Are you a homeowner in Nova Scotia, but feel like you are getting mixed messages about the real estate market here and whether or not you should be putting your home on the market?
This Nova Scotia real estate market report for January 2024 aims to clarify the current market trends and offer valuable insights for both buyers and sellers in various regions of Nova Scotia.
In my analysis, I focus on median residential calculations rather than averages. The median figure, being the middle value in a data set, offers a more accurate representation of our diverse property range in Nova Scotia, as opposed to the average which can be skewed by extreme values.
Additionally, I base my data on the point when an offer becomes firm, which reflects the market’s immediate response, because the offer date and firm date are fairly close together, unlike the closing date which could be months in the future and might not accurately represent the current market dynamics.
Regional Breakdown and New Listings
January saw a significant increase in new listings across Nova Scotia, with a 26.8% rise to 886 new listings activated in the month. Halifax experienced a 33.9% increase to 411 listings, while Annapolis Valley nearly doubled its count with an 27.1% increase to 139. The South Shore, Northern Region, and Highland also saw increases, whereas Cape Breton experienced a slight decrease.
Active Listings and New Construction
The total number of active residential listings in Nova Scotia stood at 2,245. Halifax Dartmouth led with 751 listings, followed by Annapolis Valley, 405 and South Shore 310. Notably, for the new construction market, Halifax Dartmouth has 376 active listings for properties that were less than a year old, with a median price of $709,900. 27 of those are new condos that range for $399,000 to 1,049,000.
In the Annapolis Valley there are app. 85 new units, many of which are semi-detached being built in Falmouth and North Kentville. The South Shore has fewer new construction projects, mostly semi-detached, but there is a high end development happening in East River called Bowens Brook.
Sales and Median Prices
January witnessed 444 listings sold, mirroring the sales in January 2023. Halifax Dartmouth saw an increase in sales up to 219, with notable activity in Bedford, Dartmouth, and Timberlea-Tantallon. The median sale price across Nova Scotia was $397,500, a 8.6% increase from January 2023. Halifax Dartmouth’s median sale price was $525,000, which is +9.2% from Jan 2023 and up 10% from December’s price of $465,000 , This median sale price is just 98.5% of list price.
The median home sale price on the Halifax Peninsula was $724,450; The Timberlea, Tantallon, Hammonds Plains area was $564,500; Clayton Park, Bedford and around the Basin, homes were selling for $631,250. Fall River and Waverley area saw home sale prices of $669,900 and Dartmouth and Eastern Passage, the median prices were sitting at $485,000.
Regional Price Trends
The Annapolis Valley MLS region covers from Mt Uniacke to down past Digby. There are a range of property prices in this area that spans the Bay of Fundy, and as you get further from Halifax the cheaper the prices get. There were 59 sales and the median home sale prices were $325,000 which is up 14% from Jan of 2023. These sale prices are within 95% of the list price.
The MLS subdistrict V1 in this region is the closest to Halifax and had 12 properties sales that resulted in a median price of $392,500. The V2 area encompasses the Wolfville/Kentville area and had 25 home sales with a median price of $399,000. V3 is the Greenwood area and there were 13 sales and a median price of $325,000. The Digby V4 area saw 15 sales resulting in a median price of $180,000.
Northern region was the 3rd busiest market outside the HRM with 55 sales. The median price was $298,500 which is actually up +33.5% from $ 211, 000 in 2023
Market Summary and Top Sales
The market is currently in a state of equilibrium, with both buyers and sellers cautiously observing trends.Buyers are waiting for more inventory and Sellers are waiting to see if the home prices are going to drop. With interest rates stabilizing and home prices stabilizing, boths sides are getting used to the new normal, so the market is going to see Buyers and Sellers coming off the sidelines in the next month or two.
The top sale in January was on Young Ave. in Halifax Peninsula. It was listed for $2,695,000 and sold for $2,400,000 in 59 days. Photographer Shermain Hines closed on his place in January just outside Windsor for $2,400,000 as well. There were 4 in total that sold over 2 million and 9 that sold over 1 million.
Advice for Buyers and Sellers
For Sellers, there are three things that need to be considered.
Firstly, where do they plan on moving; With the lack of inventory right, they should have a solid plan in place on where they are going to move.
Secondly, check with the professionals, such as a REALTOR® and a mortgage lender to find out what the property can sell for and what amount is owing on the mortgage and payouts fees may apply to make sure the sale price will cover the selling costs.
Last but not least, Figure out what sort of repairs does the property need to get it ready for the market so that it can get the top dollar. A REALTOR® can help prioritize the repairs and best return on investment.
The first thing a Buyer needs to do right now, is…
Talk to a mortgage person. Make sure they have all their financial paperwork together so the lender can determine pre-approval.
Secondly, a Buyer should have some ideas as to the general area they want to move and what type of property they want.
Thirdly, hire a REALTOR®. Unless otherwise negotiated, they typically only get paid once you successfully purchase a home. The REALTOR® will help a Buyer define needs, explain the whole Buying process, set up search alerts, show the Buyer properties, then guide the Buyer through the offer process and to a successful close. .
The Nova Scotia real estate market in January 2024 shows signs of stability and growth in various regions. As a realtor with deep knowledge and experience in this market, I advise both buyers and sellers to engage with professionals to navigate this complex landscape effectively. Each buying or selling scenario is unique, and personalized advice from a trusted realtor or lender is invaluable.