Halifax housing market grows, some areas become unaffordable

A study home sales shows many first-time homeowners are being driven off peninsula Halifax by high prices, but that's benefiting other parts of the Halifax region.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation study looks at 15 years of data

Some neighbourhoods, such as the south and west ends of Halifax, became unaffordable to many prospective home buyers. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

A study of 15 years of home sales shows many first-time homeowners are being driven off peninsula Halifax by high prices, but that's benefiting sales in other parts of the Halifax region.

The study by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation also looked at income and employment rates among first-time homebuyers.

During the period from 2000 to 2015, housing prices increased in all parts of the Halifax Regional Municipality.

"A rising tide lifts all boats," said Guillaume Neault, an analyst with the CMHC. "All the neighbourhoods in Halifax were moving in the same direction. So price, growth, more sales, days on market declining."

During that period, Neault said some neighbourhoods, such as the south and west ends of Halifax, became unaffordable to many prospective home buyers.

"There was an erosion in people's ability to access those neighbourhoods," he said. "The prices grew to the point where it excluded people who may have wanted to get in."

Neault believes that contributed to buyer interest in other neighbourhoods.

He said employment rates and salaries for workers between 25 and 34 years old have not recovered from the global economic crisis of 2008.

Halifax real estate has gone through a complete economic cycle since 2000, Neault explained, from a seller's market to a buyer's market, followed by a balanced state.

He said the real estate market is currently strongest on the Halifax peninsula, with buyers' conditions prevailing elsewhere. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.