As far as predictability goes, 2015 was not a year that saw crazy highs and lows, nor any shocking surprises. Alternatively, the market year seemed rather ho-hum, as we witnessed what turned out to be slight gains (for the most part) in most sections of the market, but positivity if you looked closer. Average sale prices were no exception.
Peaking in June at $289k, the majority of the year placed better than all other years, with average gains of 2 and 3 percent (respectively). The average residential sale price across the board was just over the $280k mark, however, the median selling price over the year was just over $252k, which is a fairly large gap. In my mind, this was caused by the abundant transactions of entry level homes and their selling popularity, while the occasional high end product may have skewed the overall averages.
Here's another stat that I'm sure most of us were hoping wold change directions in 2015, however, it didn't... Starting off the year on a positive note, residential inventory started slow then jumped to an all time peak just under the halfway point of the market year. Hitting the all time peak in August at just over 3500 listings, 2015 was no stranger to the continued record smashing trend. Compared to just 3 years ago at the peak time, 2015 reported 1300 more active listings sitting on the market. Which is kind of a big deal since we only have around 5000 listings, on average, active for all residential products at one time, This is a 26% inventory gain in that short timespan, nothing shy of remarkable really, especially for the "slow and steady" Halifax market. We did see a few interesting things in 2015 regarding the inventory however.
Even though the overall picture is seemingly unchanged. Around the midpoint of the market year, active condo's inventory levels dipped below that of the previous year and continued to do so for the remainder of the year. Although the single family home inventory was setting record heights each month in 2015, as we edged closer to the end of the year, 2014/15 numbers narrowed to within double digits of each other.
Now here's the unpredictable and always interesting report...sales! As most people are already aware, we are having a somewhat difficult time moving residential products here in Halifax. No doubt we have been sat in a buyers market over the past few years, but there is signs that things are starting to improve.
Call it the worst winter in years or the worst market in years, but the two seemed to coincide. no doubt, it was probably a challenge to trudge around in 3ft of snow looking at properties which most likely kept the majority of casual property buyers indoors for the first quarter of the season, however, as the season and weather improved (late), 2015 entered the sales race at the midpoint of June and kicked into high gear. From there, we witnessed the fall into annual trend, but the last quarter of the year showed some real solid numbers.
So the start of the year looked pretty average, but as 2015 progressed, things started to look, well...better. Higher than average inventory reductions, decent sales numbers and activity have turned what appeared to be "yet another down year" into a hopeful start to 2016. Stay tuned to the blog to stay on top of the Halifax real estate market!
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Jeremiah Wallace, CD
Jeremiah has been involved with many aspects of the Real Estate industry for over twelve years. This includes construction, residential renovations, interior design, and investing in various income generating property products..
Photo's by Jeremiah