Halifax, Nova Scotia offers great quality of life in a spectacular setting on the Atlantic Ocean. As the region's economic, cultural, and social capital, Halifax has all the amenities and conveniences of a large city - but with a population of only 380,000, there are fewer big-city problems and a low cost of living. As the largest city east of Montreal, it's the regional center for finance, health care, commercial industry and transportation - and Halifax is also home to six degree-granting universities, many cultures, fine dining, and world class shopping.
It's no wonder that Halifax real estate is doing well! In January 2010, the average sale price of a home increased by 2% and the number of sales increased by 20% over 2009's figures. According to the Royal Bank's Housing Trends and Affordability Report of November 2009, though, momentum is now slowing in Halifax, making it a balanced market for both buyers and sellers to do business.
Whether you are looking to buy or rent in Halifax, there are a wide variety of housing choices, ranging from urban to rural, condominiums to single family detached, offered at a full range of prices. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the average selling price of houses in Halifax in 2007 was $332,821.00. Due to these low home costs and the affordability of other essentials like food, the cost of living in Halifax is one of the lowest in the country. For an extensive list of houses currently on the market, visit the MLS website and select Nova Scotia.
Thinking of renting first to see if Halifax is for you? The average monthly rental costs are holding steady at approximately $700 per month for a self-contained one bedroom apartment including utilities.
It's possible to enjoy fabulous condo living in Halifax, too. Right now luxury units at the Bishops Landing development right on the waterfront at harbour's edge, are going from $459,900 up to $1,200,000, starting at a huge 1230 square feet. Southwest Properties is the owner and developer.
A special note on commercial real estate trends - in the 4th quarter of 2009, office vacancy rates remain flat in nearly all sectors across the Greater Halifax region. Translation: the market is firmly in the landlords' favour, with a vacancy rate below five percent, limited leasing options, and no new construction (though there are several major projects being considered downtown, no new inventory is expected until 2012-2013). Business owners, don't despair: In the suburban market, conditions favour the tenant, with lower rents due to less expensive operating costs and property taxes, better quality leasing options than those offered downtown, and ample free parking in most cases.