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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2008, 9:56 PM
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Halifax Housing Market

Figured this is a good article to start a thread with on this topic:


Quote:
Halifax home sales down but prices up

By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
Tue. Dec 9 - 6:17 AM

Existing home sales in Halifax will be down as much as 10 per cent in 2008, but prices are up, says a senior market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

"The local economy is holding up well," Matthew Gilmour, who works at the Atlantic Business Centre in Halifax, said Monday, explaining the rising price trend in the face of declining sales.

The corporation projects that Multiple Listing Service prices for existing homes in Halifax will increase by six to seven per cent in 2008, to an average $230,000, and by another three to four per cent in 2009.

Mr. Gilmour said the local economy’s emphasis on public sector employment, thanks to government, military and educational institutions as well as hospitals, makes it somewhat isolated from the challenges facing the manufacturing and export sectors.

"There’s . . . stability," he said.

Mr. Gilmour said there were 212,500 people employed in Halifax in November, a record high.

He said economic uncertainty has contributed to a projected eight to 10 per cent drop in MLS sales in Halifax in 2008.

But Mr. Gilmour said the Halifax housing market inventory was "picked over" as a result of record sales in 2007 and that 2008 sales levels are in line with "more traditional" 2006 levels.

He said construction levels in Halifax remain relatively high and demand for construction labour has helped keep unemployment rates low and driven wages up.

"Without labour force growth, it puts pressure on wages."

Mr. Gilmour said the difficulty in securing labour has slowed Halifax’s condominium construction market, as has the current economic situation, which he indicated is making developers think twice about proceeding with projects.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2008, 10:46 PM
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At the end of the day the city is very closely connected to the economy of North America as a whole but I still think it will perform fairly well.

The real estate market in Halifax specifically was much more conservative than in other cities (especially in the US). The city also has big cost advantages over some other places plus a more stable mixed economy (government, health care, military, universities).

Skyrocketing real estate prices and labour shortages were never a particularly good thing.
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 1:53 AM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
At the end of the day the city is very closely connected to the economy of North America as a whole but I still think it will perform fairly well.

The real estate market in Halifax specifically was much more conservative than in other cities (especially in the US). The city also has big cost advantages over some other places plus a more stable mixed economy (government, health care, military, universities).

Skyrocketing real estate prices and labour shortages were never a particularly good thing.
Well said. This article underscores how development (although rather small in scale and spread out) has been of signficant importance to the local economy. I think Halifax is well positioned post-recession, as international financial services might find our economy more attractive.

Lets go Trillium!
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2010, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Fourth-quarter real-estate prices in Halifax make gains: Report

Real-estate prices are rising across Halifax, according to a Royale LePage report issued Thursday.

The average fourth-quarter price for detached bungalows rose 10.7 per cent over last year to $238,000, two-storey houses rose 1.8 per cent to $265,333 and condos rose 4.7 per cent to $167,000.

Royale LePage attributed the growth to workers returning from out West to buy homes and growth in the technology industry.

Nationally, the average price of detached bungalows rose to $315,055 (up six per cent), standard two-storey homes rose to $353,026 (up 5.2 per cent) and standard condos rose to $205,756 (up 6.4 per cent).

Royale LePage predicted Canada’s real-estate market will remain “unusually strong” through the first half of 2010.
Link to the article: http://www.metronews.ca/halifax/loca...e-gains-report
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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 1:47 AM
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Housing starts in the HRM are up dramatically so far in the first two months of 2010 versus 2009. The data tables are here: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/a.../08/c7707.html . Hopefully this trend will continue for the remainder of the year.

The value of building permits is also up significantly so far in the first month (January) of 2010: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quoti...0304a3-eng.htm . Maybe this will be a record year for the HRM with the convention/trade centre and central library possibly starting and other large scale projects under construction such as King's Wharf and the Trillium.
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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 7:12 PM
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Thats great news regarding the housing starts.

