Hurricane Fiona and the Real Estate Market in Halifax

Hi, I'm Tara Lyons of Team Tara Lyons with Royal Lepage ProAlliance.

And we are back at it.

And I have an awesome friend and colleague who is located out in Halifax
and this is Stacey Devoe.


Hi, Tara, thanks for having me.

Yeah, we're part of the Richard Robbins Group and we got to meet out in Whistler.

Yeah, that was great.

My gosh, wasn't that amazing?

She like, flew way further than I did.


So we're going to talk about the market a little bit, but as you heard, Stacey is out in Halifax and of course we just had Hurricane Fiona, so we want to hear how everybody's doing out there.

Well, here in Halifax, I think for the most part, people have their power back.

It's usually like Cape, Briton, areas like that.

Actually, quite a few are still waiting, but I keep seeing post on Facebook, just got my power back.

So seeing that we lost ours, it would have been like Friday
night and got it back that Tuesday.

Wow, that was felt tough.

But not compared to other people who are waiting 10-11 plus days.

What is it now?

Is it ten days out now?

Yeah, I think we're both about ten days out and there's people, they're still waiting or they're just getting it back.

And it can be challenging for us. We're on Well and Septic, so we need the power to run our water and fluctuate.

No kidding.

What is that doing to your market out there?

Because normally fall is a busy time of season for you, right?

Yeah, its kind of like it slowed things down last week.

Like even, I think yourself, you're kind of in a fog because you don't have your regular routine.

The schools were closed, we were closed for two days, some were closed longer.

But yeah, if people want to do price reductions, they didn't want to do that at that time because they were scared that people wouldn't see it because
they didn't have power.

So I kind of put a pause, I think, for a lot of people, and I think this week we'll see more listings, maybe people that wait is for price reductions as well.

It is, right?

It's like pausing it is just putting everything on hold.

Because now all of a sudden you have this disaster that has happened and helping people get through that.

Do you think that you're going to actually have an influx of homes coming on?

I don't know.

I feel like even before this, because of everything happening with interest rates and everything else, like all the headlines and everything happening, there are some people that are even like maybe they are trying to get their house quickly to sell, to try to take advantage of the tail end of, I don't know, wherever we are.

And there's others that maybe we're just going to put on hold.

So I don't know if we're going to I'm kind of curious myself to see.


I do find we're getting more calls from buyers, which is great.


Yeah, it's true, because it's opened the door for them.

Even with interest rates going up, it's opened the door because they're not in the competition.

And I know for us here in Ontario, we're located in Ontario and Belleville, specifically in CFB Trenton and Prince Edward County area, we were actually seeing a lot of people coming from here and moving out in your direction.

Yeah, we have a lot of people move here.

We saw the biggest growth here in Halifax and years, I think I was looking at a stat grew like 2.1% in 2021 last year.

That's big.

Yeah, so that's pretty big for us.

I felt like for years we were kind of the have not province, right.

Like, everybody was leaving and they were all going up west to make the big bucks.


And everybody was doing that.

And our housing for a year just didn't move.

Like, it was common to say our average days on market was 90 days and our average sale price was around 320, or like it was good.

But that certainly has changed in the last couple of years.

Where are you at now?
What is your average sale price, sir?

Just looking at the year to date, $545,000.


That so that's where our average price is, in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

So, of course, like any other areas, you might get homes that are lower than that for the province.

Was your peak around February and April as well.

Yeah, April the peak.

So I find that even looking at some of our stats, you can't really go by the year to date, 100% for some of the stuff because things are slowing down.

How are you finding your days on market?

They're increasing.

So I think we're around about 25.
Oh, wow.


So we've seen a big shift.


So in Belleville so our peak here was April, not February in Belleville.

And our average number of days back then was six.

We're now at 50.


And then we have other sub areas.

So, like, we have Thurlow which is just north above north of the 401.

And those average days on market are actually 54, and last month they were 37.

Oh, wow.


When I say last month, I should say August.

So August was 54 in Thurlow and 50 in Belleville, and then September, they've just gone up.

It's just crazy.

Yeah, it is interesting to see it increase.

It's definitely homes are sitting on the market.

We have to kind of use some of the old tools and how we sell properties because we were used to a slow market before.

Oh, got you.

And it's interesting because that's what we're saying.

It's like, oh, we have to go old school now.

Back in 2008, when the financial crisis happened, we knew we had on average with 100 days,

and so that means we had homes
that were on for 200 days.

So interesting,
we have Prince Edward County, which is kind of a retirement, but wine country and all of that now. And they are now on average
on the market, 102 days.


