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Fraser Valley Real Estate Sees Busiest November for 26 Years: FVREB

Joannah Connolly
December 2, 2015

November’s overall residential and non-residential property sales in the Fraser Valley were the second highest on record, only surpassed by November 1989, according to Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) statistics released December 2.

There were 1,570 homes sold in November, an increase of 62 per cent compared with the 969 residential sales in November last year.

The sellers’ market in the region, like that of Greater Vancouver, strengthened its position further in November, with the total number of residential listings falling both year over year and month over month.

The Fraser Valley’s November activity mirrored several of the trends seen in Greater Vancouver, which also reported its highest November sales volumes since 1989. Like in that region, new listings in the Valley actually increased year over year in November, but dropped compared with October.

Jorda Maisey, FVREB president, said, “November is not normally this busy. We’ve experienced our usual, seasonal dip in the number of new listings, but we’re just not seeing a decline in the demand.”

Sales and Listings

Single-family home sales in the Fraser Valley increased 55 per cent, compared with last November, to 905 units – astonishingly, the slowest growth rate of the three property types. Detached homes were also the only category to see a monthly drop in sales, falling 3.4 per cent compared with the previous month.

Sales of townhouses and other attached properties in the region increased 72.5 per cent year over year to 383 sales, and reversed October’s month-over-month decline to rise 8.5 per cent over October.

Fraser Valley condos sales accelerated last month’s annual growth rate, rising in November by a staggering 73 per cent year over year to 282 sales, also up 10.8 per cent compared with October.

The number of new residential listings in November rose 13.5 per cent year over year to 1,854, but dropped 14.2 per cent month over month. The yearly rise in new listings was led by an annual increase in townhomes going on the market in November; the monthly drop came largely from a lack of single-family homes becoming available for sale.

In total, there were 3,741 active home listings at the end of November, a drop of 34.9 per cent from the 5,746 listings available in November last year, a decline of 14.2 per cent since October and a nine-year low. This was once again particularly severe in townhomes, total listings of which were down 41.9 per cent annually.

Maisey said, “Our housing inventory overall hasn’t been this low since spring of 2006, however it’s important to emphasize that conditions vary depending on property type. Ground-oriented homes are the highest in demand currently with about one out of every two active listings selling. For apartments, one in five is selling, so condo shoppers will find more selection and have greater negotiating power on price when it comes time to buy.”

Benchmark Prices

The benchmark price of a single-family Fraser Valley house in November was $659,700, a rise of 14.7 per cent compared with November 2014’s price of $575,400.

Fraser Valley townhouse prices in November once again rose at a much slower annual rate, increasing 6.7 per cent year over year to $318,800, despite continued shortages of listings.

Following a long slide in prices that ended in September, condominium apartments in the region continued to reverse that trend, with the benchmark price growing annually by 9.4 per cent in November to $207,100.

Maisey added, “We understand that it is challenging buying a home in a market this competitive and that’s why we’re here, to help our buyers develop a successful strategy to secure the best home for them at a price they can afford.”  

To see home prices, sales and listings broken down by community, see the FVREB November 2015 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.