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Blog by Frank Mihal

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April 2012 Market Report

FRASER VALLEY HOUSE HUNTERS LOOKING FOR GOOD BUYS; KEEPING PRICES RESILIENT

(Surrey, BC) – The The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) processed 1,412 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decrease of 22 per cent compared to March of last year, however only 13 per cent less than the 10-year average of 1,626 sales for same month.

Scott Olson, president of FVREB, says, “It was quieter than usual for March, but still steady with an increase in demand for more affordable properties, in particular detached homes for less than $500,000 and townhomes.

“Compared to last March, every community in Fraser Valley experienced a decrease in the sales of single family detached homes especially those priced at the higher-end; however Abbotsford, Langley and North Surrey all saw increases in the sale of townhomes.”

Olson adds, “Last year, single family homes represented 63 per cent of our residential market. This March, it dropped to 56 per cent, so we’re seeing demand for more affordable options. This is in contrast to last year when we saw elevated sales of higher-end homes in areas such as North Delta, South Surrey and White Rock.”

In March 2012 in Fraser Valley, the sale of detached homes with a value greater than half a million dollars decreased by 33 per cent compared to last year, explaining why average prices, which can be skewed by the dollar volume of high or low end sales*, are showing decreases year-over-year, while benchmark prices – homes with typical characteristics for the neighbourhood – are showing increases compared to 2011.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home in March was $572,700, an increase of 6.8 per cent compared to $536,200 last year. The benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses increased by 1.5 per cent in one year, going from $310,300 in March 2011 to $315,000 in March 2012, while the benchmark price of apartments also increased by 1.5 per cent going from $210,600 in March of last year to $204,700 in March 2012.

The number of Fraser Valley properties on the market in March finished at 9,643, an increase of 5 per cent compared to the same month last year although the number of new listings received – 3,066 – represents a 9 per cent decrease compared to March 2011.

The average number of days to sell a detached home was 46 in March 2012, one day faster than last year. It took 49 days on average to sell a townhouse and under two months or 58 days to sell an apartment.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,903 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.