Fraser Valley housing market gets its groove back

SURREY, BC – Buyers and sellers in the Fraser Valley took advantage of the record breaking hours of sunshine in July as both sales and listings on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) experienced a lift.

The Board processed 1,456 sales in July, an increase of 5 per cent compared to the 1,393 sales in July of last year and 10 per cent more than were processed in June. By historical comparison, sales in July ranked sixth going back to 2004. For over a year, monthly sales in Fraser Valley have been trending at 10-year lows.

Ray Werger is the President-elect of the Board. “Buoyancy during the summer is rare at the best of times and yet I’ve just experienced the busiest July in my 20 plus years as a REALTOR®. To jump from the worst June in 10 years to a slightly below average July may not sound unusual or unexpected but it was.

“We’re likely experiencing some pent-up demand coming off some very slow winter months, any tiny change in mortgage rates is incentive for many buyers and let’s not underestimate our glorious weather. For our buyers and sellers, a return to a normal, balanced market is welcome news.”

In July, Fraser Valley’s sales-to-active-listings ratio – a comparison of sales and inventory that measures the health of the market – was 14 per cent for all property types and 18 per cent for single family detached homes and townhomes indicating stability in the marketplace.

The Board received 2,777 new listings in July – 5 per cent fewer than received during the same month last year, but 6 per cent more than were received in June – leaving the volume of active properties at 10,428 a decrease of 4 per cent compared to July 2012.

In July, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $551,000, virtually on par with $551,400 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $297,800, a decrease of 1.8 per cent compared to $303,400 in July 2012 and the benchmark price of apartments was $202,000, 2 per cent less than in July 2012 when it was $206,200.

Werger adds, “Year over year, prices are stable or down slightly, however the six month trend is showing one to two per cent increases for all property types; again underlying the return to an average or typical housing market.”

 

Mortgage rates are down and the local real estate market takes another hit. We are passing the mid-point of the year most homeowners at this point are very aware of the down turn we are experiencing in the local real estate market. Inventory has climbed and sales have fallen. Property values are headed down and as much as some would call it a balanced market, it’s more of a buyers’ market. Of course, there are few exceptions to this. Vancouver area homes sales posted their weakest June in almost twenty years. “We’re continuing to see an expectation gap between home buyers and sellers in Metro Vancouver,” said Ashley Smith, REBGV president. “Sellers are often trying to get yesterday’s values for their homes while buyers are taking a cautious, wait-and-see approach.” To take a closer look at the stats, click here Selling property in this market is challenging and requires a skillful realtor. Hard work often pays off, but in these conditions; it’s more about price and affordability. Buyers are taking advantage of these conditions and ‘low ball offers’ are becoming the norm. Sellers should prepare themselves and understand that it will likely take additional time to sell their home. When it comes to selling successfully there are few things that can help in delivering great results. Click here to ask me. Mortgage lending conditions are not much better. The good news is that interest rates have fallen since the beginning of the year and 5 year fixed is now as low as 2.74%. Most economists think fixed rates should hold steady and that we should see the prime lending rate move lower later this year. Borrowers looking to access these cheap rates should ensure they have all income taxes up to date and if you are self-employed ensure you have updated financial statements. This will help get you the answer you need quickly. Alternatively, if you need funds quickly and cannot meet the stringent lending criteria; then there are lots options but it comes at a higher cost. Mortgage rates: (certain conditions apply): Best 5 year fixed: 2.74% - insured Best 5 year fixed: 2.79% - uninsured Best Variable: Prime – 1% Best 10 year fixed: 3.44%