Taking advantage of continued historically low interest rates, first-time buyers fueled sales in the St. John’s real estate market region in the first quarter of 2016. This buyer group makes up approximately 60 per cent of the regional housing market activity. Despite the lower price of oil, the Greater St. John’s Area has seen seven consecutive months of decreased inventory and average days on market also fell to 69 days in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 74 in 2015.
First time buyers
First time buyers in the St. John’s Metro Real Estate market are often young professionals with dual income and no children looking at properties priced between $250,000 and $300,000. The suburbs are currently a popular choice as these neighbourhoods offer new homes starting at $250,000 and often boast new schools and recreation facilities as well as shopping with only a 15 minute drive to the city. Typically, first-time buyers outgrow their first homes within five to ten years as their families and incomes grow.
With only five per cent of sales in the region attributed to condo sales, the condo market is relatively small. Demand is largely from first-time buyers looking to live in the heart of the city at an attractive price point or empty-nesters downsizing to free up equity and simplify their lives. Condos priced correctly and in the heart of the city see the most demand.
A typical luxury property in the Greater St. John’s region starts at approximately $500,000 and buyers are often employed in the oil industry. While inventory has increased compared to last year, unique properties with a lot of amenities are still attracting interest. Luxury sales in the region are flat compared to last year.