Home sales increased in April, with the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reporting 1,366 sales processed through its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), an increase of 21.1 per cent compared to March’s 1,128 sales, but still lagging behind April 2012’s 1,435 sales.
“Historically, sales and listings activity noticeably increases during the spring months and April was no exception,” explains Ron Todson, President of the Board. “What’s different this year is that a number of external factors, such as tighter credit rules and the government’s spotlight on consumer debt have made some consumers more cautious about buying or selling a property. However, for those who need to move to a bigger or smaller home or to another community before summer hits, its business as usual because when you need a home, you need a home.”
The Board received 2,951 new listings in April, 5.8 per cent fewer compared to last year’s 3,134 new listings in April but up 7.8 per cent from March. Total active inventory at month-end was 9,995 listings, up from March but still down from 2012. The result has been that the balance between sales, new listings and total active inventory shifted slightly in favour of a balanced market, with April’s sales-to-active-listings ratio increasing to 14 per cent compared to March.
Todson says a balanced market helps to keep prices in check. “Depending on the market area and property type, prices are either slightly up or down based on desirability and availability of product, underscoring the importance of understanding what’s going on in your specific area, which is exactly where REALTORS® can help.”
In April, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $547,300, an increase of 0.4 per cent compared to $545,000 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $299,100, a decrease of 2.2 per cent compared to $305,900 in April 2012 and the benchmark price of apartments was $203,900, virtually unchanged from $203,800 in April 2012.
“Pricing is incredibly important in slower than average markets,” explains Todson, a real estate veteran with 30 plus years in the business. “We’re not seeing the rapid increases in home values of the last decade, which means that sellers may need to sharpen their pricing in order to be competitive, but buyers won’t see dramatic price drops. A balanced, steady market can be a very good market for consumers to be in.”
See the full statistics package for April here.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) is sponsoring nine all-candidates’ meetings across the region in advance of BC’s provincial election on May 14.
Organized by local chambers of commerce and the Surrey Board of Trade, the events are taking place in Abbotsford, Mission, Langley City and Township, Surrey, North Delta and White Rock and cover 15 electoral ridings.
Ron Todson is president of the FVREB. “This is a seminal election with many new candidates in every riding. For many citizens, these meetings may be their only opportunity to see and hear people who will be their representatives in the legislature after May 14.”
Todson adds that members of the public will be able to pose or submit questions and also hear questions asked by REALTORS®. “As professionals who live and work in our communities, we advocate on behalf of many issues which directly affect the quality of life in our communities such as economic vitality, the Property Transfer Tax, transportation and the reporting and remediating of drug operations.
“We strongly encourage people to come out and even if you don’t have a specific question, some of the issues we raise could help you decide where to mark your ballot on Election Day.”
The meetings are being held:
• FORT LANGLEY/ALDERGROVE riding:
Wednesday, April 24 from 7 pm to 9 pm – Langley Events Centre Banquet Hall, 7888 – 200 Street, Langley
• LANGLEY riding:
Thursday, April 25 from 7 pm to 9 pm – Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Langley campus Auditorium, 20901 Langley Bypass, Langley (free parking in west lot off Glover Road)
• DELTA-NORTH riding:
Tuesday, April 30 from 7 pm to 9 pm – Delta Lion Public House & Bistro’s private meeting room, 11186 – 84 Avenue, Delta
• ABBOTSFORD-WEST riding:
Tuesday, April 30 from 7 pm to 9:30 pm – Garden Park Towers, 2825 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford
• ABBOTSFORD-SOUTH riding:
Thursday, May 2 from 7 pm to 9:30 pm – Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford
• SURREY-WHITE ROCK riding:
Friday, May 3 from 7 pm to 9 pm – Star of the Sea Hall, 15262 Pacific Avenue, White Rock
• ABBOTSFORD-MISSION riding:
Tuesday, May 7 from 7 pm to 9:30 pm – Christian Life Community Church, 35131 Straiton Road, Abbotsford
• SURREY’S eight ridings:
Tuesday, May 7 from 5:30 pm to 9 pm – Eaglequest at Coyote Creek East/West room, 7778 – 152 Street, Surrey
• MAPLE RIDGE-MISSION & ABBOTSFORD-MISSION ridings:
Thursday, May 9 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Best Western Inn Ballroom, 32281 Lougheed Highway, Mission
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board has been sponsoring municipal, provincial and federal all-candidates’ meetings since 2001. REALTORS® are on hand to introduce the candidates and help facilitate the meetings on behalf of voters.
For more information:
In March, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,128 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), a 20 per cent decrease compared to the 1,412 sales during the same month last year, and a 24 per cent increase compared to February’s 913 sales.
