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Home Market in Fraser Valley Sees Another Record-Setting Month: FVREB

Joannah Connolly
March 2, 2016

Fraser Valley real estate sales broke records once more in February, for the second time in as many months, according to Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) data published March 2.

Total home sales increased by a staggering 87 per cent compared with February 2015, and by nearly as much, 82 per cent, over January 2016’s figures.

Charles Wiebe, president of the board, said, “In my 25 years of real estate, I have never seen such consistent demand for housing in the Fraser Valley."

“While it’s certainly encouraging to see such confidence in our region, the intense demand has created a more complex market for buyers. For certain property types, prices have increased and selection is scarce.”

The region continues to be firmly a sellers’ market, with total active listings at the end of February yet again down year over year, by 38.5 per cent.

However, the number of new listings rose both year over year (28.9 per cent) and month over month (35.2 per cent) as sellers took the plunge to list their homes on the spring market.

Sales and Listings

The Fraser Valley board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) recorded 2,157 residential sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, an increase of 87 per cent compared with February 2015 and 82 per cent more than in January.

Unlike last month, single-family home sales in the Fraser Valley increased by the smallest proportion compared with last February, at 83 per cent, to 1,243 units. This was a month over month rise of 73.6 per cent compared with January.

Attached property sales, such as townhouses, duplexes and row homes, in the region increased 87.2 per cent year over year to 526 sales, up 91.3 per cent compared with January.

Bucking the trend of the previous month, sales of condo-apartment units in the Fraser Valley regained their position as the highest annual growth rate, more than doubling in February at 101 per cent year over year to 388 sales. This figure also an exact doubling of the 194 condo sales recorded in January.

The number of new residential listings in February jumped by 28.9 per cent year over year to 2,782, which was an increase of 35.2 per cent compared with January’s new listings. This was led by a boost in the number of single-family homes going on the market in February, which was up nearly 40 per cent year over year.

In total, there were 3,373 active home listings at the end of February, a drop of 38.5 per cent from the 5,484 listings available in February last year, but a much-needed rise of 7.2 per cent following January’s boost.

Wiebe said, “Inventory is moving fast, so it’s critical that buyers know what they most want in a home and neighbourhood, and be open to considering new areas.”

Benchmark Prices

The benchmark price of a detached single-family home in the Fraser Valley in February rose to $714,000, an increase of 22.8 per cent compared with February 2015, when it was $581,400, and a rise of 3.3 per cent since last month.

February townhome prices in the region rose 13.6 per cent year over year to $337,300. This was a rise of 3.3 cent month over month.

Condo-apartments price rises in the Valley last month were a far cry from a year ago, when they were declining year over year. In February the benchmark price increased by 11.2 per cent compared with last February, to a still-affordable $211,000, up 2.6 per cent over the previous month.

Wiebe added, “The Valley features a wide range of diverse housing options, with many areas still very affordable.”

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