March real estate sales in the Valley broke even more records than they did in February, according to Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) data published April 4.
Total home sales did not increase as sharply as in February, but still rose very strongly, increasing by 64.4 per cent compared with March 2015, and by 23.2 per cent over February 2016’s figures. This led to the highest-ever recorded number of sales since the board's inception in 1921.
Charles Wiebe, president of the board, said, “This market is uncharted territory for Fraser Valley real estate. It’s typical for spring to see a jump in activity; however, March came and went at a break-neck, record-setting pace. I’ve never seen anything like it."
Total active home listings at the end of March were once more down year over year, this time by more than 37 per cent. However, the number of new homes listed for sale rose nearly 32 per cent year over year and more than 21 per cent month over month as home sellers took advantage of the spring market.
Sales and Listings
The Fraser Valley board recorded 3,006 total property sales (residential, industrial and commercial) on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March – the first time that the Fraser Valley has recorded more than 3,000 unit sales in a single month.
That included a total of 2,657 residential property sales, which is an increase of 64.4 per cent compared with March 2015 and 23.2 per cent more than in February.
Single-family home sales in the Fraser Valley increased by 63.7 per cent compared with last March, to 1,553 units. This was a month over month rise of 24.9 per cent compared with February.
Attached property sales, such as townhouses, duplexes and row homes, in the region increased 59 per cent year over year to 593 sales, up 12.7 per cent compared with February.
Condo-apartment sales in the Fraser Valley held onto their position as the highest annual growth rate, rising in March by 73.8 per cent year over year to 511 sales. This figure is also the sharpest monthly growth rate of all property types, at 31.7 per cent higher than the condo sales recorded in February.
The number of new residential listings in March jumped by 31.9 per cent year over year to 3,381, which was an increase of 21.5 per cent compared with February’s new listings. Like last month, this was led by a spike in new single-family home listings in March, which was up nearly 50 per cent year over year.
However, like Greater Vancouver’s market, demand continued to outpace supply. In total, there were 3,612 active home listings at the end of March, a drop of 37.3 per cent from the 5,757 listings available in March last year, but a rise of 7.1 per cent, following rises in January and February.
Wiebe said, “This is typically a busy time of year to buy and sell real estate, and those seeking homes are hungry to purchase. Unfortunately, inventory is struggling to keep up. With that said, if you’re thinking of selling your home, I encourage you to … consider your current opportunities. The market is in your favour.”
Across the Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a detached home in March was 17 days, versus 43 days in March 2015.
Detached single-family home benchmark prices in the Fraser Valley in March rose to $741,000, an increase of 26 per cent compared with March 2015, when it was $588,500, and a rise of 3.8 per cent since last month.
February townhome prices in the region rose 14.9 per cent year over year to $344,300. This was a rise of 2.1 cent month over month.
Condo-apartments prices continued to make up for the decline of last year. The March benchmark price rose by 13.8 per cent compared with a year ago, to $217,200, up 2.9 per cent over the previous month.
Wiebe added, ““While I'm certainly encouraged that so many are finding their way to owning a home in the Fraser Valley, I know that it can also be challenging for first-time homebuyers and those looking to transition.Talk to a REALTOR® – we can help you get there.”
To see home prices, sales and listings broken down by community, see the FVREB March 2016 statistics package.