The Board also received 11 per cent fewer new listings in March compared to last year – 2,736 compared to 3,066 – keeping inventory in check. March finished with 9,503 active listings, 1.5 per cent fewer than March of last year and 3.5 per cent fewer than the 9,832 available during March of 2009; the highest volume of active listings for that month in the last decade.
Ron Todson, President of the Board, explains, “Although we saw a typical spring uptick in activity from February to March, our sales remained at about 70 per cent of the norm for March and our new listings came in at 90 per cent of what the Board would typically receive.
“Because inventory levels are in check, prices are staying in check.”
In March, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $544,300, an increase of 0.6 per cent compared to $541,300 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $298,200, a decrease of 1.7 per cent compared to $303,400 in March 2012 and the benchmark price of apartments was $204,200, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to $202,500 in March 2012.
Todson adds, “Inventory levels are not as high as they need to be to put significant downward pressure on prices of the benchmark, or ‘typical’ home. These are homes that have characteristics most common to houses in a given community.
“In fact, we’re seeing the reverse happen. Benchmark prices for all three main property types in the Fraser Valley increased in value during the first quarter of 2013. Since January, detached homes are up by 1 per cent, townhomes by 0.6 per cent; and apartments by 2 per cent.”
See the full statistics package for March here.
Sales on Fraser Valley’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February experienced a typical ‘early spring’ surge, increasing by 48 per cent in one month going from 617 sales in January to 913 last month. However year-over-year, they reflect a decrease of 28 per cent compared to the 1,269 sales processed in February 2012. Since last September, home sales have idled at levels last seen in the early 2000s.
Based on February’s increase in activity, Ron Todson, President of the Board, is guardedly optimistic, “We’re seeing signals that the stand-off between buyers and sellers over the last six months is coming to an end.
“Business has picked up in the last month with increased traffic at open houses, sellers quicker to accept offers and homes selling on average two weeks faster than they did in January.”
Todson adds that tightening inventory has also had an effect, “When buyers see that their selection is diminishing they’re more motivated to act.” The Board posted 2,582 new listings last month, a decrease of 9 per cent compared to the 2,846 posted during February last year pushing the total number of active listings down by 1.6 per cent compared to 2012.
“As your REALTOR® will explain, each market is different. Right now, the market for detached homes is balanced in North Delta and Langley. The condo market is brisk in Abbotsford and Central Surrey and townhome sales are steady in North and Central Surrey as well as Cloverdale.
“One commonality amongst these areas and property types is greater affordability. What’s not doing well generally anywhere in the Fraser Valley is sales of higher-end homes unless they are priced competitively.”
In February, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $540,900, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to $537,200 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $296,700, a decrease of 1.3 per cent compared to $300,500 in February 2012 and the benchmark price of apartments was $202,500, an increase of 1.5 per cent compared to $199,500 in February 2012.
In February, it took on average 49 days to sell a detached home compared to 64 days in January. Townhomes took 60 days on average to sell compared to 72 days the month before and apartments spent an average of 66 days on the market in February compared to 83 days in January.
See the full statistics package for February here.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) presented its highest honours for community giving at its Annual General Meeting, February 20 at the Coast Hotel & Convention Centre in Langley.
For the first time, the individual and corporate REALTORS® Make Good Neighbours awards recipients were from the same office. The individual award went to REALTOR® Lucky Gill with her brokerage Sutton Group – West Coast Realty, Surrey receiving recognition for being the most community-minded office in the Fraser Valley.
Board president Scott Olson explains how important these awards are, “REALTORS® not only help people realize the dream of home ownership, an average of 65 per cent also volunteer their time and skills to help improve their communities.
“Our REALTORS® Make Good Neighbours awards recognize the cream of the crop of our volunteers. It’s a very select group that spends an inordinate amount of time and personal resources to build and improve the quality of life for all of us.”
Sutton Group – West Coast Realty, located in Newton, donated significant time and money to over a dozen charities and events in 2012; including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen and the BC Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. The office represents 70 plus REALTORS® and is lead by Ishaq Ismail, Managing Broker.
In addition to selling real estate and volunteering her time with the Mannkind Charitable Society, Lucky Gill heads Global Girl Power Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to empowering, educating and supporting women and girls locally and across the globe. She’s led annual walks to raise awareness of female feticide, organized candlelight vigils for Amanda Todd and all victims of bullying, rape and extreme acts of violence such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the US and held empowerment workshops for high school girls on body image and health.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board launched the REALTORS® Make Good Neighbours Awards in 2002 to honour community volunteering by REALTORS®. Recipients are selected based on the amount of time they spend volunteering, level of responsibility undertaken as volunteers and overall impact of their efforts within their communities. The selection panel is composed of people outside the real estate profession who work in local charities or non-profit associations.