Nova Scotia Real Estate Market Update for January 2023

The real estate market report for January 2023 shows that Nova Scotia is experiencing changes and fluctuations, as is typical in any market with one exception, sold price.

Months’ Worth of Inventory.

In terms of inventory rate, the entire province has a rate of 1.8 months, which is down from two months in December. The city of Halifax has a lower inventory rate of 1.2 months, while the Annapolis Valley has 2.1 months and the South Shore has 2.9 months. It’s worth noting that these numbers are still higher than from this time last year.

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Number of Active Listings

The number of active listings in the single-family and condo market has also changed. The total number of active listings in Nova Scotia is 1673, which is down from last month but up from last year by 707 listings. In Halifax, there are 525 active listings, which is down from last month but up from last year.

The Annapolis Valley has 302 active listings, while the South Shore has 250 active listings. All of these numbers are down from December but up significantly from last year.

New Listings in January

New listings in January have increased across the board, but this is expected as new listings tend to decline in the fall months. Nova Scotia has 706 new listings for the month of January, up from last month and last year. Halifax has 307 new listings, which is significantly up from 183 last month and 283 from last year. The Annapolis Valley has 108 new listings, which is up from 55 in December and 80 from last year. The South Shore has 73 new listings for January, down from 74 from last year, but up from 39 in December.

Sold Properties Decrease

dawn magee soldThe number of sold properties is down both from last month and last year. Nova Scotia had 408 sold properties in January, down from 533 last month and 577 from last year. Halifax had 182 sold properties, down from 256 in December and 242 from last year. The Annapolis Valley had 59 sold properties, down from 68 in December and 78 from last year. The South Shore had 42 sales, down from 52 in December and 111 from last year. These numbers reflect the number of properties sold, not necessarily the home sale prices.

Median Vs Average Calculations

Home sale prices can be calculated in a few different ways, but the median home sale price is a more reliable indicator as it is less susceptible to being skewed by higher or lower end sales. For Nova Scotia as a whole, the median home sale price in January 2023 was $360,000, up from $337,000 from last year. This is a positive trend, as home sale prices in other parts of Canada have been decreasing.

In the Halifax area, the median home sale price increased to $480,450, just down slightly from $482,450 from last year. The Annapolis Valley has a median home sale price of $295,000, down from last month but up from $286,500 from last year. The South Shore has a median home sale price of $267,500, down from last month and last year.

Days on Market

The days on market, or the amount of time a property spends on the market before being sold, can also provide insight into the state of the market. Across Nova Scotia, the average days on market is 35 days, up from 22 days last month and 15 days last year. In Halifax, the average days on market is 29 days, up from 16 days in December and 6 days from last year. In the Annapolis Valley, the average days on market is 52 days, up from 35 days last month and 28 days from last year. On the South Shore, it takes an average of 34 days to sell a property, up from 29 days last month but down from 43 days from last year.

Difficulty Setting List Prices

The real estate market in Nova Scotia is in a state of flux, with factors such as pricing, interest rates, and buyer preferences impacting the current landscape. The market was particularly volatile last year, making it difficult to price properties accurately, with some overpriced listings sitting on the market for longer periods.

List to Sale Ratio

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Analyzing the list-to-sale ratio provides insights into how close to the list price homes are selling for. Currently, the list-to-sale ratio in Nova Scotia is at 96.9%, with Halifax having the strongest ratio of 98.1%. However, this is down from 100% this time last year. The Annapolis Valley and South Shore areas have list-to-sale ratios of 96% and 95.1% respectively.

Interest Rates Increase Again

The Bank of Canada has increased the interest rate slightly, with a press conference citing that there will not be any more increases for now as inflation rates seem to be stabilizing. However, this may change depending on global energy prices and increased wages, which can put pressure on supply and demand and increase inflation rates. Currently, the average interest rate for a variable 5-year mortgage is 5.5% and for a fixed rate, it’s 4.54%.

Holding Pattern

The real estate market in Nova Scotia appears to be in a holding pattern, with sellers feeling like they missed the train and buyers taking a wait and see approach. The impact of inflation rates and the fear of dipping into downpayment savings to cover expenses is a concern for many potential buyers. The influx of new listings is slow due to sellers not having many options for alternative housing, combined with the perceived decrease in home sale prices.

Market Trends

There is an influx of Ontario buyers coming in, who are more flexible and willing to consider properties that need updating or fixing.

Buyers are seeking properties with bonus space, multi-generational options, and a bit more land to accommodate gardening, greenhouses, and additions. The trend of open concept living is no longer as desirable, with many remote workers seeking quiet spaces to conduct business. Fill out your Buyers Wants and Needs Checklist here

Buyer Assistance

The Nova Scotia government has expanded funding programs for first-time homebuyers and broadened the down payment assistance program, with increased price points for properties due to recent home price increases.


In conclusion, the real estate market in Nova Scotia is complex, and it is essential to stay informed about the current market trends and factors that may impact your buying or selling decision. If you’re curious about how the current market may affect your situation, don’t hesitate to reach out for a consultation.

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Mark Mitchell Mortgage