This three-bedroom, one-bathroom starter home is located in St. John’s, Newfoundland and features hardwood floors, two fireplaces and a woodstove. With an asking price of $274,900, it’s a great option for first-time buyers.
Our starter home series has taken us across the country, from Victoria, B.C. to Halifax, N.S. The goal of this series was to explain what the average starter home costs and features in each province, so first-time homebuyers could prepare themselves for whatever real estate market they may be looking in.
For the final post in the series, we spoke with two real estate agents in Newfoundland and Labrador, asked them to profile first-time buyers in their respective cities, and tell us what type of home they could expect to find and at what price.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average home price in Newfoundland and Labrador in August 2013 was $288,660 – up 10% from the year before. As one realtor told us, that’s not much more than the average price for a starter home in St. John’s – the provinces’ capital.
“The average price for a starter home in St. John’s is around $275,000,” said St. John’s realtor Heather Guy. “For that price, you could generally get a 3-bedroom single family home within the city, or find something slightly larger or with more property outside of the city.”
And while Guy profiles first-time buyers in St. John’s as an, “even mix of single professionals and couples aged 25-30,” living outside of the city would be easy for anyone, as the furthest commute is no more than a 30-minute drive away.
What may not be easy for anyone is the process of getting into the market in the first place. Guy explained that St. John’s housing market is tough, and that nicer homes often get multiple offers.
“This can lead to pricey bidding wars,” she added.
Next, we spoke to a realtor in Mount Pearl. Mount Pearl is the third largest community in Newfoundland and Labrador, with a population of just 25,000. According to the realtor, however, fewer residents doesn’t always equal cheaper prices.
“The average starter home in Mount Pearl is priced at around $250,000,” said Craig Walker, a realtor who is no stranger to Mount Pearl and the surrounding area. “For that price, a homebuyer could get a home with approximately 1,500 to 2,000 square feet of living space.”
The type of homes buyers in Mount Pearl have to choose from is far from limited. For $250,000, Walker listed off that buyers can choose from bungalows, townhouses or duplexes.
But just who is buying those homes? Similar to St. John’s, first-time homebuyers in Mount Pearl are single professionals and couples aged 25-30.
To give you a better idea of what a starter home looks like in these cities, we’ve created a comparison chart using real homes listed on MLS.
While we know still that there are cheaper options available in this province, the cost per square footage to own a home in Newfoundland is far cheaper than any other province we’ve looked at in this series.
If you’re thinking of buying your first home soon, you should find and speak with a Newfoundland mortgage broker today. Armed with a down payment and an idea of what you’re looking for, mortgage rates in Newfoundland are still low enough to make this purchase even more affordable than you might think.