SURREY, BC – Fraser’s Valley’s real estate market improved in January compared to 2014 with sales and new listings reflecting levels close to seasonal norms.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 853 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, an increase of 10 per cent compared to January 2014 and 21 per cent fewer then were processed in December. Sales in January ranked in the middle of the pack for the last ten years coming in 2 per cent under the 10-year average.

Ray Werger, President of the Board said, “We’re typically a little slower post-holiday season and this year echoed that trend until about mid-month, when we noticed inquiries from interested buyers start to pick up at a number of our offices – including an increase in calls from first-timers.

“Can we attribute it to the interest rate drop? We can’t know what specifically motivated them to act, but we do know that stability generates confidence in the economy and confidence stimulates the housing market.”

The Board received 2,714 new listings in January, an increase of 1 per cent compared to January of last year and more than doubling the listings received in December 2014. From a historical perspective, January 2015’s new listings – similar to sales – finished 5 per cent above the 10-year average.

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 2013 going from 1,013 to 1,147.

Werger explained, “It’s normal for us to see inventory start to climb at the beginning of the year in preparation for a busier spring market. What’s different this year is with sales as strong as they are for detached homes; particularly in the mid-price point, the shortage that we started to see late last year in certain areas isn’t diminishing.”

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in January 2015 ranged anywhere from 30 to 80 days depending on the community. “That’s a big difference. Ask your REALTOR® to show you the impact of supply and demand on prices and average days to sale in your neighbourhood,” added Werger.

The MLS® HPI benchmark* price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in January was $571,700, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to January 2014 when it was $552,500.

In January, the benchmark price of townhouses was $293,800, a decrease of 1.3 per cent compared to $297,600 in January 2014. The benchmark price of apartments also decreased year-over-year by 1.5 per cent, going from $192,300 in January 2014 to $189,500 in January 2015.

Find the January Statistics Package here.