For the second month in a row, property sales on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) have decreased to historically low levels. In September, a total of 857 sales were processed on the MLS®, a decrease of 26 per cent compared to 1,165 sales in September 2011 and 20 per cent fewer than in August.
Scott Olson is the president of the Board. “Our market was very stable up until July and then within two months it changed.
“The federal government’s tightening of mortgage rules this past spring may be having an effect. We’ve seen this pattern before when rules have changed and hopefully given the strength of our local economy and stability of interest rates, this slowdown will be short term.”
Olson adds that properties offering more affordability remain in demand. “Sales of more expensive homes – single family detached – have decreased disproportionately more than the sales of townhomes and apartments. In fact, apartment sales last month in Surrey, Langley and White Rock were higher or comparable to September of last year keeping prices across the Fraser Valley resilient.”
Over the last three months, prices for all three residential property types combined have decreased by 0.4 per cent while year over year they’ve increased by 2.1 per cent. For single family detached homes, the benchmark price increased by 3 per cent in one year, going from $533,400 in September 2011 to $549,500 last month.
For townhouses, the benchmark price in September was $300,500, a decrease of 1.7 per cent compared to $305,700 during the same month last year. The benchmark price of apartments in Fraser Valley in September was $207,000, an increase of 4.1 per cent compared to $198,800 in September 2011.
Last month, the Board received 4 per cent fewer listings than it did one year ago, 2,544 in September 2012 compared to the 2,651 in September 2011. The number of active listings finished at 10,348 in September, 2 per cent higher than the same month last year, yet on par with the number available on the market in August.
It took four days longer on average to sell a detached home last month compared to September 2011 – 49 days compared to 45. Townhouses sold in an average of 57 days in September compared to 52 last year and last month, apartments took 69.5 days on average to sell compared to 63 during September of last year.