Fraser Valley Home Sales Smash January Records: FVREB

Joannah Connolly
February 2, 2016

Fraser Valley real estate saw its busiest-ever January, according to Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) statistics published February 2.

Total residential real estate sales increased by an impressive 62 per cent compared with January 2015, although this was a typical January decline of 10.8 per cent compared with December.

Jorda Maisey, president of the FVREB, said “Typically, we see January numbers slow down post-holiday season, but so far demand for Fraser Valley homes hasn’t let up. Homebuyers are reluctant to wait when the market is moving this fast.

“Homeowners may be reluctant to sell because they love their home and where they live. However, for those looking to enter the market and perhaps are waiting for spring … start planning now. There are a lot of people out there who will want your home.”

As with Greater Vancouver, the region is firmly a sellers’ market, with new and total active listings once more falling year over year.

However, unlike last month, the number of new and active listings in the Fraser Valley increased dramatically compared with the previous month, as sellers started to move following the slow holiday season.

Sales and Listings

The Fraser Valley board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) recorded 1,185 residential sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, an increase of 62.1 per cent compared with January 2015 and 10.8 per cent less than in December 2015.

Maisey said, “There are a number of factors we can attribute this [annual] jump to, but most importantly, we’re seeing that the demand for owning a home continues to rise and inventory is struggling to keep up. Job creation and a strong BC economy are drawing more people to our region; and despite rising prices in some areas, many communities within the Fraser Valley remain affordable.”

Single-family home sales in the Fraser Valley increased the most, at 69.3 per cent, compared with last January, to 716 units – only the second fastest growth of the three property types. This was a seasonal drop of 6.3 per cent compared with the previous month.

Townhouse and other attached property sales in the region increased 57.1 per cent year over year to 275 sales, and fell 7.1 per cent compared with December.

Sales of condo-apartment units in the Fraser Valley lost their rank as the highest annual growth rate, increasing in January by 45.9 per cent year over year to 194 sales, a considerable drop of 27.9 per cent compared with the previous month.

The number of new residential listings in December fell a relatively mild 2.6 per cent year over year to 2,058, which was an increase of 98.2 per cent month over month, nearly double December’s 1,038 new listings. The surge in this month’s new listings was led by a 113 per cent month-over-month increase in condos going on the market in January; however, the other two property types also nearly doubled.

In total, there were 3,148 active home listings at the end of January, a drop of 37.5 per cent from the 5,039 listings available in January last year, but a welcome rise of 18.5 per cent compared with December.

Benchmark Prices

Detached home benchmark prices in the Fraser Valley in December rose to $691,100, a jump of 20.6 per cent compared with the same month a year previously, and a rise of 2.5 per cent in a single month since December.

January’s townhome prices rose at a more modest, but still high, annual rate in the Valley, increasing 11.1 per cent year over year to $334,400. This was a rise of 1.5 cent month over month.

Condo-apartments in the region continued their annual increase in price, with the benchmark price growing by 8.5 per cent compared with last January, to $204,300, up just 0.3 per cent over the previous month.

To see home prices, sales and listings broken down by community, see the FVREB January 2016 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.