Source – cbc.ca
– “…Investors from the U.S. are also buying homes in New Brunswick. “There’s a buzz in real estate,” she said. “We’re trying to put ourselves more on the map and say ‘Look, Eastern Canada has lots to offer. You don’t have to pay a million dollars for a 600-square-foot condo.'”
In addition, last week the Canadian Real Estate Association reported home sales by its members in New Brunswick, which is not part of the Statistics Canada retail survey, set a new monthly record of $245.2 million in June. That involved the sale of 1,230 units, a 25.4 per cent increase over last June and nearly double the national increase.
“This (1,230 units) was also a new sales record for the month of June and was the highest level for any month (in New Brunswick) in history,” said a news release from the association.
New Brunswick does not charge sales tax on home purchases unless the house is new. But it does charge a one per cent property transfer fee on sales, which generated a record $2.5 million for the month.
At the local level home sales activity posted a year-over-year increase in all regions of the province, with gains in Fredericton (+53.3%), the Northern Region (+24.7%), Greater Moncton (+21.2%), and Saint John (+4.7%).
New Brunswick had a record-breaking month for home sales in May, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association
The data, based on houses sold through the MLS system, showed 1,124 units were sold in May, an increase of 24.6 per cent from the same month in 2018.
Approximately $216.8 million in residential real estate traded hands in May. The bulk of it was in Moncton ($87.4 million), followed by Fredericton ($67.6 million), Saint John ($48 million), and northern New Brunswick and Saint John River valley area ($13.7 million).
“From a provincial point of view, it’s very encouraging because it’s all of our marketplaces. The only diminished market place was the northern [part of the province] and it only diminished by -6.7 per cent year over year,” said Sheila Henry, president of the New Brunswick Real Estate Association.
Henry said the overall spike was caused by buyers entering an already balanced market, where there was less supply and listings are selling faster. While new residential listings went up 6.8 per cent year-on-year at 1,943, active residential listings fell 17.5 per cent to 5,648 units since May 2018 – an 11-year low.
This led to the average price also reaching a record high of $192,848 last month. That’s 8.8 per cent higher than in May 2018.
“Over the last four years, what we’ve seen is the number of listings trending downwards and we do have what we still term a balanced market. So we still have buyers who are still interested in buying,” Henry said.
“We’re certainly past the time when the government’s [mortgage] stress test caused a little bit of an upturn in the market place so that people who may not have qualified then will likely be in a better position to qualify now. People also do know about that new qualification so it makes the buyers a little more savvy … that’s probably the primary reason.”
In addition, population growth is helping increase the number of buyers, Henry said.
“We are seeing more return of people coming to specific areas, whether back home from away, or coming back here to retire, and then, of course, we are seeing some immigrants – though not a huge group – who are buying at this point. It’s the beginning of that. And then there are folks who are coming in from the U.S.,” she said.
Henry says the conditions indicate that a change is coming in the market, with the time that it takes to sell an inventory of listings dropping to five months in May from 7.6 months the year before. The 10-year average is 8.7 months.
“Right now we’re still in a balanced market…But we’ve been in a balanced market in pretty much the whole province,” she said. “The days [of listings] in the market is declining…that’s what perhaps is giving a signal that the market is going to change from being balanced into, maybe a seller’s market.”
Henry said while she doesn’t know whether the market will stabilize, the conditions are encouraging.
“We would love to see it maintained as it is and steadily grow because we are looking of course for more economic growth. As we get that, that’s certainly going to bring people in,” she said.
Categories: New Brunswick