Renaissance-ready Halifax wins new lender

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Equitable Trust has now pushed into Nova Scotia, the alternative lender becoming one of the first to extend its reach coast to coast and just ahead of any boom expected from that $25 billion shipbuilding contract.

Equitable has served borrowers in other parts of the country for more than 40 years and now it’s time to bring our specialized mortgage solutions to Atlantic Canada,” said company president and CEO Andrew Moor. “The reason to start now is clear: The Greater Halifax Area has enormous development potential. Not only is it an economic powerhouse today, it has the business, government and social assets that will drive the success of the entire province in the years ahead.”

He’s not only one looking at the HRM through a fresh set of eyes.

Brokers in the area are already grappling with an influx of property investors from outside Nova Scotia looking to ferret out opportunities stemming from a federal contract for the Irving family’s Halifax Shipyard.

The idea is to purchase and, in some cases, build single- and multi-family properties to accommodate the hundreds of workers needed to build the facility.

Equitable is well positioned to capture some of that business.

The lender is declaring its intention to become an important alternative source for single-family residential mortgages for the area “by actively serving the community’s mortgage brokers and their clients including: first-time home buyers, business for-self-borrowers, investors, newcomers and those with credit challenges, with a suite of fixed-rate, adjustable, fully open and high ratio mortgage products.”

Halifax is now in the sightlines of real estate investors from coast to coast, said Scott Bentley, a mortgage market specialist with Verico Premiere Mortgage in Halifax. “There are a lot of investors in other provinces, both with and without Halifax roots, now eyeballing, the Halifax market since the announcement.”

That interest is expected to steadily grow in the next year, with REIN head Don Campbell suggesting price growth will follow the same kind of trajectory and not the boom-bust of some Western markets coming to terms with their newfound economic wealth.

Analysts are projecting that the federal contract for 21 Canadian combat ships -- awarded to the Irving family’s Halifax Shipyard -- will translate into a $10 million shot in the arm for yearly real estate sales. That’s for each of the next 30 years.

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