In the Fraser Valley, September was a busy month finishing off as the 5th busiest September on record. The official announcement to changes in the mortgage rules were made in October. October and November sales picked up quickly with both months posting the second highest sales for those months on record. Across the Fraser Valley and the Greater Vancouver district, condos and townhouses continued to account for over half of all sales.
While the new mortgage rules may be affecting this fall market, these new rules only apply to the banks. Credit Unions are exempt from the new requirements which now require all borrowers, regardless of the size of the down payment, to qualify for a mortgage at a 2% higher interest rate than what is posted in the contract, or at the 5 year, Bank of Canada rate.
Rising employment in B.C., an increase in the average hourly wage in the province and the growing number of millennials entering the market is also a driving force behind the increased demand for real estate. Read B.C. Real Estate Association’s December Report
The hottest market for detached homes in the Fraser Valley was the Clayton area of Surrey with a 95% sales to inventory ratio – 18 sales vs 19 in inventory, in November. Walnut Grove, Langley was the second hottest with a 81% ratio and Aldergrove, Langley come in third with a 65% ratio. On the other side, the Elgin area in South Surrey had only a 2% sales to inventory ratio last month – 2 sales vs 92 in inventory. Other areas with a very low ratio included White Rock at 10%, the Pacific Douglas area in South Surrey at 12% and Aberdeen in Abbotsford at 14%.
Detached: $972,700, up 0.1% compared to October 2017 and up 13.2% compared to November 2016.
Townhomes: $505,700, up 0.6% compared to October 2017 and up 19% compared to November 2016.
Condos: $376,700, up 2 per cent compared to October 2017 and up 36.6% compared to November 2016.
While the attached market was hot everywhere, Clayton posted the highest sales to listing ratio with 186%. Whalley had the largest inventory available – 170 units – and still sold 88%.
The rate at which condos prices are rising doesn’t seem to be slowing. Will this translate into an even hotter, condo market for the spring?
Condos and townhouses were the hottest selling properties however, the greatest increase in unit sales for the year was seen in the detached market with a 44% yearly increase in October and a 31% yearly increase in November which could be a sign of things to come.
Detached: $1,608,000, up 6.1% from November 2016.
Townhomes: $805,200, up 17.9% from November 2016.
Condos: $648,200, up 23.9% from November 2016.
Recent changes to the Tenancy Act will protect renters from high, rent increases and put landlords in the hot seat for wrongful evictions for the purpose of increasing rent.
If you are looking to purchase, December can be the best month to buy. Even with unusually high, seasonal demand, buying in December will certainly be less competitive than buying in the new year.
If you are looking to buy a condo or townhouse, be sure to analyse the strata documents carefully. As a buyer’s agent, I always look over the financial statements, reports and minutes to make sure my buyer is aware of any possible problems or future issues.