Nova Scotia Real Estate Update for May 22, 2021

Nova Scotia Real Estate Update for May 22, 2021


The Nova Scotia Government announced Friday that they were loosening restrictions for people moving to Nova Scotia.  For homebuyers moving to Nova Scotia, they are no longer restricted by the closing date of the property they are purchasing.


Loosening of Moving Restrictions


Homebuyers must though, have in place, a purchase and sale agreement that was accepted on or before May 1, 2021. Even then no one is allowed to move to Nova Scotia have to be first approved by applying through the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form. Link Here.


Viewings of properties are still under provincial restrictions. REALTORs® are allowed to provide essential services to Buyers and Sellers to need to do business because they are at the risk of becoming homeless either through lease termination or sale of the primary residence.


Virtual tours and video calls are recommended methods of viewing properties as buyers are still required by law to remain within their county of residence.  See VLOG on Things to look for in a Virtual Tour.



Market Stats for May 7-21, 2021 (lockdown) vs April 16-31, 2021*




                                         April 16-30    May  7-21      Difference

# 507 480 -18.7%
$ Median $410,000 $369,900 -10%
New Listings
# 448 374 -16.5%
$ Median $359,900 $374,900 +5%
  Active Listings Conditional Listings
# 458 281
$ Median $429,900 $376,000

*Residential MLS listings







Annapolis Valley   

                                              April 16-30    May  7-21      Difference

# 169 130 -23%
$ Median $275,000 $261,000 -5%
New Listings
# 190 128 -32%
$ Median $269,200 $230,000 -14.5%
  Active Listings Conditional Listings
# 349 132
$ Median $299,000 $229,000

*Residential MLS listings




South Shore 

                                             April 16-30    May  7-21      Difference

# 80 72 -1%
$ Median $0 $0 $posted once closed
New Listings
# 108 98 -10%
$ Median $249,950 $294,450 +18%
  Active Listings Conditional Listings
# 276 80
 $ Median $330,000 $275,950

*Residential MLS listings

Reviewing the real estate market for central Nova Scotia for the past two weeks of lockdown, compared to the last two weeks of April is not without some caveats.


The restrictions put in place at the beginning of May, saw REALTOR® limited to essential business and working only with essential buyers via virtual tours, so a market slow down was to be expected.


With a typical offer on a property closing 30-45 days after all conditions being met, the full impact of the lockdown will not be seen until mid to late June, when the offers accepted at the beginning of May would be typically closing.


From the end of April compared to the last two weeks, the number of sold decreased by 18.7% in the Halifax area, 23% in the Annapolis Valley, and just by 1% on the South Shore.


Median Sales vs Average Sales


Median sale prices of firm deals were down by 10% in Halifax and 5% in the Annapolis Valley. Final sale prices on the South shore are not posted on MLS until closing day. Median sale figures are being used because they are the middle, whereas average sale prices can be skewed sometimes by the extremely high-end or low-end sales.


The lower median sale prices may have less to do with the lockdown and more to do with Buyer push back to recent price increases and bidding wars as more and more properties were being listed a lot higher just to test the market and see if any buyers would bite.


Some buyers have even put off house buying to wait until the market settled down.


Most REALTORS® did not experience the effects of the lockdown as many were still working through conditions of the offers accepted at the beginning of May. Some sellers were still anxious about taking advantage of the sellers’ market and did not want to wait out the lockdown to list.


Conditional Offers and New Listings


To gauge the current impact that the Nova Scotia lockdown more accurately is to analyze the new listings and conditional offers. These are the real-time activity of buyers and sellers.


Currently, there are 281 residential properties in the Halifax/Dartmouth area with accepted offers on them. 132 conditionals in the Annapolis Valley and 79 on the South Shore. The properties that are getting offers are approximately $50,000 less expensive than the other active listings.


 The new listings have decreased 16.5% in the Halifax area from the last two weeks in April. Because it is the busiest market in Nova Scotia, and the frenzy is still in high gear there, list prices increased 5%.


In the Annapolis Valley, the number of new listings are down 32% in the last two weeks, and listing prices have come down 14.%.


On the South Shore, there were 98 new listings, which is down 10% from the last two weeks of April. These new listings are priced 18% over the median price in April. Sellers are still expecting to capitalize on the ballooning prices.


There is no end to the Seller’s market insight. Inventory levels keep hitting record lows. In the Annapolis Valley, there is only 1.9 months worth compared to last year’s inventory of 5.1 months.


The Halifax area is dealing with just 1 month’s worth of inventory compared to 3.6 months worth this time last year when it was thought it could not go any lower.


Once the lockdown gets lifted, it is anticipated that there will be an influx of new listings. This will undoubtedly cause another spike in buyer interest and viewings,

Up until there is at least six months worth it will continue to be a seller’s market, so these current market conditions will continue for many months yet.


3 Factors That will Cool the Seller’s market


 As more of the population gets vaccinated there will be less desire and urgency to travel east as a means to have room to roam and live amongst a lower population density.


Buyers coming from the competitive housing markets of Toronto and Vancouver are leary and weary from bidding wars and watching Nova Scotia prices soar so much that the prices are no longer as enticing.


Effective June 1st, The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has made changes to the mortgage stress test that will require borrowers to prove that, even though the current interest rate maybe around 2.3 %, that they can afford repayments of their mortgage at 5.25%, up from last year of 4.79%


 Scotia Real Estate Update for May 22, 2021