TRURO – Results of a house price and market survey are showing a decrease in housing prices in Colchester County.
The data, compiled through the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast, show a detached bungalow price seeing a year-over-year decrease of 3.1 per cent to $145,563, while two-storey homes slid 4.1 per cent to $143,500.
“The decrease in the price of bungalows and two-storey homes is not a surprise and is in line with the trends we saw develop earlier in the year,” said Todlynn MacPherson, associate broker at Royal LePage Truro, in a press release. “The ongoing tightened mortgage rules along with less-than-ideal economic conditions and a lack of construction have continued to drive unit sales down in the area.”
Looking ahead to the New Year, MacPherson anticipates a bounce back for houses in Colchester County due to pent up demand, especially amongst first-time homebuyers.
“We’re beginning to see that here now,” MacPherson said. “When the change was made to eliminate the zero per cent down on the purchase of a new home, many people didn’t have that, but over the past two to two-and-a-half years, they’ve been able to save that down payment. We’re now seeing an interest in the market from first-time homebuyers.”
In the Colchester area, MacPherson said there are currently 171 MLS listings for single-family homes.
“That first-time house buying is critical to the market because if they don’t buy that first home, nobody gets to move up,” MacPherson added.
On a national level in the same quarter, the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter.
The survey showed year-over-year average price increases in the fourth quarter of 2013 of 3.6 per cent to $418,282 for standard two-storey homes and 3.8 per cent to $380,710 for detached bungalows, while the average price of a standard condominium rose 1.2 per cent to $246,530.
Prices are expected to maintain healthy momentum into 2014, with Royal LePage projecting a 3.7 per cent increase nationally from 2013 and a shift to a seller’s market in the first portion of the year in a number of regions.
“A few short months ago, the country’s housing market emerged from a year-long correctional cycle of dramatically slowed sales volumes,” Phil Soper, president and chief executive officer of Royal LePage, said in the same release. “Later 2013 was marked by a transition to buoyant sales volumes and above average price growth.
“In the absence of some calamitous event or material increase in mortgage financing costs, we expect this positive momentum to characterize 2014. In fact, we expect a market tipped decidedly in favour of sellers for the first half of the year, after which we project a shift to a more balanced market.”