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Continuing the province's incredible real estate trajectory, Nova Scotia's home sales recorded their highest-ever gains last month. The number of sales rose 159.5 per cent in April 2021 from April 2020, and with a sellers' market, prices rose 39.5 per cent to an average $372,534.
Though April of last year saw a substantial dip in sales as people were just beginning to grapple with the onset of the pandemic, longer-timeline statistics nonetheless indicate a considerable increase. The number of homes sold last month — 1,731 — hit a level 57.2 per cent over the five-year average and 73.4 per cent above the 10-year average. Of the mix of housing types, single detached homes sold more than others.
For the first quarter of the year, the sale of 5,334 homes was 74.7 per cent higher than the first four months of 2020, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Wanting to cash in on the new-found interest from buyers outside the province and those in the province looking for larger homes, the number of Nova Scotia homeowners who listed their houses this April was 174.8 per cent higher than those in the albeit-low month in 2020, producing more new listings for the month than in any April in the past five years.
However, because so many homes were snapped up over the previous 15 months, the number of active listings — those without accepted offers — continued their decline, dropping 34.4 per cent last month from April 2020, posting a three-decade low. The province has seen a housing shortage for two years, and new construction isn't adding new homes quickly enough.
Another metric for analyzing the boom is the industry-standard “months of inventory,” which represents the number of months it would take to sell the current number of listings at the current rate of sales activity. This April, it stood at 1.6 months; the long-term average for April is about 8.4 months.
The Nova Scotia Association of Realtors released a regional snapshot of price gains for the province for April 2021 over the same month the year before:
❚ Halifax and area, up 38.9 per cent
❚ South Shore, up 63.4 per cent
❚ Yarmouth, up 79 per cent
❚ Annapolis Valley, up 48.6 per cent
❚ Northern, up 44.4 per cent ❚ Highland, up 42 per cent
❚ Cape Breton, up 66.8 per cent