Langley has now joined the million dollar club, making home ownership an even more elusive dream for the average person or family.
For the first time in the community’s history, the ‘average’ price of a detached home in Langley Township topped $1 million, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. As of May 2017, the FVREB said, the average price of a detached home in Langley Township is $1,018,052.
That’s a $100,000 increase from May of last year.
In May, the average Langley City detached house sold for $885,049.
The trickle down effect can be seen in increased demand for townhouses and condos.
The benchmark price (typical price) for a townhouse in Langley is now $464,300, a 20 per cent increase form the same month last year.
The benchmark price, for an apartment is now $311,000, a 35.6 per cent increase since last year.
Despite the sticker shock people are still buying single family homes and looking to buy here, said FVRB president Gopal Sahota
“Detached houses are in high demand in Langley,” said Sahota.
“Homes in Langley and Surrey are more affordable than, say, Richmond and Vancouver. Langley is a great place to raise a family and a lot of people want to live there. Langley offers lots of transportation, amenities, parks.”
So who can afford to buy a million dollar-plus home?
“Some people are selling their homes westward of the Valley to come into Surrey or Langley, where they are getting pretty good value for the money. There are also people upgrading, too, selling a townhouse to buy a detached home. Lots of people are migrating from across Canada to beautiful B.C. We also have many people from other countries.”
“In my opinion, this is the greatest place on Earth and I think a lot of people from all over are wanting to live here,” he said. Langley Township is the fastest growing municipality in Metro Vancouver with more than 117,000 people. Metro Vancouver’s population is set to increase by 1.2 million people by 2041.
Gopal believes the huge demand for townhouses and condos is a reflection of a lifestyle shift.
“Quite a few are downsizing, but we are seeing younger folks who are busy and don’t want to do a lot of work around the house, like mowing the lawn.”
The red hot housing market has been fascinating to watch, as there is no sign of it stopping.
Bidding wars for all types of housing are still a reality, as is seeing people camping out to get on a waitlist for new condos in Willoughby.
“It’s a great time to sell,” said Gopal.
But he urges people to find a good realtor.
“In this type of market you need to someone to help guide you,” he said.
STILL A SUPPLY AND DEMAND ISSUE
Gopal said there simply isn’t enough inventory to meet demand.
However, the Fraser Valley saw a much-needed increase to new housing inventory entering the market in May, which helped support the growing demand for residential properties in the region, said the FVRB.
Last month marked the highest level of sales for the Fraser Valley since June of last year.
Anecdotally, an older rancher in Brookswood on a larger lot, sold — sight unseen — for over the asking price last month, on the day it was listed.
“The further we get into this year’s market, the less 2016 looks like an anomaly in terms of demand and sales activity. If it wasn’t clear before, the Fraser Valley is now a prime, highly sought-after destination for home owners of all types,” said Sahota.
“We’re very happy to see the bump inventory we were looking for in April. I think sellers will certainly be glad that demand hasn’t let-up since the start of the spring market and more options for potential buyers is always a good thing.”
He explained that is why some people aren’t selling.
“Many are taking a wait-and-see approach. If they are trying to upgrade, there isn’t as much inventory to look at so they are reluctant.”
For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in May was 23 days, compared to 16 days in May 2016.
Will housing prices continue to climb or will the bubble burst?
“We just don’t know. It’s so hard to predict the future. We know that people will continue to want to live here in the future,” he said.