News stories tell us of young families heading out of Vancouver to Calgary or Montreal in search of good jobs and affordable housing. But some of those first-time-buyer wannabes are sticking closer to home.
Scott Olson, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board says, “We do know that our economy currently remains fundamentally strong with stable mortgage and employment rates; and, our region in particular has some of the fastest-growing communities in the Lower Mainland. And we’re seeing evidence of that growth in the sales of more affordable, attached properties in the Fraser Valley. For example in August, apartment sales went up significantly in Central Surrey and Abbotsford and remained on par in North Surrey and Cloverdale compared to last year, suggesting that first-time buyers are continuing to find opportunities.”
Sales and Listings
A wider variety of home buyers makes for a more stable market, and that’s clear when you compare August sales numbers for the Fraser Valley to the Greater Vancouver markets. Vancouver overall sales dropped by 30.7 per cent against August 2011, The Fraser Valley got away more lightly with a 20 per cent decline. The sales-to-active-listings ratio is 10.35 per cent, 1.35 per cent higher than that of Greater Vancouver.
As in the Vancouver real estate market, Fraser Valley buyers turned away from the single family house. House sales were down in all areas, both y/y and m/m. But, as Scott Olson says, “… in August, apartment sales went up significantly in Central Surrey and Abbotsford and remained on par in North Surrey and Cloverdale compared to last year, suggesting that first-time buyers are continuing to find opportunities.”
|August 2012/July 2012||August 2012/ August 2011|
MLS® Home Price Index & Benchmark Prices
Benchmark house prices were stable, generally within one percent either way of July’s prices.
Detached house prices remained consistently above those of August 2011.
Changes in apartment and town house prices depended on the region. Townhouse benchmark prices increased by 3.9 per cent in North Delta and 1.5 per cent in South Surrey/White Rock, and decreased by 5.6 per cent in North Surrey and 6.1 per cent in Mission.
The most substantial y/y changes in apartment benchmark prices were increases of 6.9 per cent in North Surrey and 9.9 per cent in Abbotsford, and decreases of 6 per cent in Mission and 5.4 per cent in South Surrey/White Rock.
|August 2012||July 2012||August 2011|
Mission has the lowest benchmark prices in the Fraser Valley: detached house $359,800, townhouse $228,100, and apartment $166,400.The highest house prices are found in South Surrey/White Rock: detached house $875,400, townhouse $468,400, and apartment $244,700.