How to Do Well in the 2015 Halifax Buyer’s Market

The most decorated US Marine in history “Chesty" Puller once said while surrounded by 22 enemy divisions, “They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!” No one in the Halifax real estate industry is jumping up and down because of the current real estate market situation we find ourselves in. Though, as shown by Chesty, there is always a silver lining! We just need to have the right strategy and outlook.
The most decorated US Marine in history “Chesty" Puller once said while surrounded by 22 enemy divisions, “They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!” No one in the Halifax real estate industry is jumping up and down because of the current real estate market situation we find ourselves in. Though, as shown by Chesty, there is always a silver lining! We just need to have the right strategy and outlook.

The Halifax market is currently considered a buyer's market, which means more houses are being listed then being sold. During the week of Aug. 13-20, 2015, Halifax saw 282 listings and only 104 houses sold. Just under half of the housing being listed are being sold. There are a number of contributing factors. Increases in full time employment positions and population drive housing demand. Both of these factors have been slower as of late.

On a bright note, population increases are occurring in Halifax through international migration coupled with a slower employment drain to Western Canada. At the same time, the lower loonie attracts business for Canadian exporters and tourists coming into Nova Scotia to spend their strong US Dollar. The shipbuilding contract will start to impact Halifax in a real way throughout 2015. These factors are contributing to a forecasted 1% economic growth for 2015 in Halifax.

In this current Halifax buyer’s market, how can one realize real estate success?

Here are a few considerations:

1. First Time Home Buyer’s Dream: If there were ever a time to buy, it is in a buyer’s market! Prices are lower and seller’s are more willing to accept an offer. This is the perfect First Time Home Buyer’s scenario, as there are no losses on the sale of a current home.

2. Renovate! If you currently own a home that does not fit your dreams, then maybe you can make it the home of your dreams. There are a number of mortgage products that will allow you to increase the value of your home through an “improvement mortgage.” This will shelter you from exposing your home to possibly a lower sale price than you are willing to accept and give you a home you are excited about.

3. Sell to Buy: You can take advantage of a slower real estate market if you sell your home at a “loss” to purchase a larger home at a “loss.” In a “loss” I mean you will not receive the sale price you are hoping for, though neither with the seller of the house you are purchasing. As long as you are trading up – no worries. Think of it this way, if you take a 10% sale price loss on a house worth $200,000 (loss of $20,000) and then purchase a $400,000 house where that seller takes a 10% loss (loss of $40,000) then you are still ahead by $20,000! And you find yourself the house of your dreams. Something to consider!