St. John’s Average Housing Price
The St. John’s average housing price (Metro Area) declined by approximately two per cent year-over-year to an estimated $297,300 for 2015. Sales increased moderately: there were 833 sales between January and October of 2015, compared to 793 during the same period last year. There was a good selection of inventory on the market in 2015, and properties averaged 70 days on market. Similarly high inventory levels are expected for 2016, and may cause prices to soften somewhat.
Buyers looking to purchase first homes in the $270,000 to $330,000 range drove the market, followed by move-up buyers purchasing in the $350,000 to $400,000 range. Foreign buyers are fairly new to the St. John’s real estate market, and are anticipated to play a growing role over the next several years.
In October, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced the Downpayment Assistance Program, which provides first-time homebuyers with low-to-moderate incomes the opportunity to qualify for downpayment loan assistance to purchase a home. The new program, combined with continued low interest rates, is expected to increase the number of first-time buyers next year. This is anticipated to increase demand for entry-level homes, encouraging their current owners to sell and move up.
There is high inventory in the St. John’s condo market, as many new developments were built to meet demand from the oil industry, which has since been scaled back. A good selection of entry-level units appeals to first-time buyers and “downsizers”.
The luxury home market was slower in 2015, due to the decline in oil prices and cutbacks in the industry. There were 25 sales in the $750,000 to $1 million range between January and October 2015, compared to 41 during the same period in 2014. Although demand has decreased, St. John’s average housing price in the luxury market are expected to remain stable in 2016.