Real estate sales picked up in Langley and across the region in October, a rare autumn boost for housing numbers.
“Our market started to pick up in the summer and we’ve been steadily improving since,” said Darin Germyn, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “It’s rare to see October home sales in the Fraser Valley outpace April and that’s what we’ve seen this year; our typical spring and fall markets have flipped.”
Germyn attributed the change to an increase in confidence among homebuyers.
“Buyers have grown accustomed to the government’s regulation changes,” he said. “Interest rates have thankfully remained stable and we’re likely seeing some pent-up demand from buyers who were holding off earlier this year. October’s beautiful, sunny weather didn’t hurt either.”
In Langley, that translated into a big increase in the sales of single-family homes compared to last year.
There were 119 sales of detached home in October this year, up 75 per cent from the 68 homes that sold this time last year, and up 35.2 per cent from the 88 homes that sold just a month earlier in September.
Meanwhile, 88 townhouses sold, up 27.5 per cent from the same month in 2018, and a 1.1 per cent increase – just one more unit – than in September.
Condos saw an increase to 86 homes from 68 in the same month in 2018, and a 16.2 per cent increase from the 74 units that sold in September.
When it comes to prices, there was relatively little movement, with the price of a detached house still hovering close to $1 million, after prices started to decline early this year.
The benchmark price for a detached home in Langley was $983,500, down 3.2 per cent from the $1 million price tag of October of 2018.
The median price was about the same, at $975,000.
For townhouses, the benchmark was around $484,100 in October, down 5.2 per cent from a year earlier. The median price was higher, at $575,520, which was up from last year.
The condo benchmark slipped to just under $400,000, hitting $399,700, down 5.5 per cent year over year.
The median price was lower, at $380,000, also down from last year.
Prices have cooled considerably from the heights of 2018, after several years of rapid increases.
For comparison, in May of 2018, the benchmark price for a condo in Langley was $454,000, closer to the price a buyer would pay now for a townhouse. Townhouses were selling for close to $530,000.
Germyn said that prices in a few areas have started to creep upwards again as more buyers have returned.
However, he noted there is still some hesitation by some would-be sellers to list their homes for sale, fearing more erosion in prices could be coming.