Fraser Valley – (Laurie Dawson/FVREB) Fraser Valley’s housing market remained in a seller’s market in October, fuelled by low interest rates and strong consumer demand, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.
There were 1,772 sales processed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October compared with 1,448 in 2014, an increase of 22 per cent. For the month, sales are on par with the previous high in October 2005; and historically, only surpassed by the markets of October 1992 and 1989.
Jorda Maisey, President of the Board, says she’s not surprised that October sales were near historic levels, “BC continues to be an economic growth leader in our country and we’re seeing the impact of that in our housing market.
“In the Fraser Valley, demand is strongest for ground-oriented homes. 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 Board received 2,155 new listings last month, 10 per cent fewer listings compared to October of last year. The total active inventory for October was 6,535, down 26 per cent from last year’s 8,807 active listings.
Maisey says with the lack of listings, sellers have had the advantage, “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.”
The MLS® Home Price Index benchmark price of a detached home in October was $649,200, an increase of 13.2 per cent compared to October of last year when it was $573,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses increased 5.1 per cent going from $298,500 in October of last year to $313,700 last month. The benchmark price of apartments was $203,100, an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to $192,600 in October 2014.
Maisey adds, “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.”