For those looking to buy or sell homes in HRM, now is a great time to do it, analysts say.
With bright employment prospects and low interest rates driving up housing prices, the market in Halifax continues a steady rise, an increase of more than five per cent from the second quarter in 2011.
That increase is also slightly above the national average, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast report issued on Tuesday.
“We have a very healthy market right now in Halifax,” said Royal LePage Atlantic broker Matt Honsberger. “People are more confident about the area.”
Investors and homebuyers have started eying progress in HRM, particularly developments in the Halifax shipbuilding deal, and new condo developments in the area have helped boost prices, Honsberger added.
Most of the housing activity has been in HRM’s city core, the report said, which Honsberger attributed to the desire to live close to work and city amenities.
Rural and suburban properties, he said, have not shown above-average growth.
The report cautions, however, that new federal regulations effective this week requiring homeowners to pay down their mortgages within 25 years could have an impact on potential first-time buyers’ ability to finance a house.
“It’s going to bring some people out of the market. They’re not going to be able to afford to get into that first property, just simply because their monthly payment is going to be too great,” Honsberger said, adding the effects of that change will likely be less extreme here than it would be in bigger Canadian cities, where housing prices are typically much higher.
Despite the rapid growth, Honsberger said Halifax is not experiencing a housing bubble, but is instead benefiting from a healthy market.
“Halifax continues to be one of the most consistent, steady-growth kinds of areas in Canada,” he said.
Average HRM home price by type (increase compared to second quarter of 2011).
• Detached bungalow – $285,833 (up 7.3 per cent)
• Two-storey home – $317,167 (up 5.1 per cent)
• Condominium – $205,500 (up 5.1 per cent)