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Blog by Frank Mihal

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May 2012 Market Report

Fraser Valley housing market remains steady; while selection continues to improve

There were 1,435 property sales processed on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, reflecting a 5 per cent decrease compared to the 1,516 sales in April of last year, and a slight increase over the 1,412 sales in March.

In April, the Board added 7 per cent more new listings compared to one year ago, 3,134 in contrast to 2,918 in April 2011, pushing the number of properties for sale in the Fraser Valley to 10,312, the highest level since July 2010. 

Scott Olson, President of the Board, says “To put it in perspective, in the last decade, April 2012 ranked second lowest for sales during that month, while new listings came in at the third highest, meaning it’s a good time to be shopping for a home in the Fraser Valley because selection has only been this extensive twice.


“When you combine modest sales with normal, seasonal increases in listings it helps keep house prices in check, which is what we’re seeing. Benchmark prices for all property types remain essentially unchanged from March and for townhomes and apartments, they’re on par with what they were one year ago.”

The benchmark price or value of a ‘typical’ Fraser Valley detached home as determined by the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS®HPI), increased 5.3 per cent in one year. It went from $547,800 in April 2011 to $576,600 last month.  

In April, the MLS®HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley townhouse was $318,400, an increase of 1.9 per cent compared to $312,600 in 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment increased by 0.8 per cent year-over-year; going from $204,100 in April of last year to $205,800 in April 2012. 

Olson adds, “There are a lot of different dynamics to our market right now – all depending on location, property type and price point. For example, some areas are seeing increases in sales and decreases in prices; while others are experiencing the reverse, so if you are thinking of buying or selling ask your REALTOR® to show you how your property type is fairing in the market overall and more importantly in your community.

“In particular, ask about the ratio of sales compared to the number of active listings for your home type. This is one tool we use to help our clients understand if the market for their home is tilted in favour of buyers or sellers or is in balance. Currently, Fraser Valley’s overall market is balanced leaning towards buyers, however each sub-market is different.”