Nova Scotia Real Estate Report for May

may 2024 real estate report

Bank of Canada reduces bank rate

Welcome to the 2024 market for report update for Nova Scotia for the month of May and we had some exciting news today the Bank of Canada has decided to decrease their bank rate by 25 basis points which equates to 1/4% so whether or not that will make a big difference for folks we will wait and see. Now I admit I was surprised, maybe disappointed at the rate cut. 


Yes, the Canadian economy did grow this first quarter, but at a slower pace than expected. Employment growth is still lagging and consumer spending,  still putting pressure on inflation. 


map of Nova Scotia

New Listings

Nova Scotia had 1764 new listings this past month that’s up 10.7% from 2023 in May and that is also up from 1,510 listings back in April.

 Halifax Dartmouth had 778 new listings which is down from this time last year but up from the month of April; 

Annapolis Valley had 310 new listings- that is up year over year as well as up from a month ago. It does go to show that we are still in the spring market. Our spring peak has been later in the season these past few years, and our greatest month of new listings for the past 5 years was, in fact, June 2022. 

The South shore saw 191 new listings and that is up both month over month and year over year. 

In the northern region, they saw 270 new listings; that’s up from April, but that was down from this past year.

There was a dip in new listings year over year  for the Halifax and northern regions, which could well be because there had been lot more construction going on up until last year. Then, with continued increase to inflation and slowing market, the profit margin for builders  got less and less and then so did the new builds. 


Month over month everybody is up all across Nova Scotia for new listings for May, which again has to do with the late spring Market. the Highland region up around Pictou have  74 new listings, Cape Breton, Sydney area is kind of in a market of its own up there, they had 18 listings and there were 4 new listings in Yarmouth.

Active Listings

For the inventory of what home buyers have to choose from we must look at all the currently active residential listings which is at that 3,076 for all of Nova Scotia. This figure is up from May of last year and up from 2299 in April.  Again, these month over month increases are normal for this time of year. 


Halifax Dartmouth, currently have 979 active listings, which is up month over month and  year over year. Annapolis Valley is at 626 active listings;  The South shore has 463 listings and the Northern region has 486.  the Highland region, which covers a large area north of Halifax and part of Cape Breton,  has 291 listings. Cape Breton region has 135 and Yarmouth, which is the smallest of the regions has 24 active listings .


List to Sale Ratio

The list of sale ratio is another means to determine how well the real estate market is doing and its a percentage of many listings are selling of the new listings that come to market.  So currently Nova Scotia is at 61% list to sale ratio so 61% of the new listings are sold and rest are added to the active inventory or expire. The rest of Nova Scotia is  pretty much 50% list to sell ratio except for Cape Breton and Halifax -Dartmouth. They’re sitting at 70 and 71% with all their with app ⅔ of new listings getting sold as they come on the market.


Looking at the months of supply that’s another way anaylize your real estate market to calculate whether or not it’s buyers or sellers. The month of supply is actually been doubling in numbers  year over year. The Highland region has 10.3 months worth of inventory. Tthe rest of the the regions range from 4.5 to 6.8 months worth of supply which is hovering on the balance Market. Halifax and Cape Breton have 2.5 and 2.2 months of supply.

Sale price to List price

When analyszing the list prices compared to sale prices,  they’re in ranging between 95% and 100%. with  Halifax of course is still sitting at 100% mark.  Basically the list prices you see in Halifax dartmouth are what you’re going to have to expect to pay and if in competition you will have to go over asking as well. The other regions sale prices are on average 95-98%. So buyers now know there should be about 5% wiggle room off the list prices.

Availability by Region

Today’s real estate market is about affordability. Nova Scotia currently sits in the bottom 4 of most affordable housing for provinces. 

Here is a deep dive into what is available across Nova Scotia in different price ranges and what regions had the most inventory in those different ranges. 

Since Halifax Dartmouth has a third of all the listings in Nova Scotia, right off the bat, H/D is going to have most inventory in a lot of these categories.


 In the over $750,000 ranges Halifax Dartmouth has 403 active listings. In the $500- $749,999 range H/D has 396 listings.  This is logical due to population density and accessibility to a city centre. If you are looking in the $300-$499,999 price bracket than you will have the most selection in the Annapolis Valley with 262 listings. If you’re looking for a real good bang for your buck,  the northern region have the most listings priced from $0 to $299,999

Number of Homes Sold

Overall Nova Scotia had 1,081 sales in the residential market and that was down from last May by 4.6%. but up from an increase of  919 back in April.


