Housing market should stabilize come Spring says local realtor

James Dwyer says while prices were cooling it would still be considered a sellers’ market if this were before the pandemic.

The housing market across the country has been difficult to predict since 2019, but stability should come to the market sometime next year, a local agent says.

James Dwyer, a real estate agent working in the Halifax Regional Municipality, says those who have to worry about the slowdown are essentially just those who bought a home during the market’s peak.

“I think the ones who would have to worry about something like this would essentially be the ones who bought during the peak of the market,” Dwyer told CityNews.

Dwyer says that from the beginning of 2019 to where the market is today, the market is still valued 65 percent higher at the end of the day.

But ultimately, for those who bought at the peak, it’s still a paper waste.

Dwyer says the pandemic has created a lot of abnormal behavior in the markets, but mostly in the real estate market.

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“If you look at the Bank of Canada’s track record this year, it definitely feels like the aim and goal is to bring inflation numbers down, but they’re going hard and going strong,” Dwyer explained.

Dwyer says this will lead to a drop in value, but should be short-lived as the Bank of Canada tries to get inflation under control.

“The census shows that a lot of stability will be restored in the market once we get into spring,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer thinks there will be another rate hike or two before the end of the year, but most of the heavy lifting has already been done.

“I think in the winter, valuations could go down a bit more, so obviously the market will be stronger if you just sell in the spring, but the value may not reflect the 2022 levels that we’ve seen,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer says if homeowners sell now, they can ensure they’re getting a slightly better price than if they were to sell in a stronger market in the spring.

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“So it’s a bit of a juggling act in the market right now, but I think once we stabilize on rate hikes it will settle down and things will stabilize in the spring,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer says while prices are cooling it would still be considered a sellers’ market if this were before the pandemic.

“The inflated selling prices aren’t like they were six months or a year ago when we were overcharging 100 or 200, but there’s still competition out there because inventories are still relatively low,” explained Dwyer.

“Specifically here in Halifax, we have a somewhat isolated market with internal factors that deliver either economic benefit or population growth,” Dwyer explained.

Dwyer says the housing market in the Halifax Regional Municipality has always been stable on a daily basis, with 10 to 15 years of stable growth followed by a three to five year plateau in home values.

“The volatility of things that go up fast has traditionally felt in real estate that they’re going down as fast as they’ve gone up, so we like to see slow, steady, somewhat predictable growth,” Dwyer said.

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Dwyer expressed how much interest rates are affecting the real estate industry.

“It has, without a doubt, lowered the feverish levels we’ve had over the last two years and brought it back to a much more predictable pattern,” he continued.

Dwyer says while some areas of the market have declined in value, such as B. Single-family houses in the middle price range and high-quality real estate, the market for condominiums has flattened out.

“The price hasn’t come down like the housing market, so I’m pretty impressed on the condo side,” Dwyer said.

“I suspect a lot of that has to do with the fact that a lot of these condos are now filling the entry-level niche, and so there’s always going to be that demand for it, so that’s always encouraging.”

Dwyer concluded by saying he suspects that when turnover is all said and done, he thinks Halifax will have a softer landing than areas like Toronto or Vancouver.