Talking about the 2020 real estate market in Halifax.
As you climb higher and higher to the top of the roller coaster track, the anticipation grows. Each tick of the roller coaster on the track is another tick of anticipation of the drop. The roller coaster stops at the top and then plummets down. Your stomach drops with the roller coaster down and down to the bottom. The momentum is taken through the jerky twists and turns. The blind turns and crests keep you on your toes and a sense of eagerness of what will happen next.
Back at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, our expectations were quite different as to what the market was going to do. There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and what that would mean for a lot of people. We reached the peak of the roller coaster at the beginning of 2020 with anticipation for some excitement in the housing market. However, as we plummeted down the back of the roller coaster, we were met with unknown turns and switchbacks. As we navigate through the pandemic, we have started to take control again and have a better picture as to what the rest of the year will look like. Things have started to settle, and the roller coaster has fewer jerky twists and turns. Here, we talk a bit more about the real estate market in Halifax in 2020.
Beginning of 2020
At the beginning of the year, we saw a seller’s market. The population was growing, which boosted the housing market in Halifax. There was a greater demand for housing than there was supply on the market. When we see a seller’s market, it often means there will be bidding wars and higher selling prices. Affordable house and condo prices were among some of the major selling points for many wanting to move to Halifax. While housing prices were rising in Halifax, they were and still are comparably affordable.
When COVID-19 graced North America, the seller’s market in Halifax became much more prominent. By the middle of March, there was a significant drop in the number of sellers. The Canadian Real Estate Association reported approximately a 60 percent decline in the number of new listings between April of 2020 and April 2019. The number of sellers in the market dropped much quicker than the number of buyers in the market. In other words, the supply of homes on the market was dwindling and buyers were left with very little to choose from. However, since the market was still a seller’s market, the price of houses stayed steady.
There were many situations where sellers were given multiple offers. Houses continued to sell fairly quickly throughout the pandemic. People were still looking to buy, which may have caused bidding wars with the limited supply available. Experts expect the prices of properties to continue to grow throughout the second half of the year. There was very little price adjustment when the pandemic hit, which signals that prices should stay put.
In the past month, we’ve seen the province start to open back up. While businesses are given the okay to open their doors, the inventory of houses on the market has started to increase. As people have become more hopeful about restrictions being lifted, they feel comfortable putting their houses up for sale again. As houses go on the market, buyers are quick to snatch them up. The last week of May saw the best buyer surge in the year with 280 homes becoming conditional.
What’s in store for the rest of 2020?
It’s difficult to predict what will happen in the next several months. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the job market and when people will be able to comfortably return back to their jobs. Employment and a steady job are some of the biggest factors of a buyer’s confidence. If unemployment starts to drop, experts predict that the housing market will be able to rebound without any serious repercussions. We are already starting to see an increase in listings and sales. This allows experts to remain hopeful that the housing market will recover effortlessly. However, many people are still not back to work yet. This makes it difficult to solidly predict what will happen 3 months, 6 months, and a year from now. If people don’t continue to go back to work, there could be an adjustment to the housing market towards the fall and winter of 2020.
As the health officials continue to monitor the situation, we will be able to get a better picture as to how the rest of 2020 will go in terms of the housing market. Increases in listings and sales are hopeful signs that the market will be able to recover. Roller coasters can jolt us back and forth through crazy twists and turns, but they always steady out. As we navigate 2020 cautiously, seeking out the help of a mortgage professional can become very beneficial. When looking for advice on buying a home in 2020, give us a call at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can give us a call at 902-482-2770 or get in touch with us here!