Source – atlantic.ctvnews.ca
- “…The average N.B. house price was about $180,000 for almost eight years, according to Watt. In 2017, realtors started to see an increase in sales. Then, 2020 was a record-breaking year, but broken immediately by sales in 2021. Now, the average N.B. house price is about $310,000, says Watt…Watt says they’re still seeing people from other parts of Canada, selling their homes and move to N.B. with ‘pure cash.’ Their market has increased too, and Maritime housing prices are still very attractive compared to other parts of the country”
Looking to buy a home? Keep trying because the Maritimes market could get worse, says one real estate agent
The Maritimes are seeing a challenging housing market, with a low inventory driving prices even higher.
Dave Watt, owner and CEO of the Right Choice Realty in Fredericton, says if you think realtors are enjoying it – think again.
“I personally hope this doesn’t continue. I think we’re stretching too far and we’re trying to find that fine balance between fair market value meets actual affordability for New Brunswickers,” he said.
“A lot of people say, ‘You must love your job right now.’ I’m going to be honest, it’s a very challenging industry…when you have a buyer that’s made five or six offers, they get frustrated at you, and you get frustrated at the market.”
Watt says a home in the Fredericton region sits, on average, eight to 10 days on the market today. The number of new listings in March fell by 17.2 per cent from March 2021, according to the Real Estate Board of the Fredericton Area.
In 2021, the city saw 13 homes go for $100,000 over asking price. So far in 2022, they’ve seen 20.
He says he doesn’t believe that demand is going away anytime soon, adding it will likely balance out – but prices will stay the same, not necessarily decline.
“I do feel that we’re going to be in to a two to three year demand shortage,” he said. “This is not a Fredericton-market, this is not a New Brunswick market, this is a national housing issue that we’re trying to deal with. So next to injecting more housing into the system, we’re going to see this demand rise.”
Jed Palmater and Melissa Dickinson spent every weekend – for months – looking and offering on houses in the Fredericton area.
Three went for $100,000 over asking price, and two they lost to people from Ontario.
“Sometimes, maybe one of us would cry,” said Palmater.
“Me,” Dickinson said.
The couple said it’s like a rollercoaster. They feel lucky they had a realtor they could trust, who told them finding the right house is a full-time job.
“You just keep pushing ahead and pushing ahead and hoping for the best,” said Dickinson.
“There was a few times where, ‘Oh my God we’re never going to find a house,’ might have been said. Just disappointment, a lot of disappointment and then excitement, and then disappointment,” said Palmater.
They ended up finding their perfect home, and say the hard work and moments of disappointment were worth it.
The average N.B. house price was about $180,000 for almost eight years, according to Watt. In 2017, realtors started to see an increase in sales. Then, 2020 was a record-breaking year, but broken immediately by sales in 2021.
Now, the average N.B. house price is about $310,000, says Watt.
“Getting into the market is probably the best advice I can do. Obviously, contacting a local realtor to help advice and educate you on: is a house fishing for the highest price? Are they priced fairly? And what are the neighbouring properties selling for? So I know I’m not overpaying for a property,” he said.
“Getting into the market, I say that because we’re currently sitting at one month of inventory and what that means is if we were to not allow anyone else to list their property it would take one month at the rate homes are currently selling to be completely out. It took about two and a half years to get here.”
He also advises buyers to be patient. He says it can often take several offers, and months of patience, to land a home. But he believes the demand is only going to worsen, so now is the time.
“What I’m finding is when I start working with a buyer and in that six month time frame, the house they could have bought six months ago is now $20,000 more expensive, so they realize getting into the market sooner rather than later is best.”
Watt says they’re still seeing people from other parts of Canada, selling their homes and move to N.B. with ‘pure cash.’ Their market has increased too, and Maritime housing prices are still very attractive compared to other parts of the country.
Or, people are buying from out-of-province, and renting out the property. That can get in the way of a first-time home buyer wanting to break into the market.
From their experience, Palmater and Dickinson say the right real estate agent, persistence and patience are key.
“You will find the house and it will work out to be the right house. You may not recognize that in the moment when you lose one, but you will get there and you will find the right one,” Palmater said. “We did and we’re really glad that it worked out the way it did.”