Just a quick question though. Am I reading correctly that Halifax has 292 starts for Feburary while the entire atlantic provinces had 430? If so thats a very good ratio.
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishblade View Post
Thats great news regarding the housing starts.

Just a quick question though. Am I reading correctly that Halifax has 292 starts for Feburary while the entire atlantic provinces had 430? If so thats a very good ratio.
Based on the article this is correct. It certainly is a good ratio. The St John's building permits were quite high but maybe only a small portion is residential.
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2010, 10:45 PM
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There was more positive news lately about condo prices in Halifax. Maybe developers will look at moving forward with some of the projects that have been on hold since 2008 (United Gulf and the Alexander, for example).
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2010, 10:57 PM
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It should be interesting to see the stats in the 3rd qtr here.

With the hst increase in July, and new building code requirements there is a significant cost to building new homes.

2% increase in HST
Roughly a 2% increase in costs related to new building codes imposed in Jan of this year.
that and the no longer offered 2% rebate offered to new homes the effective increase in homes costs is 6% over last year (in July).

Therefore it will be interesting to see if the increase pace can continue as there are a number of large residential developments like Ravines and Bedford West still ongoing.
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2010, 12:59 AM
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Ontario has introduced a Harmonized Sales Tax of 13% that comes into effect on July 1 2010. Previously, it was the GST plus 8% PST (it was a total of 15% until the Federal government decreased the GST to 5%).

What are the regulations for tax on new homes and condos in Nova Scotia?

I copied a section of the Ontario regulations below. (Source: http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/taxchange/consumers.html). In the past the GST was supposed to be applied to new homes but the two times that I bought new homes in the past 12 years the GST was included in the sale price (through the home builder).

Quote:
Buyers of new homes will receive a rebate of up to $24,000 regardless of the price of the new home.

* Buyers of new residential rental properties will receive a similar rebate
* The HST will not apply to purchases of resale homes.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 20, 2010, 3:11 PM
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CMHC predicts big bounce in Halifax home sales, starts
Average prices also expected to rise
By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
Thu. May 20 - 4:54 AM


Residential construction and existing home sales in Halifax will rebound in 2010 and 2011, says Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp.

"Positive migration patterns, strong employment levels and near record wages will be supportive of housing demand in Halifax in 2010 and 2011," CMHC market analyst Tim Andrews said in a news release Wednesday.

"New home construction in Halifax is expected to rebound by 22 per cent to 2,120 units in 2010 and increase a further 7.5 per cent in 2011," he said.

"Single-detached starts will climb approximately 14 per cent this year and five per cent in 2011. Multiple starts are forecast to rise 30 per cent in 2010 and another 10 per cent in 2011."

Andrews said in an interview the big bounce in new home construction in Halifax marks a return to pre-recession levels of activity following the economic downturn of 2009.

"That’s getting us up to comparable 2008 levels," he said Wednesday.

Existing home sales in Halifax are expected to grow this year and next year, Andrews said. "MLS sales will grow by almost six per cent in 2010 to 6,200 units and increase a further 2.5 per cent in 2011," he said.

"Average home prices will continue to rise, reaching approximately $243,500 in 2010 and $250,000 in 2011."

CMHC said housing starts will increase across Atlantic Canada this year and in 2011 as low interest rates, rising incomes and moderate job growth encourage consumer spending.

"Single starts will see a moderate recovery in 2010 and 2011 as the economy in Atlantic Canada continues to rebound," said CMHC regional economist Alex MacDonald in a news release.

"Low vacancy rates and demographic trends related to an aging population will contribute to stability for multiple starts, which will remain flat in 2010 and rise moderately in 2011."

Existing home sales in Atlantic Canada are also expected to increase in 2010, with Nova Scotia experiencing a three per cent jump in sales.

Moderate inventory declines in 2009 are expected to push up regional housing prices in 2010.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Home construction soars in Halifax

PHILIP CROUCHER
METRO HALIFAX
June 09, 2010 12:00 a.m.


Residential construction in Halifax went up last month — way up.

According to data released from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., there were 303 housing starts in Halifax for May, up from 126 recorded for the same month in 2009.

