Steady home sales in December cap solid year for Fraser Valley real estate

SURREY, BC – Fraser’s Valley’s real estate market returned to normal activity levels in 2014 with sales of single family detached homes leading the way.

 

Ray Werger, President of the Board, says “It was a busy year for both buyers and sellers. In 2014, both sales and new listings were stronger in Fraser Valley compared to 2013 – most notably for detached homes and townhomes – with the result that we’ve returned to normal market activity for our region on par with our 10-year average.”

 

The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 15,840 sales in 2014, compared to 13,663 the previous year, an increase of 16 per cent. It also received 4 per cent more new listings during the same time period – 30,642 in 2014 compared to 29,338 in 2013. Over the year, the number of active listings for buyers to choose from dropped by 23 per cent going from 7,541 properties in December 2013 to 6,380 in December 2014.

 

According to Werger, sales during the month of December followed the same trend as every month in 2014 with sales surpassing the same month compared to 2013.  “It was the third busiest December we’ve experienced in the last decade with sales almost keeping pace with the number of new listings.

 

“As a result, we’ve seen our inventory deplete, which is normal for this time of year however, our selection hasn’t been this low for almost eight years. We hope to see the usual influx of new listings during the first quarter of 2015 because we’re currently seeing a shortage of affordably priced single family detached homes in certain areas. ”

 

In December, sales increased by 21 per cent, going from 890 in 2013 to 1,075 last month. New listings increased by 13 per cent in December compared to 2014 going from 1,013 to 1,147 bringing the number of active listings to 6,380, 15 per cent fewer than were available in December of 2013.

 

Home prices in December continued along the same trends as seen for most of 2014, with prices of single family detached homes continuing to rise; townhouse prices remaining steady, and apartment prices decreasing slightly. The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home in December was $573,100 an increase of 4.3 per cent compared to December 2013, when it was $549,500.

 

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of townhouses in December was $293,500 on par with $293,300 in December 2013.  The benchmark price of apartments decreased year-over-year by 0.8 per cent, going from $192,600 in December of last year to $191,100 in December 2014.

 

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,757 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. The FVREB marked its 90-year anniversary in 2011.

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%