.

"It spread the buyers into the price brackets they expect to be in and expect the homes to sell in," says Dauphinee.

Others agree the market has become more stable and predictable.             

"We're now seeing properties that are listed at $600,000 that are selling in-and-around $600,000," says Matt Honsberger, the president of  Royal LePage Atlantic.

No longer driven by out-of-control bidding wars, the Bank of Canada's parade of interest rate hikes is now calling the shots.

"So, as we see rates rise, that's where we start to see buyers say, 'Well, I'm not sure how aggressively I want to go anymore. Maybe I'll wait to see what the impact is.' And sellers do kind of the same thing," says Honsberger.

Other insiders note many homeowners are under a lot of pressure at the moment.

"I think it's a dark time in real estate. I think it's a dark time in mortgage lending - what we do every day," says mortgage broker Clinton Wilkins.

Although it's picked-up in recent weeks, Wilkins admits business has slowed significantly in recent months, and there's growing concern for clients who may not be prepared for the increased payments when their fixed terms expire.

"We are seeing consumers that are renewing into mortgage rates that are double what they had in their previous term," says Wilkins.

The Bank of Canada will announce its latest interest rate decision Wednesday, and the widespread consensus is it will be going up again. Top Stories

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