By Andrew Macdonald
As part of my recent journalism news focus to explore the hot-as-coals housing market in Halifax’s north end, I touched base with one of the city’s hardest working realtors, Rosie Porter.
In the believe-it-or-not file, Porter, who is a top performing agent at Royal LePage, made real estate history after a recent sales deal involving a two-bedroom home in the city’s Hydrostone district.
The Hydrostone homes in the vibrant and robust north end were built 100 years ago following the 1917 Halifax Explosion. A neat feature of the Hydrostone area, is that many of the streets feature lovely boulevards, although this is not a feature at Stanley Place.
Porter listed the Hydrostone at 5535 Stanley Place and she worked hard, had a total of six multiple offers, and got $80,000 more than the asking price for the grateful sellers.
Out of privacy respect, I am not naming the home seller, or the home buyer in this article.
Porter tells The Notebook she listed the home originally at $424,900. It contains an undeveloped basement, and has just two bedrooms. When one of six offers on the property was finalized in a signed purchase and sales deal, Rosie Porter ended up selling the home for a commanding: $505,333.
Not bad work, at all.
“We listed on a Thursday and held off presenting until Sunday afternoon. In the end, we had six offers. Holding off presenting offers for a few days is a strategy we’re seeing more and more in this market,” Porter tells The Notebook. “On popular properties, it is not uncommon to see five-plus offers
“On the north end, I think there’s a real sense of community there and buyers love how there’s so much within walking distance. The north end has really become a creative hub with excellent shops, lots of local entrepreneurs and some of the city’s best restaurants and bars,” notes Porter.
“I do think part of what is driving demand, especially in the Hydrostones, is lack of inventory, often due to the rise of short term rentals,” says Porter. “I know that first time buyers are certainly feeling the pressure and opting for more affordable areas like Fairview, and Southdale and Woodlawn on the Dartmouth side,” says Porter.
On my weekend news scoop that David Wex, the condo developer behind the successful Southport and Gorsebrook condo projects, now plans a north end condo project with a total of 65 units at Bilby and Gottingen street corners, Porter is excited.
That story on Wex’s north end condo project, is elsewhere in this edition.
“I think it’s great that there’s a condo building planned amidst the rentals in the Bilby area. It will be nice to have some more residential options there and there are certainly buyers looking to live there,” Porter tells The Notebook.
I took a moment when researching this story to study the go-to website for all things related to the residential real estate market across Nova Scotia: The Viewpoint website on Bill McMullin’s real estate firm. He is Cape Breton-raised and now Halifax-based.
ViewPoint is a real estate brokerage that owns the website which is intended to assist its brokerage clients in making a well-informed decision regarding the purchase or sale of real estate, says McMullin. Looking at Viewpoint to determine the total single family home sales in the north end and central Halifax area, and zoning in on north of the Commons/Cogswell, bordered by Robie and Halifax Harbour, I can report there have been a 123 sales so far this year.
Incredibly, 45 per cent of those homes sold at their asking price or above.
What I found fascinating about my study of Viewpoint is that Pam Cherrington’s boutique real estate entity Red Door was involved in about 12 per cent of them, either on the listing or buying side, or both. That is pretty good for the Red Door agents, considering the firm only accounts for about one per cent of licensed agents in Halifax Regional Municipality.
All of the listings that sold above asking price had multiple offers, and in some case in excess of 10 offers, as The Notebook understands.