Pent-up demand and greater market stability drew buyers back into the Halifax housing market late in the first quarter and the trend continued throughout the second quarter of the year.

]Despite inventory challenges and high mortgage rates, more than 2,500 homes changed hands in the six-month period, down 23 per cent from strong 2022 levels. Housing values have bounced back to some extent, rising almost nine per cent between January and June, with average price now hovering at $560,000, just $9,000 short of the $569,000 reported one year ago.

Detached homes remain most popular with move-up buyers, with the vast majority seeking properties priced between $500,000 and $600,000.

The move-up segment currently represents just over 20 per cent of market activity to date, compared to 18.4 per cent during the same period in 2022. Strong equity gains over the past five years have contributed to the upward movement, with values up approximately 80 per cent over 2018 levels.

Multiple offers remain common under the $600,000 price point and in certain sought-after areas of the city such as the Halifax Peninsula, Sackville and areas in Dartmouth.

The Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate hike has had a nominal impact on demand thus far, but the full extent will be evident when buyer’s rate holds expire in early fall, and possible further rate increases. With the advent of the traditional summer market, sales are expected to taper somewhat, although the Halifax housing market should remain steady.