This three-bedroom, two-bathroom starter home in Saint John features an updated kitchen and hardwood floors, with a price just right ($162,000) for many first-time homebuyers.
Our starter home blog post series has gradually moved from the West Coast to the East Coast of Canada, finally bringing us to the Maritimes. This week, we’re looking at what first-time buyers can afford in the two largest cities in New Brunswick. Fortunately, if you want to live in either of them, you can usually find an affordable starter home without having to move outside the city.
Saint John is the largest city in New Brunswick. It may not be the capital, but Saint John’s population is growing and, along with it, so is demand in the housing market.
“Couples in their mid-to-late twenties who had been previously renting apartments want to get into the market,” said Saint John Realtor Judy Mitchell.
Beating those couples, however, are single females, who have recently become the largest segment of the first-time homebuyer pie.
According to Mitchell, the average starter home in Saint John is, “priced at around $150,000 and, for this price, you can get a 3-bedroom bungalow that is 20 to 35 years old.”
First-time homebuyers can typically purchase homes within the city itself or just on the outskirts. Fortunately, those who move outside of Saint John often face only a 15 to 20 minute commute to work.
A similar commute is seen by first-time buyers who purchase homes just outside of Moncton, New Brunswick. The province’s second largest city offers one of two options: a home in the city or a home with more land just outside of it. And who is buying them both?
“First-time homebuyers in Moncton are usually professional couples in their mid-to-late twenties, who typically have two income earners,” said Moncton Realtor Jason Capson.
The average starter home in Moncton is priced between $120,000 and $150,000. However, Capson noted that the majority of first-time buyers are purchasing homes at the higher end of this range.
“There is a large supply of newly-built semi-attached homes that come with hardwood floors, ceramic tiles and spacious bathrooms. First-time buyers in Moncton are often choosing to buy these homes rather than older detached homes that may require renovations.”
The good news for homebuyers in both Saint John and Moncton is that there are many different options, both within or just outside of the city. As a result, bidding wars are extremely rare. With the high inventory in these housing markets, they are truly buyers’ markets, which makes it easy to find a home that meets your specific needs.
To give you a better idea of what type of house you can afford in either of New Brunswick’s biggest cities, we’ve created a chart that compares real starter home listings in both cities.
If you’re looking to buy a home in one of these cities, you should talk to a New Brunswick mortgage broker today. Once you prioritize the features you want in a home, you can start looking at your options and comparing prices. If you’re seriously considering buying a home, now is a good time to get into the market – housing will only become less affordable for first-time homebuyers, if mortgage rates continue to rise.