Average Home Prices In Halifax 2021

Average Home Prices In Halifax 2021

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated August 6, 2021

Buying a home in Halifax is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. So it makes sense to take the time to get your finances in order and do a little research on the real estate market in the city before taking the plunge.

Let’s take a look at where home prices are currently at in Halifax, and what you can do to make sure you spend within your budget.

What Affects Home Prices?

Before we get into the current average prices of homes in Halifax, it’s helpful to understand the factors that affect property values. Homes don’t sell at arbitrary prices. Instead, there are factors involved that play a role in how much sellers can fetch for their properties when they sell.

Supply And Demand 

Basic economics plays a role in how much homes are valued at, whether in Halifax or anywhere else. The higher the demand relative to supply, the higher the value. Therefore, buyers will be more willing to pay higher prices for it.

The real estate market is no exception to the supply and demand rule. If there are few houses on the market compared to the number of buyers looking for a new home, sellers will be in a better position to command higher prices. And buyers will be more open to paying higher prices in order to outbid others vying for the same property. 

On the other hand, if there are plenty of houses available and not as many buyers on the market, home prices will likely lag as a result of weaker demand.

Job Market

When the labour force is thriving and a higher percentage of people are earning a comfortable living, there may be more demand for housing because consumers are able to afford a home purchase. On the flip side, a weaker economy may have a negative impact on housing prices, as consumers will have less purchasing power.

Mortgage Interest Rates

Your ability to afford a home is not only dependent on the going prices of real estate, but the interest rate you will be charged, too. When mortgage interest rates are high, the cost of borrowing is also high. In this case, fewer people may be able to afford a home purchase. And when there are fewer buyers on the market, there may be downward pressure on home prices. 

The opposite is true when mortgage interest rates are low. In this case, buyers have more borrowing power, as getting a mortgage — and ultimately buying a home — is more affordable. In turn, lower rates can help drive home prices up, as more buyers are in a better financial position to make a home purchase. 

Location Of The Home

Location plays a key role in the value of real estate. The exact same home in two completely different locations will command two very different prices. 

Size Of The Home

More square footage generally equates to a higher price tag, as more material is required to construct the home. 

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Age And Condition Of The Home 

Older homes that require some work will typically be considered less valuable compared to newer homes in excellent condition. 

Features And Finishes

Homes that have more expensive features and finishes will generally cost more than those with basic features. Hardwood flooring and granite countertops, for instance, are considered more desirable than vinyl floor tiles and linoleum counters. 

Average Home Prices In Halifax

The average home price in Halifax is currently $397,378. That’s a 22.3% increase from the same time 12 months earlier, when the average price in the city was $332,876. Halifax is the most expensive city in Nova Scotia to buy a home in, with the average price even higher than the province-wide average of $319,726.

It’s easy to understand why Halifax’s home prices are the most expensive in Nova Scotia, given the fact that it’s the capital of the province and is home to much of Nova Scotia’s employment opportunities and diverse culture. 

Comparing Average House Prices By City

Home Prices December 2020Home Prices December 2019Year-Over-Year % Change
Canada$530,035$603,344 13.8%
Nova Scotia$319,726$261,376 22.3%
Halifax$397,378$332,876  19.4%
Yarmouth $177,248  $135,500 30.8%
Annapolis Valley$234,841$209,820 11.9%
Cape Breton$153,685 $122,651 25.3%
South Shore $348,479  $242,008 44.0%
Highland  $204,417 $196,317  4.1%

How Do Home Prices In Halifax Compare To The Rest Of Canada? 

The average price for a home in Halifax is a lot lower than the national average. In fact, it’s nearly half of what Canada’s average for homes currently is. Compared to Halifax’s average home price of $397,378, Canada’s average is currently $603,344. 

That said, Halifax and Canada both saw very healthy gains over the past year. More specifically, Halifax’s home prices increased a whopping 19.4% year-over-year, and Canada’s prices rose 13.8% over the same time frame. 

How Much Should You Spend On A Home Purchase In Halifax?

Your income will help you get a basic sense of what you may be able to afford in a home purchase, but it’s far from the only factor to consider. Before you apply for a mortgage and start your search for a new home, you should sit down and crunch the numbers to figure out exactly how much you can really afford. 

To determine how much you should spend when you buy a home in Halifax, consider taking the following steps:

Calculate All Your Expenses

Your income will obviously play a role in figuring out how much you should spend when you purchase a home. But what about all your current expenses that are eating into your income every month? 

Make a detailed list of all of your monthly expenses to help you identify what’s left over and available to be used to cover mortgage payments. Typical monthly expenses can include the following:

Calculate Your Debt Service Ratios 

Your gross debt service ratio (GDS) and total debt service ratio (TDS) help to measure how much of your income can be dedicated to mortgage payments after all outgoing expenses have been accounted for. Your lender will assess these ratios to determine your ability to secure a mortgage, or what loan amount to extend to you if you are approved. 

Your GDS represents the principal, interest, taxes, and half of any condo fees relative to your income, and should be less than 30% to 35%. Your TDS represents all of your debt — including all housing debt — that you pay every month compared to your income, and should be less than 42%. 

The reason why your GDS and TDS ratios should be no more than the above-mentioned percentages is to keep risks low, both for you and your lender. The higher your risk, the lower your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.   

Final Thoughts

Before buying a home in Halifax, take some time to get your finances in order, save up for a down payment, and strengthen your credit profile. Speak with a seasoned mortgage specialist to help you understand what type of mortgage you can secure, and team up with a real estate agent experienced in the housing market in Halifax. Taking the time to properly prepare for a home purchase will ensure a smooth transaction that results in a purchase that comfortably fits within your budget.

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Lisa has been working as a writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same. She's used a variety of financial tools over the years and is currently growing her money with Wealthsimple, while stashing some capital in a liquid high-interest savings account so that she always has a financial cushion to fall back on. She's also been avidly using her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect as many Aeroplan points as possible to put towards her travels!

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