HOUSING MARKET SHOWS IMPROVEMENT OVER LAST YEAR’S LOWS
(Surrey, BC) – The Fraser Valley real estate market continues to edge closer to typical activity levels as September saw the largest year-over-year increase in property sales this year to date. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,131 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September, an increase of 32 per cent compared to the 857 sales processed during the same month last year and 10 per cent fewer than processed in August.
Ron Todson, President of the Board, explains, “It is good news however, it’s important to put the increase into context. Our home sales in September went from the worst in 10 years to just below our 10-year average. It can take a year or more for the market to recover from regulatory changes such as last year’s tightening of mortgage rules introduced by the federal government. Although we are seeing evidence of first-time home buyers returning to the market, we have to keep in mind that it is more challenging now for them to get financing, so although we’re witnessing a recovery to a balanced market it is gradual.”
Todson adds, “An improvement in our sales in the Fraser Valley has not translated to an increase in home prices because inventory levels have either kept pace or depending on the property type and community are elevated. Your REALTOR® can provide specifics for your area, for example there is 12 months of condo inventory right now in White Rock/South Surrey, 5 months of inventory for single family homes in North Delta and only 3 and a half months of townhouse inventory in Langley. Real estate is local so to understand your market, talk to an expert.”
In September, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $552,900, a 0.6 per cent increase compared to $549,500 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $296,200, a decrease of 1.4 per cent compared to $300,500 in September 2012 and the benchmark price of apartments was $203,100, 1.9 per cent less than in September 2012 when it was $207,000. The Board received 2,375 new listings in September, a decrease of 7 per cent compared to the 2,544 new listings received during the same month last year – leaving the volume of active properties at 9,875 a decrease of 5 per cent compared to September 2012 and the lowest it’s been since March of this year.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,784 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. The FVREB marked its 90-year anniversary in 2011.