We reported a few weeks back that the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board had increased sales month-on-month and year-on-year according to its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) stats. Fraser Valley real estate sales showed an increase of 9% in May (1,608 property sales) up from 1,477 sold during May of 2010 and up 6% on April's 1,516 sales.

One part of the Fraser valley that is really booming is the Langley Township area. It was reported in the Langley Advance newspaper and website that housing construction almost doubled Fraser Valley real estate since 2010. There are more homes, suites, and apartments going up fast in the Langley Township area, this can be seen especially with the growth of Willoughby Heights real estate and other neighbourhoods. According to the article, the number of building permits for homes in Langley Township has almost doubled in the first five months of 2011 compared 2010.

According to MLS® stats issued by the Board of Fraser Valley Real Estate, sales of townhouses in Langley in May were up 25% on May 2010 numbers. The Langley real estate market had however almost 25% less new townhouse listings in May, compared to the previous May. Also in regards to listings, it was the same for detached properties and apartments/condos. New listings for detached properties were down 27% and new listings for apartments or condos were down 25%. There were also slight decreases for both detached properties and apartments or condos in May across all Fraser Valley real estate, compared to the previous May--down 2.8% and 11.9% respectively.

The outlook for the Fraser Valley is According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing demand will remain steady as favourable mortgage rates and lower home prices in comparison to other major centres in the Vancouver CMA attract home buyers to the Fraser Valley.

You can read the full stats package for May on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website. They issue a monthly press release with a summary and statistics document outlining sales and listings for each month.

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2010 was a great year for the Fraser Valley real estate market. The City of Surrey website still carries a feature from June 2010 titled "Surrey Ranks #1 in B.C. Real Estate Market and 4th in Canada". The article described the City of Surrey as the best place in B.C. to invest in the residential real estate market, and the 4th best city in Canada. That was based on a report published by Real Estate Investment Network of Canada titled “Top Canadian Investment Cities”. That report examined factors such as home affordability, income level, economic growth, job creation and population growth. Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was quoted on the website as saying “For the second year in a row we’ve been named the number one city in B.C. to invest in residential real estate”. It will be interesting to see if Surrey real estate will be ranked number one in 2011, and make it three years in a row.

In January, the (then) Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president, Deanna Horn, was quoted as saying that the Fraser Valley real estate market "was a bit of a roller coaster in 2010 with buyers appearing earlier than expected in the year, tapering in the summer and returning in the fall…”.

Horn said at that time that "If there’s one lesson buyers and sellers can take from our market in 2010, it’s to recognize there are real differences in home values based on their type and location…". While that statement is true of any real estate market in B.C., it's especially true of the Fraser Valley real estate market. A good example of this is the benchmark prices of condominiums. Last year the benchmark prices of condominiums in North Surrey decreased by 3.8 per cent, while the benchmark prices of detached homes in west Abbotsford have increased by 4 per cent.

This year's March home sale activity started strong, with an early spring surge in sales and new listings in February and March seeing a five-year high in the Fraser Valley. April home sales returned to balance after the strong start to the year. It looks like 2011 could be a roller coaster year for the real estate market. April finished with five per cent more active listings on the MLS® than it had in March this year. New listings saw a decrease however, of 14 per cent compared to March. Fraser Valley property prices increased across the board for real estate; detached homes, townhomes and condos or apartments all increased on April 2010 figures.

Reasons why the real estate market in the Fraser Valley continues to grow is primarily down to location. With two border crossings to the USA, links to five major highways, deep sea docks, and four railways, it’s easy to see why the Fraser Valley is a prime location to do business and to live. The city of Surrey continues to grow and grow, and the amount of properties for sale in Fraser Heights, Guildford, Walnut Grove and other suburbs show that it's not just the city centre that has lots of inventory available. Talk to us if you need any information on any listings.

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According to the monthly press release by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board levels of home sales are beginning to return to normal, based on the Fraser Valley real estate stats for April 2011. A total of 1,516 property sales were processed by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in April. That works out to be a 15% decrease compared to April 2010 numbers, when 1,793 properties were sold.

The president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, Sukh Sidhu, said explained the terminology of "return to balance" used in its press release. The 20-year average for residential property sales was 1,580, just above the 1,516 number of April 2011.

Numbers in April were down slightly on March too--down 17% in total. But the Board is not worried by those number either. The spike in February and March and normalization in April was expected because of the tighter credit conditions that were introduced by the Canadian Federal Government on March 18.

Not all areas of the Fraser Valley experienced lower sales numbers, certain market areas within the Fraser Valley have remained active in April. Sales of single detached homes in White Rock/South Surrey have remained strong. Property prices have continued to increase in those areas too; the benchmark price of detached homes in the White Rock/South Surrey area have increased by 11% over the last three months.

The same levels of property price increases were not seen in all areas of the Fraser Valley however; the average increase was 3.9%. According to the press release, the benchmark price for a detached home in the Fraser Valley was $525,510, up 1% on the April 2010 price. The benchmark price of a townhouse was $332,992, up 2% on April prices. For condos or apartments, the benchmark price was $252,689, up 1.3% on April 2010 prices. The benchmark price is the estimated sale price of a benchmark property. Benchmarks represent a typical property within each market.

In regards to real estate market listings, last month finished with 9,697 active listings on the MLS®--5% more than in March, but a 9% decrease on the number of active listings in April 2010. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board received 2,918 new listings last month, down 14% on March. Several areas in the Fraser Valley had a high level of new listings; Fraser Heights real estate listings came in strong comparatively, as did listings on the market around Surrey City Centre.

You can find more information on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website, or follow our commentary of Fraser Valley real estate news and stats on our blog, where we cover every angle of property news from the Fraser Valley.

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According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, home sale activity reached a 5-year high in the Fraser Valley in March. In terms of sales, on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS), Fraser Valley REALTORS® experienced their busiest March since 2006.

According to their monthly statistics package, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,818 property sales in March, up 16 per cent compared to March 2010, and up 42 per cent compared to February 2010 when 1,279 sales were processed. 

There were also big increases in the number of new properties being listed for sale (up 11 per cent). There were 3,376 new properties listed in March compared to 3,038 new listings in February. This gives buyers more choice at a time which is traditionally one of the most popular times to house hunt.

There was also good news for anyone selling a property as prices were also on the increase. In March, the benchmark price for detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $519,628, up 0.9 per cent from the the benchmark price of $514,787 in March 2010. The benchmark price is the estimated sale price of a benchmark property, benchmarks represent a typical property within each market.

If you are looking to buy or sell a property in and around the Fraser Valley then talk to us. We will be glad to be of service. Have a look at all the Fraser Valley properties for sale on our listings page.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,919 real estate professionals who live and work in the communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. For more information on the March 2011 Fraser Valley Real Estate stats or other monthly reports, see the official Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website.
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