Shore Real Estate - Update 2006
Four years ago, when we returned to live and work on the Eastern
Shore, waterfront properties
were still at bottom-feeder
prices. In the eastern stretch of Halifax County particularly,
a little sleuthing easily turned up a house, acreage and oceanfrontage
for under $40,000. No doubt the house was
in need of repairs and updating, but the bargains were there.
Private sales could be found that were even more attractive.
Those days are almost gone as a quick scan of the real estate
industry's Multiple Listing Service (MLS) will tell you. While
you can still find bargains in Nova Scotia's rural areas, housing
prices are rising quickly. In fact, as we can attest to, what
was $50,000 in
2001 would now list for 25 to 50% more.
What's driving up the market? A number of factors, not the least
of which is the political situations in Europe and the US. In
Germany, for example, the political mindset recently took a back
swing away from its liberal "Green Party" government
to a Conservative coalition. The Conservative Party is doing its
best to thwart environmental progress.
The American position towards issues like Climate Change and
Peak Oil under the leadership of President Bush is well documented
and to many, even scarier than that of Germany - all of which
creates an exodus of those who desire a safer, healthier environment
in other countries like Canada.
For our neighbours to the south at least, "The blossoming,
beautiful and mostly ignored girl-next-door, Canada has begun
So states Brooke Hall, a writer and analyst for Wealth Daily,
a subscriber based US Investment newsletter. In the latest of
her promotional emails to savvy investors, Brooke has been promoting
Nova Scotia as having the best real estate buys in the country.
"Nova Scotia has so much to offer: low cost of living, inexpensive
real estate, unspoiled land, generous (and honest) people, lifestyles
to suit every liking and famous residents including Paul Simon,
Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson, just to name a few...", she
writes (November 16, 2005).
Hall tells her readers that Nova Scotia is on the upswing from
'bust' brought on by a tourism downslide following 9/11 and other
influential factors, none of which deter from the beauty of the
Province. Here is Hall's account of her recent visit to the Eastern
Shore, an account that was emailed to a subscriber base numbering
in the tens of thousands.
the Bust - Brooke Hall
Daily - November 2, 2005)
Part 2 of 3
What I began to notice as I traveled north towards Cape
Breton, was that Nova Scotia was experiencing, at this very
moment, the Bust side of the economic cycle. This bust cycle
is ready to boom.
"And every savvy investor waits for that bust time
so that they can reap the benefits of the Boom.
A recent report was released by Nova Scotia Department
of Tourism, Culture and Heritage forecasting Nova Scotia's
After assessing the decline in tourism since 2003, they
went on to say "a report released in late 2004 entitled
Long-Term Trends and Cycles in Canadian Tourism suggests
that tourism activity follows a ten-year cycle, with peaks
and troughs that mirror and exaggerate the Canadian business
cycle..If the cycle persists, we should be at the start
of a broad-based recovery that will see record growth over
the next decade."
In March of 2005, RBC Financial Group released a provincial
economic forecast indicating that "healthy job numbers
and strong fiscal performance will boost Nova Scotia's economic
growth to 2.4% in 2005 and 2.8% in 2006."
The report goes on to assert that "'Nova Scotia's
economic outlook continues to build on the momentum generated
in the second half of 2004,' said Craig Wright, vice-president
and chief economists, RBC."
Interestingly enough however, the housing market in Nova
Scotia appears "to have reached a plateau."
So, the Canadian economy (and tourist industry), employment,
and wages are all beginning their rise, all while the housing
industry stays at a steady pace.
All I can hear from the voice in the back of my head is
BUY, BUY, BUY. "
Part 1 - Destination Nova Scotia
So...what are you waiting for? Buy that dream property
now, while prices are still in the affordable range. In the Musquodoboit
Harbour commutershed area, expect to pay $175, 000 and up for
a house in reasonably good shape - and in the Sheet Harbour area
around an hour and a half from Halifax, $100,000 plus.
If the distance to the city is not a big factor (and with an imminent
oil shortage looming, why would it?), you can still find bargains
in the Bay of Islands area (Sheet Harbour to Sherbrooke) and into
western Guysborough. Inland properties also remain fairly reasonable.
Listing Service (Eastern Shore)
© Hatch Media