And that changed in August, it was 61.

And so it's just been gradually been going up.

Our average house price in Belleville, it went down from August to September it was at 489, and August it's at 482.

But Prince Edward County, interestingly enough, went up a bit in price.

In August, it was 829, and we're at 884.

But it's a smaller pool of houses that have sold.

That's where our million dollar homes are typically.

So, I mean, a couple of sales could skew that a bit.

So don't get your hopes up too high, everybody, because there's not on a trend going up.


Are you still seeing a lot of competition, too?

Not very often.

It's funny because now it's hit and miss.

So before when it was starting up, and we're like, oh, we're in competition in that, like, now.

So now it's like, oh, we're in competition, but on the downward side because it doesn't happen very often.

It does happen once in a while, usually in our homes under $500 because our average house price.

But it doesn't happen a whole lot.

How about you?

Yeah, we're seeing that, too, like less competition.

But it's the houses that are eitherthey're very pretty, what I call
the instagram worthy homes.

Those ones are the ones that are still
as long as they're priced right.

And of course, the homes I
think I got a message today.

I showed the house yesterday that was listed for 300, getting multiple offers, right.

So just around 30% is still going above list price right now.

So they're there.

There's still some people doing that strategy.


As long as it's under a certain price category for us, too.

We had one under 350, and our buyer wound up in competition thinking they were going to get a good deal, like trying to go really low.

But we're not there yet.

I'm not sure we'll ever get back to where we were in respect to trying to find that deal of 100 grand under list, because more people are more listening to where it should be.

We're not listening under very often, and we still have a lot who are testing the market and trying to still overprice now.

And you used to be able to do that in the good market, and you can't overprice in this market.


And actually that's the same thing we're seeing here.

People are pricing closer to where they want.

So a lot of the price reduction well, with the price changes, a lot of them are the people that were not getting what they want, and then they were increasing it.

Well, now we're seeing that strategy is not working.

So now it's their pricing higher, but then people saying, this is what I want, and then okay.

Working their way down, which is hard.

We call it chasing the market.

Chasing the market down instead of going up.


And then, of course, as interest rates change, that even gets harder too.

Which of course, we have coming up.

October 7 should be our next interest rate, right?


Do you do events and stuff with your clients or do you have anything like that coming up?

Yeah, we do have an event coming up.

It's our referral event.

It's also like anyone who bought a house with us.

We're having a brunch coming up.
Oh, nice.

We did that.
It's our first one since.

Isn't it nice?

So it's at a really nice location.

They had a super beautiful brunch, and the food is amazing.

Usually have some music and prizes, and we're excited to do that.

Oh, that is exciting.
I know.

We've really missed having those events, too.

We have a photo, a customer appreciation photo event where they get to come out, we'll have some drinks and stuff like that.

And we've done it at a location where it's a business, so they can go in and shop and do some shopping and stuff.

Maybe early Christmas or whatever, so they can see that while they're waiting their turn for their photos.

And then we'll be sending out the photos to them afterwards.

We're having a pumpkin coloring contest and things like that too.

So just some fun stuff. But I'm looking forward to seeing everybody.

Yeah, it is nice to get out again and do the event.

And even like, the other realtors I don't know about you, but we have more agent open houses.

And they're feeding us.


And we're feeding them when we have ours.

I know, it's true.

I've had so many new agents, like, what is this?

They don't know.
I've had that, too.

With new ages, price reduction.

What is that?

What's a counter?

What's a counteroffer?


It's interesting.
It is.

Well, I have to tell you, everybody here is thinking about everybody out east.

And I don't know, but I've had family and friends and gosh at one time, I probably knew about six people that were traveling out east for their holidays this year, and they were all out there at one time.

I said, hey, if you're into so and so, they're there.

Yeah, on the highway.

It was the destination place this year.
Yeah, I know.

There's lots to do here, and there's a lot of growth happening right now.

I find our city.

Like I said, for a long time, nothing seemed to happen.

Nothing changed.

And now I don't know how many cranes you can see when you're driving in the city.

Yeah, you could feel it.

And even this year now that's COVID like, people are getting back to the office.

Like traffic.
I'm getting stuck in traffic.

Gosh, it used to take me 5 minutes.

Now it takes me ten.


Well, I want to thank you very much for joining us on this.

It's just wonderful to hear about different provinces and what they're going through, and, of course, you guys have been going through so much more.

Yeah, thank you for joining us.
No, it's great.

Thank you very much for inviting me.