FRASER VALLEY

 

New Year outlook: Opportune time for home buyers   

 

This is a time of year when many home hunters put their plans of hold for the holiday season. It’s also a time when people wonder what the New Year will bring. So, if you have been thinking about a purchasing home in the Fraser Valley, here’s my analysis of the market as we approach the end of 2019.

As we have observed for nearly two years, housing prices have been in decline since government measures took effect in 2018 to cool soaring prices. The composite benchmark price across all property types was $817,000 at the end of November. This is more than a 20 per cent decline from three years ago, so it’s obvious that new taxes and mortgage restrictions have a great impact on the market. In almost all the Valley’s municipalities, comparable double-digit declines have been seen, except for South Surrey/White Rock, where the benchmark price is very close to what it was three years ago, a mere 0.1 per cent drop in that time frame. This area has always led the Fraser Valley’s highest priced properties, and for that reason has not been the locale with the highest number of sales.  Residential demand in the Fraser Valley is driven largely by young families and first-time home buyers seeking quality homes at prices that are lower than in Metro Vancouver. November sales for Fraser Valley townhouses were over 46 per cent higher than one year ago; Valley condominium sales were up more than 30 per cent for the same period. However, new listings in these property types are not keeping pace with this demand. November’s sales reduced the Valley’s existing inventory of townhouses by about one third, and condominiums by about 29 per cent. If new listings continue to decline, the effect on prices may depend on the specific area of the listing. Increased demand and lower supply as a rule triggers higher prices, but it can also be a test of price stability. Even with the current overall reduced supply, the composite benchmark price for November declined 0.1 per cent from October. So, this will be notable metric to watch in the New Year. I will be following this particular issue closely for you, and I encourage you to check this newsletter in January 2020. 

 

In actual numbers, it’s important to note that there is still a large supply of properties for sale across the Fraser Valley. At the end of November, there were 6,733 active listings across all property types. This total included 1,877 new listings for the month, and 29,620 new listings over one year. I encourage anyone wanting to purchase a Valley property not to wait for lower prices. There will likely continue to be minor fluctuations in different areas in early 2020, but current market conditions suggest rising prices may be around the corner. Valley properties do not remain on the market for long. Last month, the average length of time to sell a single detached home was 48 days; townhouses remained on the market for an average of 38 days, and condominiums for 40 days. Below you can find comparative benchmark prices for my selected areas across the Fraser Valley in all property types.    

 

Detached Homes

 

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in the Fraser Valley at the end of November was $952,200, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were South Surrey/White Rock at $1,311,500 and Mission at $639,200. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Langley at $990,300, an increase of 0.7 per cent from the preceding month; Cloverdale at $998,900, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; and Surrey at $1,002,200, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: North Surrey at $935,500, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; North Delta at $890,600, an increase of 0.4 per cent from the preceding month; and Abbotsford at $785,100, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month.

 

Townhouses

 

The benchmark price for a townhouse in the Fraser Valley at the end of November was $514,700, a decrease of 0.3 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were South Surrey/White Rock at $632,000 and Abbotsford at $$785,100. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: North Delta at $530,700, a decrease of 3.1 per cent from the preceding month; Cloverdale at $552,900, a decrease of 1.1 per cent from the preceding month; and North Surrey at $554,300, an increase of 1.9 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Langley at $490,400, an increase of 1.3 per cent from the preceding month; Mission at $439,800, an increase of 1.0 per cent from the preceding month; and Abbotsford at $377,700, a decrease of 0.9 per cent from the preceding month.

 

Condominiums

 

The benchmark price for a condominium in the Fraser Valley at the end of November was $404,500, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month. The extremities of this average were South Surrey/White Rock at $471,100 and Abbotsford at $309,200. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the higher side of the average were: Surrey at $409,600, a decrease of 0.2 per cent from the preceding month; Cloverdale at $451,200, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; and South Surrey/White Rock at $471,100, a decrease of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month. The three municipalities closest to the benchmark on the lower side of the average were: Langley at $399,200, a decrease of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; North Surrey at $398,200, an increase of 0.1 per cent from the preceding month; and North Delta at $369,100, a decrease of 0.8 per cent from the preceding month.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Your home is a special place and even more appreciated when it can be enjoyed with friends and neighbors this festive season. My family and I wish you a safe and merry holiday season, and best wishes for the New Year.