Real Estate Market Review – Winter 2017/2018

Fraser Valley

Recent headlines would make anyone think that the real estate market in the Fraser Valley is slowing down but one month’s overall statistics aren’t enough to make that conclusion. Sales transactions for February were down 0.8% compared with February 2017, so basically unchanged. While sales of townhouses were down 8.9% and sales of apartments were down 3.1%, detached homes actually went up 6.7%. To date, the Fraser Valley has recorded 9.5% more sales for 2018 than the same time last year.

2017 was the second busiest year ever in the Fraser Valley with sales numbers just below 2016. Looking back, December recorded the second highest transactions ever for the Fraser Valley and January recorded the third highest transactions. The new mortgage rules may have been behind some of those high numbers.

Despite a drop in sales for townhouses and apartments, prices continued to rise in February. In the past three months, we have seen townhouse prices rise 5% and apartment prices rise a staggering 12%. Prices for detached homes also rose 2%. Cameron Muir, chief economist for the BC Real Estate Assoc., reminded us today that we cannot expect prices for apartments to continue to rise at such high rates forever. There has been extremely low inventory of apartments and townhouses for sale over the past couple of years but that will change as new construction projects complete.

For detached properties, all areas in the Fraser Valley, except South Surrey, continue to be in a sellers market. It is important to note that the price point changes everything. South Surrey is in a strong, sellers market for properties priced under $1,750,000.

For attached properties, all areas and almost all price points continue in hot, sellers markets.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

• Single Family Detached: At $992,100, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 1 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 15.7 per cent compared to February 2017.
• Townhomes: At $531,000 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 2.2 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 25.4 per cent compared to February 2017.
• Apartments: At $422,300, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 4.5 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 46.7 per cent compared to February 2017.

Greater Vancouver:

February sales in the Greater Vancouver area were below the 10-year average for the month of February. Sales last month were 9 per cent lower than February 2017.

Overall, townhouses and apartments continue to be in sellers markets across all areas. Most areas from New Westminster and east to Maple Ridge are in sellers markets. Moving west, Burnaby, South Delta, East Vancouver and North Vancouver are in balanced markets while Vancouver West, West Vancouver and Richmond are now in buyers markets. Vancouver West has been in a buyers market since July 2017. This situation has resulted in a price decrease of 4.2% over the past six months. The recent provincial budget may have further negative affects on the Vancouver market.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

Single Family Detached: At $1,602,000, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home increased 8.2% compared to February 2017 but decreased 4.2 per cent in the past six months.
Townhomes: At $819,200 the Benchmark price for a townhome increased 18.1 per cent compared to February 2017.
Apartments: At $682,800, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos increased 27.2 per cent compared to February 2017.

Buyer Opportunities (Detached)

Abbotsford – get in while you still can. The average home in Abbotsford is still more than $200K less than in Langley.

Buyer Opportunities (Attached)

There is much less competition for properties built prior to 2010. Older properties tend to have rental restrictions but if you are purchasing to live in, you will get much more square footage for your dollar. Also, there is less competition for units that need renovations. Save money and earn some sweat equity.