Year in and year out we have prediction about home prices, interest rates, and the state of the market. Do we ever really know what the year is going to be like? I can honestly say its a tough one for anyone to really answer that question. The Canadian housing market is always addressed as though we are some form of collective group that is impacted the same by any changing condition in the market. We are told that homes in Canada are over priced and that prices continue to rise and so on. What they really mean is based on stats that cover our extremely different and unique demographics (Which basically describe conditions out west) that the market is what it is. Now, if you live in Nova Scotia and you want to know what the market is like how do you find out? Its certainly not by watching the news or reading the newspapers because uncertainty is all you will find.
All I can say is that personally the winter has yielded some great opportunities my clients have taken advantage of and from what I have seen homes are still selling. But also take a look at the graphic below, it clearly shows the last two years (worst in the last decade for NS) and what January this year has yielded. What this says to me is that so far things aren't much better off then what they were. Its also never a bad time to talk about listing your home or starting your house hunting because from what I've seen is that NS real estate is like NS weather no one really knows whats going to happen but if your prepared you can take advantage of whatever comes our way.
Special thanks to the Chronicle Herald for the below article and hats off the to writer for being honest about what they found to be our market forecast.
"Nothing is set in stone of course; the real estate market is influenced by many factors such as economic conditions, social demographics and governmental policies, which contribute to its success or failure over the course of the year. But at this point in time, here are some of the things we can anticipate in the months ahead.
House prices will go up — but don’t expect miraclesThe U.S. housing market crash in 2008 sent financial shock waves around the planet. In Canada — thanks to our more conservative banking practices — we fared well in comparison to our southern neighbours, but our property market has continued to feel the effects over the last seven years. Overall, ours has slowed to a new and more cautious normal. In most markets across Canada this year homeowners expecting to make grand leaps in property value overnight will be disappointed; the more sensible and realistic outlook is that your home will continue to be a solid, but longer-term investment in your financial future.
If you’re planning to buy a home this year, slower price growth makes saving up for a down payment a little easier and affordable budgeting much easier once you have signed on the dotted line.
Affordability will continue to be an issue in a few of the biggest markets this year however. Household incomes are not growing as quickly as the prices of housing in Vancouver and Toronto, which will make getting onto the property ladder — no less trying to climb higher — even harder. The silver lining will be for landlords in these markets because as demand shifts from buying to renting property, attracting good, high-quality tenants will become much easier and rental rates will be on the rise.
Interest rates will go upWhile the Bank of Canada’s recent interest rate drop was a welcome surprise, it isn’t a trend which will last forever. To be fair, economists have been predicting a rise in the lending rate for months because nobody imagined they could stay at record lows for so long — and yet they have and continue to. In the short term, the drop in oil prices globally will likely add new and unexpected pressures on the economy and may even result in a further rate reduction in the early spring. However, the negative side of the low interest rates means business profits shrink, which leads to slower employment and income growth in the overall economy. By the end of the year, and into 2016, expect to see an end to the incredibly low mortgage interest rates as they start to edge up.
Location, location, locationThe oil price flux will create problems and potential, depending on where you live in the country. It’s not good news for provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, but in other provinces like B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia the low oil prices may ease some of the consumer pressures. And the savings at the pumps may translate into more disposable income being used toward things like home improvement projects and efficiency upgrades.
If there is one certainty in 2015, it is a lack of certainty. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but you should view it as an incentive to plan for the future. If you have more disposable income, making home upgrades could improve the efficiency of your home and its future marketability, even if you don’t sell this year. If rents are going up, that might allow you to get further ahead on your mortgage payments while interest rates are still low, or lower at least.
Whatever changes 2015 brings to your individual neck of the woods, staying current with the real estate market conditions and influencers will give you the ability to capitalize on the investment opportunities that present themselves while protecting your assets if things take a turn for the worse."
Jason Shadbolt, BMgt
As a Realtor, Builder and previous Mortgage Specialist, if you have questions, all you have to do is ask!