When it comes to the housing market in Langley in May, almost every indicator pointed down – except for prices.
The benchmark price of a detached house hit $1.379 million in May, up 34.2 per cent over the same month in 2020, and 2.5 per cent over April’s price, according to statistics released by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB). A year ago, the price was hovering at just above $1 million.
The benchmark prices of townhouses reached $680,600, up 2.9 per cent from April, and condos were at $459,100, up 2.7 per cent month over month.
However, sales activity, while still historically strong, was dropping for most types of housing from the highs seen in April.
In Langley, 191 detached houses changed hands in May, compared to 212 in April. There were 148 townhouse sales, down from 180 in April. Only condos saw a jump in sales, with 170 selling, compared to 151 last month.
New homes listed for sale also dropped across all three categories – 244 houses were listed for sale, down 21.3 per cent from the 310 listed in April, there were 199 townhouses put on the market, a 20.4 per cent drop from the 250 listed last month, and 224 condos, down from 232.
Comparisons to May of 2020 are difficult as April and May last year saw very little real estate activity, as people adjusted in the first two months of the pandemic. By June, the market had come roaring back and soon began hitting record numbers.
For a better comparison, 2019 was a more typical year, and May 2021 sales numbers were much higher.
May 2019 saw 87 detached houses sell in Langley, 85 townhouses, and 81 condos, for example. Benchmark prices for houses were about $1 million, just under half a million dollars for townhouses, and under $420,000 for condos.
FVREB president Larry Anderson noted that the previous record regional high for sales in any year in May was 2,911 in 2016.
Despite the fact that new listings are lower in May than in April, they are still at near-record levels.
In May, the FVREB received the second-highest volume of new listings ever. From North Delta to Abbotsford and Mission, there were 3,926 new listings in May, an increase of 78 per cent compared to last year, and a decrease of 22 per cent compared to April 2021.
“Demand hasn’t changed,” Anderson said. “What’s changed is supply. In the last three months, buyers have 40 per cent more inventory to look at in the Fraser Valley and it’s allowed them to take back a little control.”
The sight-unseen bidding wars that have characterized Canadian real estate over the last several months, with spiralling offers, have started to recede.
“We’re seeing resistance to multiple offers and buyers adjusting their offers, or even waiting, because they have more selection,” Anderson said. “We’re a long way from a balanced market, but supply is helping us to head in the right direction.”
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