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No Fall for October Home Sales in Fraser Valley: Board

Joannah Connolly
November 3, 2015

The real estate market in the Fraser Valley showed no signs of slowing in October, fuelled by low interest rates and strong consumer demand, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) monthly report released November 3.

There were 1,546 homes sold in October, an increase of 20.2 per cent compared with the 1,286 residential sales in October last year.

Overall residential and non-residential sales in October were level with the previous high in October 2005; and historically, only surpassed by the markets of October 1992 and 1989.

Jorda Maisey, FVREB president, said, “BC continues to be an economic growth leader in our country and we’re seeing the impact of that in our housing market.”

The sellers’ market in the region, like that of Greater Vancouver, strengthened its position further in October, with the number of new residential listings falling 8.3 per cent year over year. Overall inventory remained extremely limited, with active home listings dropping 30.2 per cent versus October last year.

Sales and Listings                                                 

Single-family detached home sales increased 26.8 per cent compared with last October, and reversed September’s month-over-month decline, rising 5.8 per cent compared with the previous month.

Sales of townhouses and other attached properties in the region increased 9.63 per cent year over year, although they dropped 2.5 per cent compared with the previous month, likely due to very limited supply.

Fraser Valley condos sales reversed last month’s slowdown in their annual growth rate, increasing in October by 13.8 per cent year over year, although its monthly rise was modest, at 0.8 per cent compared with September.

Maisey added, “In the Fraser Valley, demand is strongest for ground-oriented homes. [Sales of] single-family homes and townhomes garnered 83 per cent of our residential market last month. The reasons are due to low interest rates, pent-up demand and most importantly, price. People can afford to own their own single-family home in the Fraser Valley.”

The number of new residential listings fell in October, down 8.3 per cent year over year to 1,798 compared with the 1,961 new listings seen in October 2014, and down nearly 13 per cent compared with September.

Unlike previous months, this annual decrease was led by a drop in new listings of condos, which fell 19.9 per cent year over year, compared with detached homes and townhomes, with dropped 2.2 and 8.4 per cent respectively.

In total, there were 4,360 active home listings at the end of October, a drop of 30.2 per cent from the 6,244 listings available in October last year, as demand continued to far outstrip supply. This was particularly acute in total townhome listings, which were down 37.1 per cent annually, and single-family homes, down 34.4 per cent.

Maisey said, “In some of our areas, active inventory of single-family detached is down a third to a half of what was available this time last year. The fewer homes available, the more in demand they become, which is why we have seen an impact on prices, most notably on single-family detached homes.” 

Benchmark Prices

In October, the benchmark price of a detached Fraser Valley house was $649,200, a rise of 13.2 per cent compared with October 2014’s price of $573,500.

Fraser Valley townhouse prices in October again rose at a much slower rate, increasing 5.1 per cent year over year to $313,700, despite the acute shortage of inventory.

After months of sliding prices that ended in September, condominium apartments in the Valley continued to reverse that long-term trend, with the benchmark price growing annually by 5.45 per cent in October to $203,100.

Maisey added, “Our inventory shortage of ground-oriented homes has had a positive spin-off on our condo market. We’ve advised many of our entry-level buyers to consider an apartment rather than a townhome because the selection is far superior and prices, on average, $100,000 less. Many buyers just aren’t aware of the new and resale options available to them.”

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