Halifax’s Condo Real Estate Specialists

April 2013

Perspective from a Mortgage Consultant Posted on Apr 25, 2013

We are pleased to share with you a guest poster to the condo company blog.  Scott Walker is a mortgage consultant with HLC(Home Loans Canada) and one of our trusted partners.  He is a seasoned industry professional with 20 years experience.  He brings a wealth of knowledge and perspective into the HRM real estate and condo markets.  Check back regularly for Scotts comments.  Thanks Scott and we look forward to more posts in the future.  AP

Some thoughts on the Economic, CMHC Housing Market Outlook, First Quarter 2013

– Nationally it looks like we have avoided any real crises with regard to housing decrease. It would appear this was the result of a well-managed easing of Mortgage Amortization Schedules from 40 years back to the traditional 25 years by the federal Government.

– Atlantic Canada as a whole will remain below 2% GDP growth in 2013 and 2014 as a result of only moderate employment growth and a reduction in spending and investment activity by both the public and private sectors.

– Nova Scotia will have the best Economic performance in Atlantic Canada, 1.4% in 2013 and 1.7% in 2014.  The province will see meaningful improvements in employment of close to 1%. This is better than last year, which saw an improvement as well. The difference this year is employment growth will be focused mainly on full-time employment. This is as a result of the last few years and a focus on opportunities tied to resource development.

– Halifax is showing what can only be described as a very well balance unemployment rate of 6.4%. If my memory serves me correctly from Economics class 6% is the optimal for an economy. This leaves just enough people looking for work to help with growing Business on a sustainable leave.

Need good sound advice on mortgages, Scott can be easily reached by email scott@scottwalker1.com

As always if you are looking to buy or sell a condo we can be contacted at info@condo-company.ca


Westwood Developments New Construction Condo Update Posted on Apr 11, 2013

The spring is starting and new construction condos are blossoming over at Westwood Developments. It has just received approval from the city to construct “The Drum” their 6 storey, 44 unit building on the edge of the Commons and Citadel Hill. The building is to be wedge shaped to accommodate the unique piece of land, which is surrounded on each side by street. Westwood developer, Danny Chedrawe says construction should commence this year. As with condo developments in and around downtown Halifax, there is lots of interest in this building.

The Drum Condos on Rainie Dr. Halifax, Artist Rendering.

Westwood Developments Artist Rendering of 5504 Spring Garden Road.
Westwood is also looking at re-developing their recent purchase on the corner of 5504 Spring Garden Road at Birmingham. The old Winsby’s building will come down and be replaced with a 7 story loft style condo building with retail on the ground floor and 20 condos above. This development has run into a hiccup as the main tenant Winsby’s shoes intends to see out the end of their lease, which runs for approximately 5 more years. The condos are projected to range from $300,000.00 to $700,000.00 though those numbers will likely change if the building doesn’t get off the ground until 5 years from now.
Contact us for more information or sign up for our newsletter!

HALIFAX CONDO MARKET UPDATE – 1st Quarter 2013 Posted on Apr 09, 2013

Halifax Condo Market Update 1st Quarter 2013

Figure 1 – All data based on MLS® statistics for areas 1 – 40 which encompass all of HRM

Figure 2 – All data based on MLS® statistics for areas 1 – 40 which encompass all of HRM

1st Quarter review

The first quarter in the Halifax Real Estate Condo Market was very similar to single family home sales.  The average price continues to increase, however the number of sales continue to drop. We saw average price increase by 10% in the 1st quarter and the number of sales decreased by 41% .  This can be attributed to 2 main reasons.  1) The federal government changing of the mortgage rules to a shorter amortization and 2) with the announcement of the shipbuilding contract for Halifax last year, there was a lot of speculation and the market picked up substantially with buyers eager to pick up properties especially on the peninsula of Halifax. The condo market is currently in a buyers market with 36 weeks of inventory.

If you would like more information on the Halifax Condo market you can always contact us. info@condo-company.ca




Condo Townhouse Reno – Part 3 Posted on Apr 06, 2013

After the demo of the old bathroom and kitchen the contractor David Bryant installed a bathroom fan in the ceiling of the main bathroom. These are important to have as they keep moisture moving out of your bathroom and this helps keep mildew at bay. Most older homes and condos do not have them, so when you are doing a bathroom reno and the walls or ceiling are open, it is a good time to have one installed inexpensively.
The floor of the shower was installed starting with a Kerdi shower kit. A shower kit is important to have as it sits on the floor below the tile and directs the shape of the shower floor toward the drain, it is also another water impermeable surface. In the event that your tile grout wears away, there is something there to catch the water from entering your floors. The tile used on the walls of the shower was also installed on the floor of the bathroom itself, while the tile on the floor of the shower was a smaller mosaic tile. Mosaic tile on the floor is an unconventional use, but it’s a great look and should feel neat on the toes. Once the tiles were laid and the walls painted, the new water efficient toilet and modern vanity were installed.

Bathroom Tile Install.

Bathroom Tile Install.
The old carpets on the stairs and the bedroom level was removed and replaced with a darker grey, higher quality carpet. The new carpet updated the space while keeping it cozy in the bedrooms. The flooring on the main level was still the original hardwood, which was looking a little worse for wear. There was some debate about removing it altogether and installing newer flooring such as new hardwood, laminate or cork. One flooring specialist recommended replacement, or to simply buff the old wood and leave it in place until the client was more comfortable with the added expense. The problem with this approach is that if floors are left unfinished and old looking, the whole space will feel unfinished, not matter how nice the new kitchen looks. Floors are better refinished or replaced when there is no furniture, or cabinets in place so that you can finish more evenly, doing it in the future would be much more challenging. The client’s contractor felt passionately about the floors being refinished, saying that it would make the whole space feel new and he really believed that the original wood could be revived. They brought in another floor refinishing company and they  were in and out in a day and a half and the floors looked amazing, it even revealed a beautiful dark border around the room.

Hard Wood Flooring Before. Floor Refinishing In Progress. Original Hard Wood Refinished. Entry Stairs Before. Carpet Being Installed On Stairs. New Carpet Laid In Second Bedroom.

New Baseboard Installed.
An electrician was brought in while the bathroom was being done and installed new pot lights throughout the main level. They also had wiring put in for three pendant lights over where the peninsula between the kitchen and the main living space will be. All of these are set up with dimmer switches that can be controlled remotely from the owner’s iPhones.

Fireplace Accent Lights.
Once the flooring was down and refinished, the custom cabinets were delivered and installed over two days by Genuine Kitchens. The clients went with dark walnut cabinets with a modern look to suit the space. The darker cabinets will stand out nicely in contrast to the light granite counter-top and natural wood floors.

During the construction the clients kept their eyes out for sales on appliances at the Sears Outlet store we have in Halifax. This worked out great for them as they got some real deals on great high-end stainless steel appliances. The appliances were put in place and connected by their contractor.
The granite counter-top was on order and due to arrive a couple of weeks after the clients moved in so David, their contractor put some plywood in place so they would have something to rest their take out on for the time being. It would be take out or eat out for the next couple of weeks as the under-hung kitchen sink would not be installed until after the granite.
This concludes our blog post, be sure to check back soon or sign up for updates to see the exciting conclusion of this reno!