Sarah Taylor – Property Matters
I am a Nova Scotian living, and working in Nova Scotia. I am a member of the infamous Gen Y workforce. I am a young businessperson who has invested backbreaking energy, time and money into laying entrepreneurial roots in province. I have not been chased off with record-breaking HST rates, cost of living, growing utility rates, and high unemployment rates. I am rare.
The housing market is not a new topic of conversation around the coffee shops. When the market is booming, we all want to talk about it. When the market begins to sink, it becomes even more of a hot topic. For the past 14 months, I haven't been able to walk through a retail store from one end to the other without a friendly face stopping to chat about the Pictou County real estate market.
Since the finance minister's forced changes to our federal mortgage lending rules, our local market has been going through a slow-down, also known as a "correction." Noticing quite a few For Sale signs on lawns?
I suppose you could call 447 active signal family homes on the local market place as of Aug. 31, 2013, quite a few. Exceptionally, so when the average days on market is currently at 143 days.
Real estate is an industry that affects us all either directly – shelter is a basic human survival need; but also indirectly – the housing industry spins off hundreds of jobs. From the plumber who is waiting on his next new construction job so he can buy a commercial van (which in turn spins off to the auto dealership, filtering down throughout dealership's economical chain), to the appliance salesman who made enough commission off the sale of a kitchen renovation to purchase enough food for his family this week.
So where does my opening paragraph tie into the local housing market stats? The reality is this – federal mortgage lending regulations have been implemented. There's nothing that can be rallied locally to change or reverse that in the short term. Vancouver may be booming once again, but rural Nova Scotia certainly is not. What can be changed? Young Nova Scotian's working, living and investing in local real estate. With a strong majority of our provincially bred workforce working in the ever-lucrative western portion of the country, fewer and fewer are investing in home soil, instead opting to uproot their families for greener pastures. There's an influx of properties being offered for sale, yet the buyer supply is not meeting demands.
I keep my political choices and thoughts private. However, one thing is certain, more than ever- all eyes will be on the upcoming provincial election to address the ever worsening issues our local economy is suffering- and real estate is no exception.
Vote. It is the single most important action you can take Oct. 8.
The second most important? Consider your local economy when checking off your choice.
Sarah Taylor is an Associate Broker and practising realtor with HLM Realties Ltd. and her column runs once a month. She offers our readers advice on how to navigate through Pictou County’s busy real estate market. www.hlmrealties.com