CMHC is predicting Fraser Valley's housing market overall will remain balanced for the remainder of 2011 with communities closest to Vancouver continuing to fare better than those further down the Valley.
Richard Sam, Market Analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), says Fraser Valley's market this year has been fuelled by "a combination of lower interest rates and a desire for more affordable single family detached homes as close as possible to Vancouver."
"It's why we've seen sales of single family homes do well in Delta, South Surrey/White Rock and Langley, in addition to home prices in those communities remaining firm or rising."
According to MLS® sales data from FVREB, sales of single family homes during the first half of 2011 compared to 2010 remained on par in North Delta, increased by 14 per cent in Langley and increased by 71 per cent in South Surrey/White Rock. Sam says Langley is still attracting first-time homebuyers; however it is high-end buyers who have been influencing the White Rock area.
In Abbotsford and Mission however, sales of single family homes from January to June in 2011 decreased by 23 per cent and 10 per cent respectively compared to the same time frame last year. Sam attributes the decreases in sales and prices in Abbotsford and Mission to higher unemployment in that region, tighter mortgage rules affecting first-time home buyers and higher inventory.
Overall, CMHC predicts Fraser Valley's market will remain stable for the remainder of 2011 supported by positive net migration, job growth and economic diversity in the region. It forecasts MLS® sales will increase by seven per cent in 2011 compared to last year, to just over 15,000 transactions and a further three per cent in 2012, to approximately 15,500. In addition, it's forecasting the average MLS® price in the Fraser Valley will increase by five per cent in 2011 and a further three per cent in 2012.
For the Abbotsford central metropolitan area, CMHC anticipates demand for homes will be offset by higher levels of homes listed for sale. With more selection, buyers will have more choice. As a result, there will be little movement in Abbotsford prices during the forecast period. Also, it says higher resale levels will be located in neighbourhoods within easy access to transportation routes, employment centres and retail and service amenities.