(The Canadian Press)

(The Canadian Press)

Record-shattering December caps unexpected year in Fraser Valley real estate

A total of 31,693 new listings were received by the board in 2020, an increase of 3.7 per cent

In a year when the real estate market was at a standstill for months due to COVID-19, total annual sales in the Fraser Valley still finished 12.4 per cent above the 10-year average due to unrelenting, pent-up consumer demand during the second half of 2020.

In December, the board processed a staggering 2,086 sales, the strongest December on record and 81.2 per cent above normal for the month.

Jonathan Gelderman of RE/MAX Aldercenter Realty said 2020 didn’t turn out to be what people thought it was going to be, on many levels.

“We lost the spring market because of COVID. It’s the busiest time of the year – March, April, and May. But that’s when everyone was in isolation and staying home,” Gelderman explained.

New listings in December, were the second highest on record at 1,502.

By month’s end, active inventory finished below typical levels, at 3,949 units.

He went on to say that the summer months pick up with tight inventory and pint up demand.

“I know thousands of people through the industry, and not one single homeowner was unable to pay their mortgage,” Gelderman assured. “Everyone is paying their bills. No one’s utilizing the six month deferral option. No one’s credit has suffered. No foreclosures on the market.”

The total sales volume for the year in Fraser Valley was 19,926; an increase of 28.7 per cent compared to 2019’s 15,487 sales and placing it fourth highest for annual sales since 2011.

Jodi Steeves of RE/MAX Aldercenter, added that she is seeing the lowest rates ever right now in Canada since 1970.

“We do expect interest rates to remain low for 2021 and house sales to be high as we move into the new year,” Steeves explained. “Inventory will be the driving force with regards to prices as we as we transition into the spring market.”

She noted that house prices in Aldergrove saw a 10.4 per cent price increase for the last 12 months, with the average home selling for $847,000.00 at the end of Nov 2020 vs $768,000.00 at the end of the year.

Townhomes in Aldergrove also saw a 1.4 per cent increase and condos saw a drop of -0.8 per cent.

READ MORE: Houses selling fast in Langley in November

In 2020, sales of the three main residential property types amounted to 8,176 single-family detached, 5,102 townhouses, and 4,357 apartments.

Benchmark prices included $1,079,500 for a single-family detached, for $576,200 townhomes, and $438,300 for apartments.

Chris Shields, president of the board, said the pandemic upended everything in 2020 and how the real estate market responded to it was nothing short of remarkable.

“No one could have anticipated a six-month stretch like we’ve just experienced,” Shields said. “Typical seasonal cycles did not apply, how we conduct business had to change to keep the public safe; and most unexpected, has been the unwavering demand for family-sized homes in our region and so far, there is no sign of it slowing down.”

A total of 31,693 new listings were received by the Board’s in 2020, an increase of 3.7 per cent compared to 2019. As with annual sales, 2020 saw the fourth highest volume of new inventory for the Board in the last decade.

“Construction workers and trade owners are still looking for work. The economy is doing just fine in BC,” Gelderman stated, noting that senior housing and strata condos were the hardest hit in 2020. He is confident, however, that the market will continue to grow throughout 2021.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

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