The highest number sold in one month in the past 5 years was at the peak of pandemic in April 2021. And the number of sales have been decreasing year over year provincially ever since May of 2021.


Halifax Dartmouth had 555 sales, down both months over month and year over year.The Annapolis Valley is down from last year to 160 sales but that is increased month of the month. Looking at the South shore, they have 96 sales,  The  rural areas such as Highland and Yarmouth, all sales are up year over year and month over month. This could well be  because of the affordability factor as prices tend to be a lot cheaper the further you go from the city centre.

Nova Scotia Home Prices for May

Now what everyone is waiting for, let’s get into what homes are selling for. These are the median home sale prices. Nova Scotia home sale price for May is  $450000. This is unchanged from April but up 7.1% of last year. 


As mentioned  before in some previous articles, in a normal market, like around 10 years ago there would be a market value increase year over year of about 6%. So a 7.1% increase isn’t a “home prices are out of control” scenario, this is a normal progression. 


If we look at the average home price for Nova Scotia,  it is sitting at $483,239. A $33,000 difference, so make sure you know what numbers you are looking if comparing market value to potential purchase. 

The Northern Region median home sale price is $280,000 for this past May. Down slightly from last year.

The highland region is getting the same $280,000 for their median home sale; that number is up year over year and month over month. 

Cape breton is sitting at $255,000 and Yarmouth prices are up to $327,500.

Drilling it down to some towns in these areas- Truro homes are fetching $351,500

Pictou\/Trenton homes are selling for $186,500, while up in Cape breton, Sydney homes are getting $259,500. And with Yarmouth being such a small region, their town home prices are coming in at the same amount as the regions home prices of  $327,500. 

Onto the South Shore, the Atlantic side of Nova Scotia, south of Halifax, the median home sale price is $395,950. Some beautiful sailing waters and oceanfront in this region, so there will be a wide range of property prices here. Taking a closer look at some of the more popular towns, there  Liverpool home prices are at $217,000. Bridgewater, the largest town on the South shore has home prices of $383, 500; Chester is known to have the most expensive real estate per capita in Nova Scotia, attracting lovers of sailing and golf. Their median home price is $637, 500. Hubbards is the last community before you are in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Lots of sand beaches and sailing here too. And their homes are selling for $420,000. 


The Annapolis valley region runs along the bay of fundy, has the highest population density outside of the halifax dartmouth region. Homes closer to Halifax are priced higher so I will go into details to some more desirable areas. The median home sale price for this region is $375,000 which is up from last year and up just $2,000 from last month.  


Closest to Halifax, Windsor has seen a lot of growth over the past few years, especially in new construction. But with profit margins in that industry decreasing so have sales and pricing. The median home sale price here is $340,000. Wolfville has many things going for it, tourism with the wineries, and as a university town for year round employment. Home prices are at $490,000.  Kentville is the service centre of the valley, with government offices and hospitals located here. Median home sale price is $394,000 in Kentville. Greenwood is known for being the location of Canadian airforce base 14 Wing Greenwood. Real estate here has a constant demand and turnover, so its median home sale price sits at $432,500. 


Halifax Dartmouth Region

Last but not least lets look at the busiest region in Nova Scotia, Halifax Dartmouth. ⅓ of all listings are in this region and it has the highest population density, employment and educational options. Median home sales here are at $550,000. This is down slightly from last month, but up from last year.  Its interesting to have a look at the average sale price, which takes into account the dollar volumes at either end of the sales spectrum.  The Average homes sales here are $607,000 which is down 8.5% from last month as there were a few significant homes sales in the million $+ range in April, that would have influenced the final numbers.  But again a difference of $57,000 between median and average prices. So make sure you are comparing apples to apples. 

Looking a bit closer as some popular neighbourhoods we can see that on the Halifax peninsula homes were selling for $767,700; on the Dartmouth side homes were being bought up at $652,000; In Timberea, where there is a lot of new construction typically, homes were selling for $650,000 and in Bedford the homes were selling for $700,000

In Summary

Expect more of the same for the month of June. Last year we saw the number of new listings coming to market peak in June. 

Expect inventory to increase slightly due to coming up to the June peak, new builds getting close to completion and coming to market, and then the overpriced properties sitting on the market. 

The recent reduction of the variable mortgage rate will not have that much of an impact on the number of sales. If they do have any sort of up tick it will be due to buyers having to move for work, or folks down sizing or moving into a multigenerational co-habitation. 

The cost of living and economic uncertainty is having the biggest impact on the slow housing market in Nova Scotia and Canada.

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