Balanced Market in the Fraser Valley: FVREB


Port Mann bridge over Fraser River


Real estate sales in the Fraser Valley saw the best August since 2011 as the market continued to outpace the last three years, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board figures released September 3.


Overall sales (including commercial, agricultural and industrial) fell 19 per cent compared with July but increased 3 per cent compared with the same month last year.


However, August’s overall sales figure was 10 per cent lower than the 10-year average for August. That’s a position that’s been typical of this year, with the exception of July when sales topped the 10-year average by 1.4 per cent.


And for houses, townhouses and condos, the typical summer slowdown saw home sales down nearly 21 per cent compared with July. Total home sales were virtually the same as August 2013, falling just 1 per cent year over year.


Single-family home prices in the Fraser Valley have risen 3.4 per cent since last August, townhouse prices have remained flat and condo prices have fallen 3.5 per cent.


The report also revealed that record-low interest rates are causing buyers to go for houses and townhouses instead of the less expensive condos.

Sales and Listings

Sales for detached, townhouses and condos reached 1,125 in August, compared to 1,136 in August 2013. Of August sales, 669 were detached houses, and they were the only category to increase over last August.


A total of 264 townhouses sold, compared to 286 last August, and 192 condos traded hands, down from 220 the year before.


Fraser Valley: What’s Up, What’s Down

Overall Home Sales -20.9% -1.0%
- Detached -19.2% +6.2%
- Townhouse -27.1% -7.7%
- Apartment -17.6% -12.7%
New Listings -9.9% +0.4%
Active Listings -3.1% -9.4%

New listings are down from July, as expected. The numbers are typical for August, with 1,956 homes hitting the market last month, 1,948 in August 2013 and 1,937 in August 2012.


There are currently 6,698 homes on the market: 3,469 houses, 1,483 townhouses and 1,746 condos.

It’s interesting to compare the demand for the different housing types. Board president Wenger says, “We have only five months’ supply of detached homes currently and nine months’ supply of condos.”

This chart shows each housing type and its percentage of the August sales, new listings and active listings. Detached houses (green) account for most of the market and their new listings are not keeping up with sales, resulting in fewer active listings. With condos (blue), on the other hand, new listings are outpacing sales, resulting in more condos on the market.


Fraser Valley RealEstate Board sales, new listings and active listings by housing type.


In August 2013, 55.4 per cent of sales were houses, 25.1 per cent were townhouses and 19.4 per cent were condos.

MLS Benchmark Prices

Today’s historically low interest rates have a lot to do with the popularity of houses and townhouses, says FVREB president Rey Werger.


“With interest rates as competitive as they are combined with the increase of affordable, new townhome developments in Cloverdale and Langley in particular, we’re seeing firstā€time buyers bypass the condo phase to jump immediately to a larger, more expensive townhouse or a smaller single family home.”


Single-family home prices have risen 3.4 per cent since last August, while townhouse prices have increased just 0.1 per cent and condo prices have dropped by 3.5 per cent.


Fraser Valley MLS® Benchmark Prices, % Change
 August 2014July 2014August 2013
Detached $569,800 +0.3% +3.4%
Townhouse $298,500  0.0% +0.1%
Apartment $196,700 +1.0% -3.5%





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