Published On: Thu, May 28th, 2015

Halifax ‘set to be Canada’s next real estate hotspot’


Halifax ‘set to be Canada’s next real estate hotspot’


Halifax, on Canada’s East Coast, is set to be the country’s next real estate hotspot, says investment specialist Landcorp International.

The Nova Scotia capital is showing all the signs of an imminent property boom and could see property prices double over the next decade, according to a study by the real estate marketing agent.

A 10-year property boom in the city of St John’s in the neighbouring province of Newfoundland, was preceded by CAN$27.5billion investment in huge industrial projects, the company’s research suggests, and Halifax could follow a similar pattern.

Landcorp International Managing Director, Ailse MacFarlane, says, “The province’s capital St John’s has witnessed population grown of more than 110%, personal incomes have risen 57% and the average house price has more than doubled. What’s more, the city continues to experience some of the strongest price growth in the country.”

Development worth more than CAN$36billion is underway in Nova Scotia in offshore oil and gas exploration, renewable energy and general infrastructure. Most notable is the CAN$25billion naval shipbuilding program that will start this summer. According to Irving Shipbuilding, 3,600 full time equivalent jobs (direct and indirect) have already been created across Canada, while GDP has been boosted by CAN$308million.

In addition to this is the construction of a major new convention centre supporting 1,700 jobs and the planned CAN$8.3billion Goldboro LNG liquefied natural gas export project that would provide 3,500 jobs over its four-year construction period.

The development could provide such a boost to real estate prices that they could start catching Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.

“In our view, the implications for employment, income and house prices in the province are extremely encouraging. Historically, the real estate market in the Halifax area has shown steady growth, but prices could catch up big-time with other major Canadian cities like Vancouver and Calgary given the economic prospects,” says MacFarlane.

Average household incomes in Nova Scotia are 12% above the Canadian national average, yet the cost of real estate in the province is less than half the average price of major cities such as Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, according to data from The Chronicle newspaper.

However, figures indicate Nova Scotia’s boom has already begun; Royal LePage reports a 2.7% jump in house prices year-over-year in 2014, while the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) predicts home sales in the will increase by 2.6% in 2015 – the largest increase in Canada.

The Bank of Montreal forecasts that Nova Scotia will outperform the national average for economic growth in 2015 at 1.9%, up from a 1.6% in 2014 – the top growth rate in Atlantic Canada.

The bank believes the province will reap the benefits of the Irving Shipbuilding contract, with many Nova Scotian workers returning from Western Canada.

Ailse MacFarlane says, “With the commencement of shipbuilding in Halifax and thousands of new jobs we expect to see a dramatic increase in demand for housing in the city. And because the contract is 15 years, this demand should be sustained.

“Add to this the numerous other projects, totalling close to $36 billion, and we believe it’s reasonable to forecast that Halifax’s property market will follow in the footsteps of St John’s. We will therefore be urging our clients to place their real estate investments in Nova Scotia.”

Among Landcorp International investment options in Nova Scotia is a four-season luxury leisure resort currently under development in greater Halifax. Forest Lakes Country Club will feature a range of high-end residential units, a five-star boutique hotel and spa, a conference centre and Nova Scotia’s only 18-hole Nicklaus Design golf course. Investments are available from £50,000.

Established in 2007, Landcorp International, which has its headquarters in Spain, offers private individuals from around the world the opportunity to purchase in large-scale development projects.