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Is the Real Estate Market in Halifax, NS Really Slowing Down?

Is the Real Estate Market in Halifax, NS Really Slowing Down? 

A Closer Look at the 2023 Stats

What a whirlwind 2023 was. Much slower than we all anticipated. However not surprising.

In 2023, the real estate market in Halifax, Nova Scotia, took a turn that caught many by surprise. After witnessing a booming market in previous years, where everything seemed to be selling like hotcakes, 2023 brought a significant change. According to statistics, 76% of the inventory sold in 2023, compared to 77% in 2022, and in 2021, it seemed like everything was flying off the shelves.

As the year progressed, a curious dynamic emerged. Buyers became more inclined to make lowball offers, while sellers still had high expectations due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 market. However, beneath these surface trends, there are several misconceptions that persist in the Halifax real estate market.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians flocked to Nova Scotia for various reasons. Not only was housing more affordable than in some major urban centers, but the province's low COVID case counts also made it an attractive destination. With remote work becoming the norm, Nova Scotia offered not just affordability but also the allure of ocean serenity and solitude.

Fast forward to 2022-2023, and there's been a shift. Employers are now asking employees to return to the office, and while COVID still lingers, it no longer dominates Canadians' minds as it once did. This shift in mentality is one of the reasons why we are not seeing the same wave of people moving eastward. Instead, the market is now predominantly comprised of local buyers.

Here we are, in what many consider a "normal" market. You might still hear the buzz that there are competitive offers and the market is hot, but I'm here to offer a different perspective. Our current market in Halifax is reminiscent of the years 2017-2019. Having been in real estate since 2010, I've closely tracked our team's numbers over the years. We've experienced a range of transaction volumes, from as low as 100 to as high as 240 (in the exceptional year of 2020). In 2016, only 51% of what we listed sold. But in 2017, I began to notice a shift. I remember listing a home in Lake Echo, and my expectation was that it would take up to 6 months to sell. I couldn't have been more wrong. We listed it in January, and it was sold within 30 days. That year, 72% of our listings sold. This marked a significant change from my previous 7 years in the industry, during which I had often worked in a buyer's market with more than 12 months of inventory.

This means that, if no new listings came onto the market, it would take us a full year to sell the existing inventory. Then COVID-19 arrived, setting a precedent that none of us could have predicted. It was short-lived, but those who were able to sell during that period did exceptionally well. However, for most sellers, that ship has now sailed. 

Now, let's look into some specific statistics about the Halifax real estate market in 2023: 

  • Properties listed under $499,999 were typically selling within 21 days.
  • Listings in the $500,000 - $699,999 range were selling on average within 28 days.
  • Properties in the $700,000 - $899,999 range took an average of 42 days to sell.
  • Listings between $900,000 - $999,999 were on the market for an average of 50 days.
  • Homes priced over a million dollars also took an average of 50 days to sell.

These statistics suggest that homes in these price ranges were priced appropriately, leading to relatively quick sales. However, it's essential to consider the properties that are still on the market and have yet to sell.

  • Homes priced between $400,000 - $499,999 remained on the market for an average of 90 days, with the longest listing sitting for 227 days. There are still 39 homes from 2023 in this price point on the market.
  • Properties priced between $500,000 - $599,999 were on the market for an average of 94 days, with the longest listing lingering for 332 days. There are still 97 homes remaining in this price point from 2023.
  • Homes priced between $600,000 - $699,999 were on the market for an average of 100 days, with the longest listing being available for 288 days. There are 98 homes remaining in this price point from 2023.
  • Listings in the $700,000 - $799,999 range were on the market for an average of 107 days, with the longest listing sitting for 312 days. There are still 111 homes from 2023 in this price point on the market.

Properties priced between $800,000 - $899,999 were on the market for an average of 97 days, with the longest listing being available for 345 days. There are 71 homes remaining in this price point from 2023.

Homes priced between $900,000 - $999,999 had an average listing duration of 118 days, with the longest listing sitting for 352 days. There are still 33 homes from 2023 in this price point on the market.

For listings over a million dollars, homes were on the market for an average of 120 days, with the longest listing lingering for 328 days. There are 75 homes from 2023 in this price range still on the market.

These statistics provide valuable insights into the current state of the Halifax real estate market. While properties in certain price ranges continue to sell quickly, there is a growing number of homes that are taking longer to find buyers.

In conclusion, the real estate market in Halifax, NS, in 2023 has seen a shift towards a more balanced and stable environment, resembling the market conditions of 2017-2019. Sellers should be aware of these changes and set their expectations accordingly. While some properties continue to sell briskly, others may require more time on the market. As always, it's essential to work closely with a knowledgeable real estate professional to navigate the nuances of the local market.

Stats based on NSAR Jan 01-Dec 31 2023

Sandra Pike

Listing Specialist with THE PIKE GROUP

Royal Lepage

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Halifax real estate market still as hot as it was during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic?  While the market is active, it has shifted to a more balanced state compared to the frenzy of the pandemic peak. 

What factors contributed to the slowdown in the Halifax real estate market in 2023? Several factors, including a return to office work and a shift in buyer mentality, have contributed to the change in market dynamics.

Are there still opportunities for sellers in Halifax's real estate market? Yes, there are opportunities, but sellers should adjust their expectations based on current market conditions. 

How can I determine the right listing price for my home in Halifax? Consult with a local real estate expert who can provide a comparative market analysis to help you set the right price.

Should I consider waiting for the market to improve before selling my Halifax property? It depends on your individual circumstances and goals. Consulting with a real estate professional can help you make an informed decision.

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