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Langley housing prices still on downslope

Market remains ‘balanced’ but activity way down from peak
Home sales and prices in Langley continued their slow descent from a peak earlier this spring. (Langley Advance Times files)

Sales of homes and prices continued to drop in Langley in October as the frenzy of house buying that hit during the pandemic continued to deflate through the fall.

Data released Nov. 2 by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board showed that Langley saw lower sales across every type of housing in October, and continued small declines month-over-month in typical prices.

Langley realtor Alex Maldeis said that for those selling properties in good shape, in desirable areas, it’s still possible to sell a home.

“There’s not a lot of good inventory for sale,” he said.

With the slowdown in sales, prices have been slumping over the last few months as well.

Some sellers, however, are still listing their properties at prices higher than the new normal, and therefore, they aren’t getting offers.

“I don’t think it’s set in enough to people that the party’s over for super-high prices,” Maldeis said.

Much of the movement in the market is driven by people who need to buy and sell by necessity – they’re moving for work, downsizing, or other reasons, he said.

There were 60 sales of detached houses in Langley last month, down 36.2 per cent from the 94 homes sold in the same month a year ago, and down 17.8 per cent from September’s 73 sales.

Townhouses saw 53 sales, down 52.3 per cent year-over-year, and up by 3.9 per cent from September’s numbers.

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Condos were the strongest-performing type of housing, with 62 changing hands, but that was down 51.6 per cent from a year ago, and up just 3.3 per cent from September.

Benchmark prices slid across all three housing types.

Detached single-family homes were selling for $1.528 million in Langley, down 2.4 per cent year-over-year, and down 1.8 per cent from September.

Townhouses, at a benchmark of $852,600, were still up 13.3 per cent over the same month last year, but slid 2.2 per cent from September.

Condos, at $588,900 benchmark average, were up 12.2 per cent year over year, but down 1.8 per cent from the previous month.

Across all three categories, the median price was well below the benchmark. Benchmark prices represent the average price for a “typical” type of that home. Lower median prices indicate that buyers are aiming for the less expensive end of the market.

According to the FVREB, the mix of listings and sales remains in the “balanced” area, and is not a buyer’s market or a seller’s market.

Prices in Langley shot up sharply over a two-year period, starting a few months into the pandemic. The average price of a detached home in Langley rocketed from just over $1 million in early 2020, to just under $1.8 million in April.

Since then, increasing interest rates have helped push home prices down.

The BC Real Estate Association released a report Nov. 8 forecasting sales will decline 34.4 per cent this year from 2021’s record high, and a further 11.4 per cent in 2023.

“The factors that drove unprecedented housing market activity over the past two years, including record low mortgage rates, buyer preference for extra space and the ability to work remotely, are now unwinding,” said BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson. “As a result, there has been a significant shift in the housing market, which we anticipate will continue through 2023.”

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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