News Release: May 2, 2013
SPRING MARKET BOLSTERS MLS® ACTIVITY IN FRASER VALLEY
(Surrey, BC) – 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.”
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,785 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.