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Real Estate Trends

Fraser Valley Condos Snapped Up Faster Than Listed

Multi-family housing market out of control in Valley’s second-busiest October on record 
By Joannah Connolly Nov 2, 2017


Massive demand for all property types – but especially condos – led to the second most-active October for real estate sales on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s (FVREB) history.

There were 1,799 sales of all property types (including commercial and industrial) on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, FVREB reported November 2. This is a rise of 23% over the 1,463 sales in the slow October of last year, and an 11.1% increase on the 1,619 sales in September 2017. For a visual overview of October's Fraser Valley real estate market trends, see our detailed infographic.

Broken out by residential sales only, the 1,642 home sales in the region last month was an even bigger rise of 26.1% year over year and 12.2% since September.

That’s the second-highest October on record, said the board – and attached homes made up 56% of those total sales.

Even though there were 526 new condo listings in October, 31.8% higher than one year previously, the 591 condo sales meant that units were being snapped up faster than they could be listed.

“The divide between our attached and detached markets continues to widen,” said Gopal Sahota, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president. “Apartment activity was notably strong in October with a sales-to-actives ratio of 105%, meaning that apartments are selling as fast as we can list them.” 

In total there were 2,102 new residential listings in October, a 14.2% drop from September 2017, when there was the usual influx of new listings for the fall market, and a 15.7% rise compared with October 2016’s 1,817 new home listings.

Total active home listings in the Fraser Valley stood at 3,706 as of the end of October. This inventory fell by 9.1% month-over-month, as houses were more rapidly absorbed in October, and is 10.5% lower than October 2016, when uptake was slow.

“Your real estate experience in the Valley is going to be very different depending on what you’re looking for or selling,” added Sahota.

The benchmark price of a typical Fraser Valley home (all types combined) set another new record at $751,400, but continuing to slow down its price growth. That is up 0.7% over September’s figure, following monthly rises of 3.8%, 1.8% and 0.8% in July, August and September respectively. Year-over-year, the new record price is 13.7% higher than October last year.

Sales and Prices by Property Type

There were 633 detached home sales in the Fraser Valley in October – a jump of 23.4% year over year, but the lowest monthly rise, up 5.1% from September. At $971,900, the benchmark price for a single family home in the Valley was the only home type to decrease month over month, at 0.3% lower than September 2017. It also saw the lowest annual increase, but was still 11.8% higher than in October 2016.

Townhomes and other attached properties saw the smallest annual rise in home sales of the three home types, increasing 7.5% to 418 units in October. That’s 6.6% more than September’s 392 townhome sales. The benchmark price of a typical such attached home rose 18.4% year over year to $502,800. That’s a slight month-over-month increase of 0.8% and the first time the Fraser Valley’s townhome benchmark price has breached the half-million-dollar mark.

Condos posted the largest transaction rises, with the 591 unit sales a leap of 47.8% over one year previously, and a whopping 25.7% rise in a single month. Unsurprisingly, given the blistering demand, condos in the Fraser Valley also saw by far the biggest price rises. The benchmark price rose another 3.1% last month to $369,400, which is a massive 36.4% increase compared with one year ago.

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

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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.
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