Multiple starts increased the most — up to 223 units from 59. Single starts were up to 80 units from 67.

“May numbers were supported by a high level of apartment construction starts as 187 new units broke ground,” Tim Andrews, market analyst with CMHC’s Atlantic Business Centre, said in a release. “The overall increase in construction activity is reflective of stable employment levels, near-record wages and continued in-migration.”

Housing starts in Atlantic Canada were up 22 per cent.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2010, 8:41 PM
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I suspect housing sales will continue to increase for about 5 to 10 years but as time passes the rate will start decreasing - because with the boomers retiring they won't want houses anymore. They will want condos - so you'll see a shift.

What may also occur during the same time is that the housing construction market will shift from greenfield to inner city building. Newer, younger families will see value in the older neighbourhoods like Fairview and Clayton Park (where existing parks and schools are already established) and take down the older, smaller homes and build newer (bigger) homes. That's what's happening now in Fairview/Clayton Park. It will kick off interest in splitting the old 50 foot lots to build 2 singles on them - that's typical out here in Calgary for the inner city. You get narrow sized homes on a 25' lot, but they extend further into the back. Not sure if that will work in Halifax because there are no lanes - 25' homes work well with lanes here. So the driveway issue may see the 50' lots stay together, or there will be a big push to upzone to R-2 so people could do semi's or duplexes.
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2010, 9:14 PM
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I've spoke with a realtor who told me the higher priced houses (over 600K) are selling drastically below their asking prices (50 to 80K below). Anyone else in the know here who can comment on this?

Also, does anyone know a realtor who is able to manipulate the system and have it spit out what houses are actually selling for? My realtor says it can't be done but I bet it can....!
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2010, 9:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy View Post
I've spoke with a realtor who told me the higher priced houses (over 600K) are selling drastically below their asking prices (50 to 80K below). Anyone else in the know here who can comment on this?
I am told that the big McMansions out in suburbia (i.e. Kingswood, Glen Arbour) are upside down in many cases, with more mortgage debt than their market prices can bring. Apparently that market has slumped bigtime over the last year, with peninsula homes in the same price bracket not being affected to the same extent.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2010, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
I suspect housing sales will continue to increase for about 5 to 10 years but as time passes the rate will start decreasing - because with the boomers retiring they won't want houses anymore. They will want condos - so you'll see a shift.
This is probably a noticeable trend but my guess is that it's far important in growing cities than most people expect. Keep in mind that there is immigration and Halifax is more than double the size it was back when the baby boomers were born.

You can look at age cohorts in Halifax here: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recen...B1=All&Custom=

The 20-24 group was 28,125 compared to 28,230 for 50-54. The biggest cohort is 40-44 at 32,745. Arguably that cohort is not baby boomers (60s births are the tail end) and the difference in cohort size is not very dramatic.
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  #17  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2010, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I am told that the big McMansions out in suburbia (i.e. Kingswood, Glen Arbour) are upside down in many cases, with more mortgage debt than their market prices can bring. Apparently that market has slumped bigtime over the last year, with peninsula homes in the same price bracket not being affected to the same extent.
My Parents house in Fall River is on the market for 660,000.
Its been on and off the market for about a year and a half now. The market for these homes right now is very, very bad.
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2010, 10:57 PM
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http://www.viewpoint.ca/ lists current as well as recent listings, where recent listings have both the asking price and the price that the house went for.
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  #19  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2010, 12:58 AM
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I don't know who would want to live all the way out there and there is no way those homes are built with the quality of the victorian I grew up in!

Its always smart to invest in real estate on the peninsula.
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  #20  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2010, 1:58 AM
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The listings that my realtor mailed me (snail mail) showed a lot of 50 - 70K below asking, and one or two ~80K below asking. These are all houses on the peninsula.... and I'm seeing some houses (ie a B&B home that has six bedrooms seven baths for $649k) on the market for a looonnng long time. It has me a bit anxious about buying on the peninsula in the spring (of 2011).
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