June was a quiet month in the Fraser Valley real estate market. So far all of 2013 has been slower than usual. This could well reflect the cooling effect of the insured-mortgage rules that were introduced a year ago. In its latest “Housing News Flash,” Scotiabank Economics estimates that the tighter rules for qualifying have reduced the pool of potential buyers by as much as 10%.
This would be felt more in the Fraser Valley market, which appeals to first-time buyers because of its greater affordability.
Sales and Listings
According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, “Property* sales in the Fraser Valley were 9 per cent lower in June compared to last year—1,327 compared to 1,463 in June 2012—remaining significantly below 10 and 20 year averages. However, data from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reveals localized bright spots where sales have rebounded since May.”
Board president Ron Todson says, “In the last month, sales of single-family detached homes have picked up in North Delta, North Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford, and in some neighbourhoods where we’ve seen a decrease in new listings, we now have a shortage of quality inventory.”
The sales-to-active-listings ratio is still in buyer’s territory (under 18 per cent by FVREB’s definition), where it’s been for most of the last three-and-a-half years. It’s now at 13 per cent—same as in May—after falling from its 11-month high of 14 per cent.
June was the first month this year when home sales decreased from the month before. There won’t be an extended spring market, unless newly rising mortgage rates encourage home shoppers to buy something quick, before their rate holds expire and the rates head up even higher.
|June/ May 2013||June 2013/ June 2012|
|Overall Home Sales||-2.3%||-5.9%|
See detailed Fraser Valley Real Estate Board statistics, broken down by community.
MLS® Benchmark Prices
According to Ron Todson, “In general, prices are flat and firm.” We will resist, with all our might, the temptation to make lame references to belly-fat diet aids or abs exercisers, and instead do the mature thing and talk about benchmark prices in the Fraser Valley residential real estate market. (But we’re sure Todson was grinning when he said that.)
Once again, slow sales are not causing prices to tumble. In almost all of the FVREB areas, benchmark prices for detached and townhouse barely twitched from May. Condo prices saw decreases of over 2 per cent in Cloverdale and Abbotsford, but otherwise were, uh, flat and firm.
Benchmark prices are based on the price of a typical home for its neighbourhood.
|June 2013||May 2013||June 2012|