How’s The Real Estate Market?
So I get 25 pages of stats from The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) around the middle of each month and the first thing that happens is that my eyes glaze over. Then I narrow down the numbers to the ones that interest me – the ones that actually provide useful information about the real estate market. Like you, I just want to know how the real estate market is this year compared to last year and to get some idea of how the market will be for the rest of this year, next year and the year after that. Since I work in Nova Scotia and primarily in the Halifax/Dartmouth area, I choose to ignore what’s happening in other provinces. You can get all the thrilling – and useless for our purposes – stories about flipping properties in Vancouver and million dollar tear-downs in Toronto on any number of news sites or on social media. Just give us the relevant facts, please.
Narrowing down what I want from the numbers allows me to ignore 80% of the stats on my screen. The most important information comes in the form of year-to-date (YTD) sales, listings and average prices. Monthly stats provide too small a window when trying to spot trends and after all that’s what we’re really looking for, trends that will help us make real estate decisions. Should we continue renting or should we buy our first home? Should we buy an income property or invest in that new condo building downtown? Basically, we want to make informed investment decisions, even if we’re just buying our principal residence.
So let’s dive in. Here are the basics for the Halifax/Dartmouth residential market:
YTD Sales 2015 (to Feb. 28) – 528 YTD Sales 2016 (to Feb. 29) – 587 Chg. + 11.2%
YTD New Listings 2015 – 1,559 YTD New Listings 2016 – 1,414 Chg. – 9.3%
YTD Avg. Price 2015 – $ 272,423 YTD Avg. Price 2016 – $ 265,537 Chg. – 2.5%
NOVA SCOTIA STATS
And here are the same statistics for the entire province:
YTD Sales 2015 – 974 YTD Sales 2016 – 1,014 Chg. + 4.4%
YTD New Listings 2015– 2,709 YTD New Listings 2016 – 2,748 Chg. + 1.4%
YTD Avg. Price 2015 – $ 211,736 YTD Avg. Price 2016 – $ 209,802 Chg. – 0.9%
The statistics above cover all residential properties except multi-family properties. In other words, CREA lumps detached, semi-detached, town houses and condominiums together. This gives us an over view of general market conditions, but let’s say you’re considering the purchase or sale of a condo and you would like to know how that sub-market is doing, you’re out of luck unless some enterprising REALTOR decides to drill down and pull out the condominium statistics. Well, you came to the right place. Because I will have to sort manually, it will be a few days before I get to it, but I will post those number s in the next few days.
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