Condos, Townhouses Drive Robust Fraser Valley Sales

Attached units see biggest price rises in September as detached homes lose market share
Joannah Connolly
October 3, 2017

There were 1,619 sales of all property types in the Fraser Valley in September, a jump of 24.1% over September last year, although that total was 13.8% less than the very busy August, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) reported October 3.

For home sales only, the 1,464 homes exchanging hands in September was 14.1% below August’s near-record activity, but still up 25.8% year over year.

That total figure made last month the fifth-busiest September for Fraser Valley real estate sales on record (after 2015, 2005, 2003 and 1992).

The board reported that, of the 1,464 home sales processed, 392 were townhouses and 470 were condos, comprising 59% of September sales.

“Often we see summer demand continue as far as October, so it’s not unusual to have another strong month before the seasonal cooldown," said Gopal Sahota, FVREB president. “What’s unusual this year is that attached inventory sales are still driving the market, despite the increased competition we’re seeing there.”


There were 2,848 new Fraser Valley listings in September, a 5.1% increase over September 2016, but a perhaps-surprising 8.2% decrease from August. This is perhaps surprising given that sellers often list in September to capitalize on what is perceived as a busy fall market – and there was a corresponding flurry of new listings in Greater Vancouverin September.

At the end of last month, total active inventory for the Fraser Valley stood at 5,854 listings – a rise of 2.8% month-over-month, despite the drop in newly listed homes, which reflects the slower absorption of units compared with August. This active inventory total is a decrease of 8.8% compared with September 2016.

The price of a typical Fraser Valley home (all types combined) is now benchmarked at $746,000 – a new record, but decelerating in its growth. That figure is 0.8% higher than the previous month, following monthly rises of 3.8% and 1.8% in July and August respectively. It is also 16.2% higher than one year previously.

The average number of days to sell a Fraser Valley condo in September was 19 days, and 18 days for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on market for an average of 29 days.

"It’s also interesting to observe the return to a balanced market for detached homes here in the Valley,” added Sahota. “While pricing remains stable, competition for houses has simmered and listings are staying on market longer. If you were waiting to make a move or upgrade, now might be a good time to talk to your REALTOR® and see what’s out there.”

Home Type Breakdown

Each of the three key home categories posted much higher sales in September than the subdued market of one year previously, but lower transactions than the previous month. There were 602 single-family houses across the region, down 12.2% compared with August and up 22.1% year over year. This home type’s market share also declined considerably, to 41% of all residential sales last month.

Townhouses, duplexes and row homes saw 470 sales in September, up a relatively modest 14.6% year over year and seeing the steepest monthly decline, at 16.6% below August’s sales.

There were 470 Fraser Valley condos trading last month – 14.2% less than in August but a whopping 42.9% higher than in September 2016.

The increased in condo sales over one year ago may be related to the much-improved availability of housing stock, as new condo listings coming on the market last month were 31% higher than the same month last year. Total active condo listings at the end of the month down more than 10% year over year, reflecting the much-faster market absorption compared with a year ago.

Single-family houses and townhomes saw much lower annual increases in new September listings than condos, at 2% and 1.8% respectively.

Prices by Property Type

A typical home will now cost you $5,600 more than one month previously, with the benchmark price of a Fraser Valley Home (all property types combined) standing at $746,000 as of the end of September. This is an annual rise of 16.2% and 0.8% higher than August.

The least-steep annual price rise was in detached homes, which rose 8% year over year to $974,500, and was the only home type to see a drop in benchmark price compared with one month earlier. The September benchmark is 0.2% lower than August’s $976,500 typical price.

The benchmark price of a townhome or similar attached unit rose 1.4% month over month to $498,900, which is 17.7% up from September 2016.

As has been the trend for many months now, the overall benchmark price increase was pushed by condo units, the benchmark price of which in September stood at $358,200. This still-affordable figure is 35.2% higher than a year ago ($264,900) and up 2.5% in one month – or $8,900 more than what buyers would have typically paid for a condo in August.

To see home prices, sales and listings broken down by community, see the FVREB September 2017 statistics package

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.