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Housing market should stabilize come Spring says local realtor

James Dwyer says while prices are cooling, it would still be considered a seller's market if this were pre-pandemic.
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(stock photo)

The housing market across the country has been hard to predict since 2019 but stability should hit the market at some point next year, says a local realtor. 

James Dwyer, a realtor who operates in the Halifax Regional Municipality, says those who need to worry about the cool-off are essentially only those who purchased a home during the market's peak. 

"I think those that would need to worry about such a thing would be essentially those that purchased during the peak of the market," Dwyer told CityNews.

Dwyer says at the end of the day, from the beginning of 2019 to where the market currently sits shows, it is still up 65 per cent in valuation. 

But for those who did purchase during the peak, it is ultimately still a paper loss. 

Dwyer says the pandemic brought in a lot of abnormal behavoiurs in markets but mainly in real estate. 

"When you look at kind of Bank of Canada's track record this year, it definitely feels like the goal and the objective is to get inflation number down, but they're going hard and strong," Dwyer explained. 

Dwyer says this results in the decrease in value but should be short-lived while the Bank of Canada tries to get ahold of inflation. 

"The common census is a lot of stability in the market will be restored once we get into the Spring," said Dwyer. 

Dwyer believes there will be another one or two interest rate hikes before the year is out, but most of the heavy lifting regarding hikes has already been done. 

"I think the Winter we could see evaluations drop a little further, so obviously the market will be stronger if you just sell in the Spring, but the value might not be reflective of 2022 values that we've seen," Dwyer said. 

Dwyer says if homeowners sell now, they can ensure that they're going to get a slightly better price than if they were to sell in the Spring in a stronger market. 

 "So it's a little bit of a juggling act going on within the market right now, but I think once we stabilize on rate hikes, it'll calm down, and things will start to stabilize in the Spring," Dwyer said. 

Dwyer says while prices are cooling, it would still be considered a seller's market if this were pre-pandemic. 

"The over-asking sales prices are nothing like they were six months ago or a year when we were getting 100 or 200 over asking, but there's still competition to be had out there because inventory numbers are still relatively low," Dwyer explained.

"Here in Halifax in particularly, we have a bit of an insulated market with inside factors bringing either economic benefit or population growth," Dwyer explained. 

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

"The volatility of things going up rapidly, traditionally in real estate has a sense that it does tumble as fast as it went up, so we like to see slow steady, somewhat predictable growth," Dwyer said. 

Dwyer expressed how much impact interest rates have on the real estate industry. 

"It has without a doubt brought down that feverish pitch that we've had over the last two years and has brought it back down to a much more predictable pattern," he continued.

Dwyer says while some areas of the market have seen a decrease in value, such as single-family homes in the mid-range of pricing and higher-end properties, the condo market has flatlined. 

"It hasn't gone down in price like the residential market, so I'm quite impressed by the condo side," Dwyer said. 

"I suspect that a strong part to do with that is a lot of these condos are now filling the void of entry-level housing, and so there's always going to be that demand for it, so that's always encouraging."

Dwyer finished by saying he suspects that when the fluctuation is all said and done, he thinks Halifax is set up to have a softer landing than areas like Toronto or Vancouver.

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