Fraser Valley Home Sales See Another Five-Year High

Elizabeth Wilson
November 3, 2014

Fraser Valley MLS® home sales continued to hit five-year highs in October, increasing 2 per cent over September and 16 per cent compared to October 2013. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's latest statistics, released on November 3, revealed that both sales and prices are on a roll.

Another continuing trend was a marked preference for single-family detached houses and townhouses, reflecting the relative affordability of ground-oriented real estate in the Fraser Valley.

Sales and Listings

Sales for houses, townhouses and condos reached 1,286 in October, compared with 1,236 in September, and 1,102 in October 2013.

Both detached and townhouse sales continued to rise, while condo sales dropped off very slightly. There were 739 detached house sales compared to 716 in September and 584 the year before. Townhouse sales increased to 322 from 294 in September and 278 the previous October. Meanwhile, 225 condos sold in October, compared to 226 in September and 240 last October.

Fraser Valley: What's Up, What's Down
  Oct/Sept 2014 Oct 2014/Oct 2013
Overall Home Sales +4.0% +16.7%
- Detached +3.2% +26.5%
- Townhouse +9.5% +15.8%
- Apartment -0.4% -6.3%
New Listings -14.9% +6.9%
Active Listings -4.7% -3.1%

As the winter lull in the real estate market approaches, new listings tend to drop. Detached house listings went down to 997 from 1,239 in September, while 440 townhouses hit the market compared to 576 in September. 

Condo owners are not following the seasonal trend, however. New listings of condos actually increased to 524 from 491 in September. And they also rose substantially from last October, a 27.5 per cent jump from 411.

Meanwhile new listings of houses and townhouses stayed about the same compared to last October. There was no change in townhouses coming to market and only a 1.5 per cent increase in detached houses.

The total number of homes for sale on the Fraser Valley market fell for all three housing types in October. In all, there were 6,244 active listings, comprising 3,140 houses, 1,385 townhouses and 1,719 condos. This drop in active listings reflects the healthy sales and lower new listings numbers. The sales-to-active-listings ratio now stands at 16 per cent. That's considered the high end of a buyer's market.

MLS® Benchmark Prices

"Last month, the market share of sales of single-family homes increased by almost 5 per cent compared to last year, while the share of condo sales decreased by the same amount, and we're seeing that preference reflected in prices" said FVREB's president Ray Werger in the monthly report.

According to the October stats, the MLS® benchmark price for detached houses has risen 16.6 per cent in the last five years, while condo prices have dropped 6 per cent in the same period. Since last October, house prices have risen 4.0 per cent while condo prices have dropped 3.5 per cent.

If this seems alarming, keep in mind that the real estate boards are responsible for home resales, but don't cover sales of most newly built product. And with condos in particular, there's a great deal of new product competing for home buyers' dollars in the Fraser Valley.

Werger added, "With the influx of new developments and a steady supply of resale units, we've never had a better selection of condos than we do right now at prices the lowest they've been in years."

Fraser Valley MLS® Benchmark Prices, % Change
  Oct 2014 Sept 2014 Oct 2013
Combined $433,700 +0.3% +2.1%
-Detached $573,500 +0.6% +4.0%
-Townhouse $298,500 -0.4% +1.0%
-Apartment $192,600 -0.5% -3.5%

Meanwhile, buyers seeking affordable houses and townhouses also have a good selection in the FVREB region, which includes North Delta, Surrey, South Surrey White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford and Mission.

Read the full report, broken down by community, here.

* FVREB's overall sales numbers include all types of property including commercial, agricultural and industrial. The statistics given in this article are strictly residential, covering detached houses, townhouses and apartments.

Elizabeth Wilson
As content editor, Elizabeth spends every day immersed in real estate news and opinion so she can deliver fresh, relevant articles to’s visitors. She comes from a varied background in Internet marketing, book publishing, multimedia writing and radio, but what prepared her best for this position is her experience as a renter, seller and buyer in the Vancouver real estate market.