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CTV News – The real estate market is heading towards balance | March 7, 2023

In this CTV news appearance, Clinton Wilkins talks about rising cracks in the Canadian economy and where our current interest rates stand in comparison to decades past.

Benchmark prices are leading us to a more balanced market

Todd Battis 00:00
Whether it’s rising interest rates, inflation or uncertainty about the economy, there’s no doubt home sales in Nova Scotia are down significantly from this time last year. Despite that, benchmark prices are up slightly, leading some experts to believe we’re headed to a more balanced market. Here’s Bruce Frisko.

Bruce Frisko 00:22
In a city where growth has exploded in recent years, the Halifax real estate market remains sturdy. Described as active and competitive at certain price points, it’s a contrast to what’s happening with the overall market. February data from the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors says overall home sales are down 26.8% compared to the year before and new listings are down 14.7%. Benchmark prices meantime were up 3.1%, despite two years of mortgage rate hikes.

Matt Dauphinee 00:56
Everyone that’s looking for a home, needs a home. They want a place and they’re going to be you know, that may affect the price point that they’re purchasing at. But the reality of them needing a home goes unchanged.

Cost of living is causing cracks in the Canadian economy

Bruce Frisko 01:05
But of course, it’s not just mortgages eating away at our spending power right now. The phrase cost of living has likely never meant so much to so many.

Clinton Wilkins 01:20
You know, I think we’re starting to see cracks in the Canadian economy.

Bruce Frisko 01:23
Broker Clinton Wilkins says business is brisk these days, especially with folks looking to refinance and renew. Despite our rising chorus of complaints. He notes current interest rates are a far cry from historic highs.

Interest rates are in the average zone

Clinton Wilkins 01:38
If we look at where the rates have been over the last 25 years, we’re basically in about the average zone.

Matt Dauphinee 01:43
The demand is there. And also, you know, people you know, as the sort of world changes again, or almost comes back to where it was in the past, people are readjusting as well.

Bruce Frisko 01:55
Adjustments reflected in our ever changing real estate market as it emerges from unfamiliar territory. And you can expect to hear a lot more about interest rates tomorrow, that’s when the Bank of Canada will release its latest rate decision. But this time, most of the analysts are predicting that the BOC will hold things as they are. That is in stark contrast to what’s happening south of the border right now where a lot of Americans are being warned to expect faster, higher rates in the weeks and months ahead, Todd.

Todd Battis 02:29
And we saw that play out on the markets today. Bruce, we’ll have more of that in our business report a little later. Thank you very much Bruce Frisko and Halifax.