Halifax real estate prices have been on an incline, but despite the growth, the city’s housing market ranked #4 of 16 Canadian cities when it comes to housing affordability, according to the 2020 RE/MAX Housing Affordability Report. While affordability is already one of the region’s biggest draws, cost-conscious home hunters in search of even better prices can find them in the communities of Sackville, Spryfield and Eastern Passage, which have been named the most affordable neighbourhoods to buy a home in Halifax.

Factors contributing to Halifax real estate prices

Halifax real estate prices have been on the rise, experiencing a six-per-cent increase from 2018 to 2019, and another four-per-cent increase expected this year (source: 2020 Housing Market Outlook Report). Despite the price growth, Halifax has been named one of Canada’s most-affordable housing markets, according to the new RE/MAX Housing Affordability Report.

In its inaugural Housing Affordability Report, RE/MAX examined 16 of Canada’s most-populous regions and ranked them on an affordability scale, with #1 being the most affordable and #16 being the least affordable. RE/MAX brokers were surveyed about average home sale prices and whether they believe real estate in their region is overvalued, undervalued, or right on the money. Halifax real estate came in at #4 of 16 cities. Canada’s most affordable city to buy a home is Regina (#1) and the least affordable place to buy a home is Vancouver (#16).

REMAX 2020 Housing Affordability Report Graph

RE/MAX’s affordability ranking was determined by assessing the percentage of a buyer’s monthly income needed to carry a mortgage, assuming a down payment of 25 per cent, and based on the forecasted 2020 average sale price per region and the forecasted 2019 average household income.

Halifax real estate is considered to be undervalued when compared to other cities in Canada. With a 2019 average sale price of $319,071, the housing market in Halifax remains stable and the economy is steady. First-time homebuyers typically look for condominiums or semi-detached homes, which both come at an average starting price of $200,000.

At the high end of the affordability spectrum, the region’s least affordable neighbourhoods include South End Halifax, Bedford West and Clayton Park.

Despite the commonly held notion that housing in Canada is unaffordable, the report finds that the vast majority of Canada’s largest urban centres (75 per cent) are currently undervalued, according to a survey of RE/MAX brokers in 16 of Canada’s most-populous cities.

In its report, RE/MAX explored the most popular property types sought by first-time homebuyers, the least and most affordable neighbourhoods in each of the 16 housing markets, factors preventing buyers from entering the market, and methods homebuyers are using to enhance the affordability of homes. Current and prospective Canadian homeowners were also surveyed about their sentiments around home ownership, barriers to owning a home, financial factors impacting home ownership, and what could potentially improve housing affordability.