Source – thechronicleherald.ca
– “…Honsberger shared that he is one of the many who started looking for a more rural property at the peak of COVID-19….For them, daydreams of sunny days and a lake where the kids could run around, jump in for a swim or go kayaking, won out over sitting in a home next to the Armdale Rotary during social distancing protocols”
Overall supply (of homes for sale) is running at lowest levels in more than 15 years and continues to fall
Real estate activity in Nova Scotia took a nosedive during the early days of the pandemic, but surprisingly, there’s been a strong rebound.
Stats from the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors (NSAR) show residential sales activity, recorded through the MLS® System of the NSAR, numbered 1,428 units in June 2020. This was an increase of 10.4 per cent from June 2019 and was also a new sales record for the month of June.
The total dollar value of all residential home sales in June 2020 was $408.7 million, rising 21.6 per cent from the same month in 2019.
This was a new record for the month of June and was also the largest dollar value of homes sold for any month in history.
NSAR past president Matt Honsberger says July is also shaping up to be an exceptionally strong month province-wide.
An interesting pattern that realtors noticed during the pandemic period is that rural areas of the province experienced less of a downturn in sales.
“People who are maybe in denser populated areas are trying to find a little bit more space,” says Honsberger.
“It kind of makes sense if you were holed up over the past three months in a one-bedroom apartment, you might be interested in finding someplace that has a little bit more room to roam.”
He adds that it appears the normal spring market has been shifted into the summer a bit.
It’s yet to be determined what the fall will bring.
The average price of homes sold in June 2020 was $286,227, rising 10.1 per cent from June 2019. There were 1,769 new residential listings in June 2020. This was down 6.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis but marked a considerable rebound from levels in the previous two months.
Overall supply (of homes for sale) is running at the lowest levels in more than 15 years and continues to fall. Active residential listings numbered 4,398 units at the end of June. This was a large decline of 35.5 per cent from the end of June 2019.
There were 3.1 months of inventory at the end of June 2020, down from the 5.3 months recorded at the end of June 2019 and below the long-run average of eight months for this time of year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
Honsberger says people are working with their agents to try and find homes and are sometimes competing with five, 10, or 20 others for hot properties in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).
Sellers often end up with all the control because there are less of them and they can demand a little more.
There’s not as much competition outside HRM but even in places like the Valley and South Shore, you’ll see competition for the good listings that come on,” he adds.
“That’s simply a measure of supply and demand. More buyers than sellers,” he says.
Will the situation carry over to Spring?
“It’s really hard to look that far ahead right now. So much of it depends on what happens – any resurgence of COVID-19 and the impact on employment, for example,” says Honsberger.
“I would say at worst we would see a balancing of our market by next spring, where there’s the right number of buyers for the right number of houses.”
Three years ago, there were more sellers than buyers. Today, a property that sells for $300,000 might sell for $295,000 or for $350,000. That’s a big difference when you’re trying to get advice in terms of what to offer. Agents are doing their best to provide guidance, he says.
He sees the supply of homes catching up to the demand in the next six to 12 months.
Honsberger shared that he is one of the many who started looking for a more rural property at the peak of COVID-19.
“We bought a cottage in the Valley because we really don’t see ourselves travelling for a few years and we have a young family, so the idea of sitting home all summer didn’t make a lot of sense to us.”
For them, daydreams of sunny days and a lake where the kids could run around, jump in for a swim or go kayaking, won out over sitting in a home next to the Armdale Rotary during social distancing protocols.