“They talk about the global market, and they say it’s a bubble, but all their analyses stop at Montreal,” says Trevor Parsons, a broker with Innovative Real Estate in Halifax. “The stats here, for the whole metro Halifax area, our sales were up 0.2 per cent over last year. We had a great December.”
Indeed, those figures, along with several others outside of Canada’s major metropolises, seem to disappear when analysts – such as Torsten Slok at Deutsche Bank in Germany and our own Stephen Poloz, governor with the Bank of Canada – call the market overvalued by 63 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.
“To say that across Canada, to paint [the country] with one brush is irresponsible,” says broker Pam Cherington with Red Door Realty in Halifax. “Vancouver and Halifax and Newfoundland are completed different markets.”
Parsons says analysts typically look at national statistics, which are partially at fault for creating such a wide information gap.
“[What’s happening in Toronto] is obviously way different from what’s happening in Saskatoon,” he says. “The old saying goes, ‘All real estate is local,’ and it’s quite true.”
Cherington agrees, adding that even markets that are geographically close can different quite dramatically.
“Our market [in Halifax] is different from Sackville’s, which is just 30 miles away,” she says. “We’re a very different dog.”
Analysts across the globe are calling Canada’s market overvalued, but as several agents point out, the country extends farther east than many of those same analysts seem to realize.