First-time buyers are expected to take advantage of ideal housing market conditions in coming months as greater affordability and newly introduced government incentives prop-up home-buying activity in Clarenville and the surrounding areas.
Overall, Atlantic Canada is poised for strong housing market performance in 2019 as economic performance ramps up, unemployment rates decline, and first-time buyer incentives at both provincial and federal government levels take hold, according to the RE/MAX 2019 Atlantic Canada Housing Market Report. The report found strong momentum in the larger urban centres, as well as spillover into several smaller markets. Home sales are on par or up in just under half the markets surveyed (7/15), likely due to the current shortage of inventory, while housing values have climbed in almost three-quarters (11/15) of the Atlantic Canadian markets surveyed.
Housing Activity in Clarenville & Surrounding Areas
Overall unit sales are on par with first quarter levels in 2018, with 21 properties changing hands in Clarenville and the surrounding areas, compared to 23 units in 2018. An uptick in sales at lower price points has weighed down housing values across the board, with year-to-date average price sitting at $155,400 in Clarenville and the surrounding areas, and $183,000 in Clarenville proper. The incentives include a $10,000 increase to the Home Buyer’s Plan, which allows first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $35,000 from their retirement savings plans to finance the purchase of a home and the proposed Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. While the new initiative has yet to come into effect, it is expected to lower the mortgage amount by 10 per cent on newly-built homes and five per cent on resale properties. With almost one in six residents between the ages of 20 to 34 years, according to the 2016 Census Profile for Clarenville-Shoal Harbour, younger buyers are in the driver’s seat.
To date, demand has been strongest for single-detached starter homes ranging in price from $150,000 to $180,000 in Clarenville proper. More budget-conscious buyers are expanding their search to rural communities outside of Clarenville where homes can start as low as $60,000. An ample supply of homes is currently listed for sale at all price points. Renters are also looking at options, given that the cost of homeownership is now almost equal to the cost of renting. Single-detached, three-bedroom homes typically rent from $800 to $1,000 a month in Clarenville, but renters are finding that with a small downpayment, monthly mortgage payments are just as manageable.
From an economic perspective, increased oil production at the Hebron Offshore Oil Platform is expected to buoy economic performance this year, which bodes well for the housing market. By year-end, unit sales in Clarenville and the surrounding areas are expected to mirror 2018 levels, while average price may experience some further softening.
Atlantic Canada Housing Market Highlights
- First-time buyers were a driving force in almost 70 per cent of markets surveyed. (10/15)
- Low inventory levels were reported in 80 per cent of markets. (12/15)
- Home sales were strongest at starter price points ranging from $100,000 to $300,000.
- Buyers from other parts of the country were active in 60 per cent of Atlantic Canada housing markets. (9/15)
- Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick are seeing an influx of people returning home after working in Alberta’s oil sector.
- Luxury sales were up in Halifax-Dartmouth, Saint John and Kings County.