2022 was considered a tough year for the housing market, according to experts. Inflation aimed at curbing spending had done just that, leaving sales 23 per cent lower than the five-year average in Moncton, N.B., alone.
In Saint John, realtor Judy Mitchell has been noticing fewer phone calls through the course of 2022. She said that phones slowed for out-of-town buyers when interest rates began to rise, but she is hopeful for local buyers.
She noted that when the interest rates did go up, it left some to move to other markets, which opened up housing in the area. With that open housing market, it could open the doors for first-time home buyers.
“That’s a lot of the clients we’re seeing right now, those 25-32 year-olds,” said Mitchell.
“Those people have waited, saved up and are ready to buy right now.”
According to the Greater Moncton Realtors du Grand Moncton, they’ve seen many of those young buyers shifting from the rental market to the housing market.
Smaller, more affordable homes have become a prime target for those buyers, putting those units in short supply.
“People (in 2022) were getting out of the rental and getting into small, entry-level homes,” said Mike Power, the board’s president.
“That market was the fastest-growing in price and level of activity.”
He said that he saw many rentals increase their prices last year thanks to a flood of new renters flooding the inventory of units. When rent prices go up, so does the number of people looking for a home in the area.
Power noted that 2023 could be a year when many of those new, first-time buyers get into their homes and stay there for an extended period of time, thus re-opening that part of the market.