Truro’s affordable housing stock continues to draw home-buyers from across the province, with the number of homes sold in the first quarter of 2019 up a substantial 15 per cent over 2018 levels for the same period.
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 Truro, Bible Hill & Area
Almost 100 properties have changed hands to date in Truro, Bible Hill and Brookfield, up from 86 sales one year earlier. Average price is also on an upward trajectory, climbing close to five per cent to $164,595 in Q1 2019, an increase of more than $7,000 over the first quarter of 2018. Nova Scotia’s Down Payment Assistance Program has been the catalyst for home-buying activity in Truro and the surrounding areas. The program, in its second year, offers first-time buyers the opportunity to borrow up to five per cent of the value of the property — with a ceiling of $150,000 in the region. Millennials, representing approximately 16 per cent of Truro’s population in the Statscan Census Profiles 2016, are a growing demographic as a result. Seller’s market conditions prevail, with listing inventory down 11.6 per cent over the same time last year. First-time buyers are stimulating move-up activity at higher price points, creating tight inventory levels at $250,000 plus. While neighbourhoods in good school districts remain most coveted, including Bible Hill /Valley subdivisions, demand is evident across the board. Multiple offers are occurring, with both buyers and sellers adjusting to new market realities. New industry in the form of cannabis has been likened to the tobacco industry. Facilities are being built in and around Truro and employment opportunities abound since legalization in 2018. Construction projects are also underway in the area, including an Ultramar and adjoining McDonald’s at Exit 17, which have further contributed to job creation efforts. Momentum is expected to build throughout the remainder of the year, with homes sales and prices forecast to climb by year-end.
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.