Nova Scotia’s real estate market has taken a unique path in October 2023, defying the trends observed in the rest of Canada. In this comprehensive market report, experienced realtor Dawn from MoveNovaScotia.com will provide insights into the current state of the Nova Scotia real estate market. The report delves into crucial statistics, explores regional variations, and discusses the impact of global pressures on the local real estate landscape.
List to Sale Ratios:
One of the key metrics to understand the Nova Scotia real estate market is the list to sale ratio. This ratio represents the percentage of the sale price concerning the original list price of a property. In October 2023, the median list to sale ratio for Nova Scotia stood at 97.4%, reflecting an increase compared to the previous month and the previous year. This information is valuable for prospective buyers as it guides them in making competitive offers.
Halifax Dartmouth, a significant area within Nova Scotia, maintained a consistent list to sale ratio at 100% for the past two months, showing resilience in its real estate market. Meanwhile, the Annapolis Valley registered a list to sale ratio of 96.5%, and the South Shore recorded a ratio of approximately 91.6%, indicating some flexibility in pricing, particularly for homes listed for over 45 days.
The lower list to sale ratios in rural areas like the Annapolis Valley and the South Shore suggest reduced competition. Smaller markets often lack the volume of comparable properties necessary to set accurate list prices, which can influence these ratios.
Days on Market:
The number of days a property stays on the market is another critical indicator of the real estate market’s health. For October 2023, Nova Scotia experienced a decrease in the average days on market, aligning with the typical trend of homes selling faster in the fall season as buyers aim to settle before winter arrives.
Halifax’s median days on market remained stable at 9 days compared to September. However, the average days on market was 30, indicating that some properties lingered longer due to overpricing, which necessitated price adjustments. In the Annapolis Valley, well-priced homes sold in just 22 days, a notable improvement from the 54 days it took in September. This signifies proactive pricing strategies as the market adjusts to post-COVID conditions.
Median Home Prices:
Median home prices across Nova Scotia showed positive growth in October 2023. The median home price for the entire province increased to $401,500, marking a 4% rise from the previous month and a substantial 13.8% increase compared to the previous year. These figures provide a snapshot of the market’s overall health.
Halifax Dartmouth, being closer to the city center, recorded a median home sale price of $500,000, reflecting a 2% increase from the previous month. However, the median price for the Halifax Peninsula was $639,000, showcasing the significant price disparity within the region. Despite this, it’s important to note that the Peninsula’s median price had decreased by 22% from the previous year.
Annapolis Valley’s median home sale price for October was $347,500, up 4% from September and a remarkable 24.5% increase from the previous year. The average home sale price in the region was slightly lower at $357,607 but still reflected an 18.2% increase compared to the previous year.
The South Shore region saw a median home selling price of $320,000, demonstrating a 3.2% increase over the previous year but a 2.3% decrease from September. The average home selling price in this area was $402,422, down 10% from the previous month but up 3.5% from October 2022. The decline was attributed to a significant sale of over $1 million in September.
Mortgage Rates and Implications:
Mortgage rates have been a topic of interest as they directly influence the real estate market. While the Bank of Canada decided not to raise the bank rate, keeping it at 5.25%, recent developments have led to increases in fixed mortgage rates. This increase can be attributed to the US government’s decision to raise its debt ceiling, subsequently causing bond yields to rise.
As a result, fixed mortgage rates are now closely aligned with variable rates, prompting new borrowers to consider variable-rate mortgages for shorter terms. Currently, the five-year fixed insured mortgage rate is at 5.49%, while the variable rate insured rate stands at 5.99%. Borrowers must also consider the stress test, which requires them to demonstrate the ability to afford a mortgage at a rate 2% higher than the contracted rate.
These rising mortgage rates have impacted the affordability of homes, leading to a decrease in overall home sales in Nova Scotia, particularly in rural areas with lower-priced properties. For example, the South Shore has witnessed a 30% decrease in sales compared to the previous year.
In contrast, the Halifax Dartmouth region has experienced an increase in home sales, primarily due to the fact that current interest rates do not deter buyers in the $500,000 and above price range. The mortgage rate increases are most significantly affecting first-time homebuyers and lower-income individuals, exacerbating the challenges posed by inflation.
In conclusion, Nova Scotia’s real estate market for October 2023 exhibits unique dynamics compared to the rest of Canada. List to sale ratios, days on market, and median home prices provide valuable insights into the state of the market. Rising mortgage rates are impacting affordability and influencing buyer behavior. As the market continues to adapt to changing conditions, staying informed and considering local nuances is crucial for both buyers and sellers in Nova Scotia.
For more detailed market analysis and local community information, visit MoveNovaScotia.com and explore Dawn’s REAL DEAL Roadmap for Buyers and Sellers.
– [Reuters – Bank of Canada’s Rogers Urges Shift by Banks in Mortgage Lending](https://www.reuters.com/business/bank-canadas-rogers-urges-shift-by-banks-mortgage-lending-bloomberg-news-2023-11-03/)
– [CTV News – Upcoming Mortgage Renewals Part of Why BOC Held Rate at 5 Percent](https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/upcoming-mortgage-renewals-part-of-why-boc-held-rate-at-5-per-cent-macklem-1.6627218)
– [CREA Cafe – Bank of Canada Holds Policy Rate at 5% in October 2023](https://www.creacafe.ca/bank-of-canada-holds-policy-rate-at-5-in-october-2023/)