A construction worker on a lift works on one of a series of condo buildings under construction on Langley’s 200th Street in June, 2021. Thousands of units of housing are under construction in Langley City and Township. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

A construction worker on a lift works on one of a series of condo buildings under construction on Langley’s 200th Street in June, 2021. Thousands of units of housing are under construction in Langley City and Township. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Number of houses for sale in Langley way down in August

Fewer people want to sell homes than are able to buy

The number of homes listed for sale in Langley in August saw a dramatic slide from the same time last year, according to data from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

“Home buyers are facing one of the worst supply shortages in Fraser Valley history,” said Larry Anderson, president of the FVREB. “Our sales are over 30 per cent above normal, while our housing stock is at levels last seen in the early ’80s.”

In Langley, sales of detached single-family homes declined slightly year-over-year in August, while sales of townhouses and condos were up sharply.

Meanwhile, the number of homes for sale in all three categories dropped.

There were 125 sales of detached houses last month in Langley, down six per cent from the 133 sales in August 2020.

However, just 122 houses were listed for sale, down 44 per cent year-over year, and the number of homes actively listed for sale plunged to 137, down 54.3 per cent from the 300 that were on sale last August. It was also a 23 per cent drop from the 178 homes listed for sale in July of this year.

Townhouses and condos also saw active and new listings drop, even though both categories of housing saw sales jump year-over year.

August saw 138 townhouses sell in Langley, a 43.8 per cent jump from the 96 that sold in the same month a year earlier. Meanwhile, there were 127 new listings, a 23 per cent drop year over year, and active listings fell to 114, down 54.2 per cent.

As for condos, there were 161 sales, up 61 per cent from August 2020, 138 condos were listed for sale, down 20.2 per cent from a year earlier, and active listings slid to 199, down 52.5 per cent.

The FVREB said the situation is caused by a lack of supply, saying that a mortgage stress test and a tax on foreign home buyers didn’t slow down the price increases of the last few years.

“Those measures did not address the core issue, which is insufficient supply to meet the rise in our population growth. All levels of government must work together to correct the structural housing shortage.”

However, construction of new homes has been increasing rapidly in Langley.

Data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) showed that 2,703 homes started construction in Langley in 2020, including 273 single family homes, 54 semi-detached homes, 684 townhouses, and 1,692 condo or rental apartment units.

That was up from 2,561 housing units in 2019, 1,584 units in 2018, and 2,083 units in 2017.

Surrey saw 4,123 housing starts in 2020, and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows 595.

A nationwide survey of homebuyers in July this year, conducted by Ipsos, found that the top barrier to buying a new home was coming up with the down payment, with 64 per cent of respondents picking that option.

Two-thirds of Canadians were concerned that higher home prices would prevent them from being able to afford the home they want.

Low housing supply was identified as an issue, but only 29 per cent of Canadians said that was impacting their decision to buy, sell, or move.

The survey was conducted on behalf of the online real estate firm Zillow.

The real estate market in B.C. has been on a roller coaster ride since the beginning of the pandemic.

After a few months in the spring of 2020 when sales dropped during the most restrictive phase of the lockdowns, sales and prices surged through most of the rest of the year.

That momentum carried through into 2021, but by May the market’s velocity was waning. Prices have remained high, however.

READ ALSO: Slight slowdown in record-breaking Langley real estate market

READ ALSO: Fewer homes for sale in Langley but prices barely budge in July


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