Atlantic Canada real estate closes out 2020 with strong performance

Big city issues like rising demand and dwindling supply are making their way out east

Atlantic Canada real estate closes out 2020 with strong performance

Despite its tradition of being home to some of the nation’s quieter real estate markets, Atlantic Canada generally followed the trends set by the Canadian housing sector, both in December and for the whole of 2020.

Latest numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association indicated that on the national level, home sales saw a 12.6% annual increase, reaching a total of 551,392 transactions throughout 2020. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average home price was at $607,280 in December, representing a 17.1% year over year gain.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Home sales completed through Newfoundland’s MLS System totalled 4,684 units over the course of 2020, up by 14.7% annually and falling short of the record set in 2008 by less than 30 sales. A significant 54.4% annual surge in December helped propel the market.

Active residential listings declined by 21.1% annually, while the benchmark price for single-family homes rose by 6.5% year over year to $284,800. The benchmark price for townhouse/row units ticked up by 2.4% to $260,900, while the benchmark for apartments fell by 3.7% annually to $226,000.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick’s market saw a total of 9,963 homes sold from January to November 2020 (December data was not publicly available at time of writing), increasing by 11.2% annually.

“With one month still to be counted in 2020, MLS home sales in New Brunswick have already surpassed 2019’s full year totals by more than 500 units,” according to the province’s real estate association.

The average price of homes sold in November grew by 11.8% year over year to $203,907, while new listings went up by 8.3%. In contrast, active residential listings dropped by 37.8% to 2,895 units as of the end of November, levels not seen since 2001.

Nova Scotia

As reported by the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, sales activity intensified by 13% annually, rising to a total of 13,923 transactions over the course of 2020, the highest level ever recorded in the province.

The annual average sale price, $291,224, was 13.8% higher than in 2019. New listings increased by 25.3% year over year, while active residential listings slid by 38.9%, hitting 2,676 units for sale as of the end of December.

Prince Edward Island

The number of homes sold through the MLS System of the PEI Real Estate Association totalled 1,972 units over the first 11 months of 2020 (PEI’s December data was also unavailable at time of writing), up 8.8% year over year.

The average price of homes sold in November grew by 21.2% annually to reach a new record high of $309,031. This marked the first time that the average sales price in PEI exceeded the $300,000 mark.

New listings had a 27.4% annual gain, while active residential listings as of the end of November were down 29.6% year over year, a level not seen since 2004.