TRURO - Home sales in the northern region of Nova Scotia increased by seven per cent in March of this year compared to the same month last year.
A total of 61 homes were sold in the region, which takes in Colchester County, during the month, compared to 57 sales during March 2013.
The increase was in line with a 7.6 jump in sales across the entire province during the month when a total of 663 homes were sold compared to 616 during March of last year.
“We have suffered a slower market in the last couple of years, there’s no denying that,” said Dave Uloth, a real estate agent with Prudential Woods Realty in Truro and the president of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors.
“I mean, the economy has been tough on everybody, however, in March we actually saw an increase in sales over the previous March, which is a good indication (of an upswing).”
For the first three months of this year, sales were up in the region by 0.6 per cent, from 173 to 174.
Across the province for the same period, however, sales actually decreased by 6.1 per cent, from a total of 1,692 homes sold to 1,594.
With a long winter finally behind us, however, Uloth said the market should continue to pick up as we move through spring into summer.
“I think I’m very optimistic about it actually. I mean, I’ve been watching the numbers constantly over the last couple of years and this is one of the first months that we actually had an increase,” he said, of the March numbers.
New listings in the northern region totalled 713 between January and March, a six-per cent increase from 649 listings reported for the same period last year.
Those numbers actually represented the largest increase in listings in all regions across the province, with the second highest number of occurring in Cape Breton where listings increased by 5.5 per cent (292 to 309) for the first three months of the year, compared to 2013.
The northern region recorded a total of 293 listings compared to 254 for the same period last year, an increase of 15.4 per cent.
The average sale price in most regions edged down by five per cent, according to numbers published by the association, which puts the average provincial sale price at $207,552.
While most regions reported a decrease in the year-to-date average sale price, those averages are below the provincial figures in all regions, with the exception of Halifax-Dartmouth where the average price dropped 2.9 per cent to $266,070.
In the northern region, the average sale price for homes was $123,920, a 1.8 per cent jump over last year.
The region that saw the greatest increase in average sale prices was in Yarmouth, where home prices jumped by 17.1 per cent to an average of $119,845.