Atlantic sees hurricane of home demand
October 27, 2020
October 23 listing in Halifax: 3-bedroom house for $369,900. |
Royal LePage, Halifax
Atlantic Canada—especially Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick—has seen a hurricane of housing demand lift sales and prices to record levels this year, according to local data and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
In September 2020, average home prices surged by double-digit percentage points on a year-over-year basis in each province but Newfoundland (where they rose by 7.7 per cent).
Sales volumes hit record totals across the board, according to CREA. Even the worst-performing province, Prince Edward Island, registered a 24.5 per cent year-over-year increase, CREA data shows.
Newfoundland, at 39.5 per cent, reported the largest sales increase. In the last 12 months, inventories have been halved, bringing Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick into a rare seller’s market territory, local agents say.
Much of the demand, realtors say, is coming from Ontario, as buyers discover how far their housing dollar will stretch in the Atlantic markets.
“For what you’d buy the cheapest, absolute worst house next to the railroad tracks in Burlington, Ont. for — $600,000 to $700,000 — you can buy a mansion here,” Michael Poczynek, a Century 21 Northumberland Realty real estate agent in Charlottetown told the National Post.
Atlantic Canada has also erected a successful COVID-19 bubble that has led to the lowest pandemic infections in the country. There have been about 1,600 cases of the disease in the Atlantic provinces since March 2020, compared with more than 154,000 in the rest of Canada and 69,000 in Ontario.
According to the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors (NSAR), 5,530 homes sold between June 1 and September 30 in the province—excluding new constructions.
Of those, 960 sold for $10,000 or more over asking price, with roughly 92 per cent of those higher sales in Halifax, Bedford and Dartmouth.
There were nine properties in Nova Scotia that went for $100,000 or more over the asking price; seven in the urban core.
"I've been in the business since 2004 and I've never really seen anything quite to this degree," said Matt Honsberger, president of Royal LePage Atlantic and past president of NSAR.
"In our office alone, we've participated in a couple of different scenarios where 35-plus offers were received on the property. In both of those cases, we saw the property go for $100,000 [above] asking,” Honsberger told the CBC.