Broker boom still in the offing

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He told you so.

Nova Scotia’s real estate market was abuzz with speculation after news of a $25 billion shipbuilding contract was announced in late 2011. Brad Compton of Invis, however, warned that brokers and property sellers alike shouldn’t count their real estate boom before it hatches – something echoed in data now pointing to a 9 per cent drop.

“I think there was a blip in the market when it was announced two years ago but the ship building hasn’t begun yet so there are no workers coming in yet,” Compton told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I think they’re predicting the building to start in 2015 and we may see a bit of an uptick then. Time will tell how quickly they build and how many people will come in to work.”

Compton originally spoke with CanadianRealEstateMagazine.ca in April 2012, advising investors to wait out the storm and his tune hasn’t changed.

“What will probably happen is that migrant workers will come in, do their piece of the ship and when that is done, move on,” he said. “I’m not sure how many workers will stay in the city. The contract could change and they could build fewer ships.”

When and if a real estate boom happens is still up for debate.

“If the uptick happens, great. It certainly won’t be happening in the next couple years and if it does, it will be slow and gradual,” Compton said. “First we’ll see an uptick in rentals and then maybe an increase in sales as workers feel more secure. Some workers may leave their families to work and then maybe move them over and look to buy property.”

Scott Bentley of Premier Mortgage Centre isn’t surprised by the decline in home sales in Nova Scotia this year.

“I think year-over year-unit sales are down significantly. There was a lot of hype and speculation – last year’s numbers were a bit of an anomaly; they increased as a result of the announcement.”
Bentley still has hope for the future. Once the actual building starts, that is.

“I think what you’ll see is that once they start building in 2015 sales will go up. Right now they are doing infrastructure work but most of the design work isn’t done here; the actual building will be part of the boom. Right now there aren’t a lot of people flocking to live there.”
 

  • @kiltedbroker on 2013-08-20 8:47:43 AM

    Man, you know what Nova Scotia needs? A community of online remote workers. Forget physical industries like ship building to bolster an economy, what about if the province put together a marketing play that focused on developing a community of individuals who work from home in an online capacity? That would mean income for the province utilizing current infrastructure with little to no capital output.

    I mean, have you been to Nova Scotia? I have, it is absolutely breathtaking.

    Pie in the sky I know, but have you seen how far a dollar stretches in the Annapolis Valley? Have you tried the scallops in Digby? Seriously, that is the way to spend the rest of your life!

  • Layth Matthews on 2013-08-20 1:44:44 PM

    I agree with the Scotsman. I have always thought that Halifax with 3-4 universities and an excellent community college, has a niche of under-employed workers. They should be pushing hard for blue skies legislation in financial services and securities. All you need is smart people and the Internet.

  • Catherine Fogarty/catherinefogarty.ca on 2013-08-20 2:44:03 PM

    You two are dead on! Paid less for a larger home than I sold my small home for in Toronto, last year, with 1/3 property tax cost. This place is our best kept secret...shhhh...

  • Sean on 2013-08-23 4:07:56 AM

    @kiltedbroker An online community for remote workers is in the works. I moved here from another part of Canada & there is much opportunity in both Real Estate and YES the ability for remote workers. It's building!

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