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Fraser Valley Real Estate Sees Strongest Sales Year In A Decade: FVREB

Fraser Valley – Fraser Valley real estate saw its strongest year in a decade in 2015, according to Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB).

Abbotsford Fraser Valley

Last year was the second highest year on record for property sales in the Fraser Valley, just shy of the region’s sales peak in 2005, reported the board. Total real estate sales, including residential, commercial and industrial, were up 33 per cent year over year to 21,095 units in 2015, less than one per cent below the 21,282 sales processed in 2005.

Jorda Maisey, president of the FVREB, said that 2015’s market strength was attributable to a strong economy driving housing demand. “The Fraser Valley has always appealed to consumers looking for competitive pricing and a diverse range of housing options.

“Last year shows that consumers recognize the long-term value of property ownership in the Fraser Valley, particularly valuing the single family home, which they recognize is becoming a limited commodity. Sales of single family detached increased across all of our communities, in some instances more than doubling 2014’s sales.”

In December 2015, there were 1,329 homes sold – an increase of 48.3 per cent compared with the 903 residential sales in December last year.

The region remained strongly in sellers’ market territory, like in Greater Vancouver, with total listings falling dramatically both year over year and month over month.

Also like Greater Vancouver, and like last month, new listings in the Fraser Valley increased year over year in December, but dropped compared with the previous month.

Sales and Listings

The Fraser Valley board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reported that it processed 21,095 total real estate sales in 2015, including residential, commercial and industrial properties – 33 per cent more than the 15,840 sales in 2014. This was just short of the 2005 peak but the total dollar volume of MLS® sales was a record-setting $12.1 billion, $4 billion more than was sold in 2014.

However, the FVREB received what it described as a “typical volume of new listings” in 2015 – 30,998 – comparable to the 10-year average of 31,296 new listings.

In December, single-family home sales in the Fraser Valley increased 50.4 per cent, compared with last December, to 764 units – only the second fastest growth of the three property types. This was a seasonal drop of 15.6 per cent compared with the previous month.

Sales of townhouses and other attached properties in the region increased a slower 37 per cent year over year to 296 sales, and fell 22.7 per cent compared with November.

Fraser Valley condos sales saw the sharpest annual growth rate, rising in December by an impressive 56.4 per cent year over year to 269 sales, although this was not as steep as the previous month’s annual sales growth of 73 per cent. December’s 269 sales were also a drop of 4.6 per cent compared with the previous month.

The number of new residential listings in December rose 15 per cent year over year to 1,038, but dropped 32.7 per cent month over month. Like last month, the yearly rise in new listings was led by an annual increase in townhomes going on the market in December; however this month, the monthly drop came largely from a lack of condos going on the market.

In total, there were 2,656 active home listings at the end of December, a drop of 39 per cent from the 4,363 listings available in December last year, and a decline of 29 per cent since November. This was particularly acute in single-family homes, total listings of which were down 45.6 per cent annually.

Benchmark Prices

The benchmark price of a single-family home in the Fraser Valley in December was $672,400, a rise of 17.3 per cent compared with December 2014’s price and a rise of 1.9 per cent over November.

Townhome prices in December continued to rise at a slower annual rate in the Valley, increasing 9.6 per cent year over year to $321,800 and 0.9 per cent month over month.

Condo-apartments in the region continued their annual increase in price having reversed several months of price slides in the fall, with the benchmark price growing annually by 7.2 per cent in December to $204,900. However, this was the only property type to see a month-over-month decline in benchmark prices, with December’s price a fall of just over 1 per cent compared with November’s $207,100.

Maisey added, “The market remains buoyant, and with very low inventory currently there is tremendous opportunity for sellers. For buyers finding it challenging in their search, [we recommend] they consider a variety of housing options and communities they may not have considered. There’s a lot of choice out there, you just need to know where to look.”

To see home prices, sales and listings broken down by community, see the FVREB December 2015 statistics package

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