Exhibiting a significant divergence to the situation in many other residential real estate markets across Canada, the Nova Scotia housing segment’s sales numbers have seen a steady downward trend in the past few months.
Latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association revealed that the Halifax-Dartmouth market saw a 15.8-per-cent year-over-year decline in the total value of sales in February, down to $79.9 million. On a seasonally adjusted basis, home sales in Nova Scotia’s urban core plummeted 5.2 per cent compared to January 2017, The Chronicle Herald reported.
Throughout the province, the number of home purchase transactions fell by 13 per cent in February, according to the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors—a departure from the national trend found by CREA.
“Home sales over Canadian MLS systems rose by 5.2 per cent month-over-month in February 2017, to reach the highest level since April 2016,” the CREA’s latest report stated.
And while purchase prices in Nova Scotia remained comparatively steady—with the average sale price rising 1 per cent month-over-month in February, up to $209,889— Nova Scotia Association of Realtors president Anne Da Silva argued that much of the slowdown in sales activity could be attributed to the tighter federal mortgage rules implemented in the final months of 2016.
“If the seller does not pass the stress test to get their next house, then they many not list their current home,” Da Silva explained in an interview.
“[The stress test] didn’t affect your costs but it does affect what you can purchase,” she added. “It has had a strong impact.”
Homes in the Maritimes drawing in fascinated buyers from the big cities
Cross-Canada market year in review