Canada

Skyrocketing real estate costs pricing Maritime homebuyers out of the market

HALIFAX —
Many Maritime hopeful homeowners are being priced out of the market, as properties across the region continue to go well over asking.

While it’s certainly a good time to be selling, buying is becoming a pipedream for those without a big budget.

One first-time buyer was priced out 13 out of 14 times, and while they haven’t given up, they say it’s proving difficult.

Having a house to raise her kids is a dream for homebuyer Alexandra Place and her family.

But right now, owning real estate is not within reach.

“We have a down payment for a house, but it’s just not enough anymore and we just have to keep at it,” said Place.

She has a roof over her head, but it’s her in-laws. For now, the family lives in a one bedroom.

Houses in the Halifax area cost 34 per cent more than they did last year. It’s a similar situation in Fredericton. In Yarmouth, N.S., the jump is even higher.

Place believes the sky-high listings are pricing first-time buyers out of the market.

“Almost all of my friends who were planning to buy have either completely halted that plan or do some kind of alternate plan, which would be borrowing money from family, buying a house with their brother or sister, or even their parents,” says Place.

Nova Scotia is a seller’s market.

For real estate agent Eric Holman, he’s been working with a couple from Ontario since October and has yet to close a deal.

“We’ve probably put in roughly 14 or 15 offers onto properties since that time and most of the time we’re getting outbid,” says Holman.

Holman doesn’t believe first-time buyers are at a disadvantage because he’s helped many find homes.

“It’s just depending on the budget, their areas of interest and their needs and wants at the end of the day,” says Holman.

Economist Tad Mangwengwende believes the price is driven by a surge in demand.

Mangwengwende says people were already moving to Nova Scotia before the pandemic, but COVID-19 accelerated it.

“The fact that a considerable amount of interest in the little we have is actually telling us about the inadequacy on the supply side, rather than anything else,” says Mangwengwende.

Meanwhile, realtors say being pre-approved for a house and being flexible with geography can be important. Though, we know location is important in real estate.

“I just really hope something is able to change and we’re able to get to the point where we can buy,” says Place.

“I hope that for all the young people our age because we are Nova Scotia’s future.”


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