House prices are still increasing as homes sell at what local realtors called a “blistering pace,” but the pace of increases is slowing, according to statistics released by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB).
While sales may be up in most areas, in Langley, they actually declined slightly month-over-month.
In April this year, 212 single family homes changed hands, down fractionally from the 214 that sold in March.
Townhouses saw 180 sales, essentially on par with the 183 that sold the month before.
Condos, however, dropped significantly, with 151 sales in April, compared to 199 in March, a 24.1 per cent decline.
Year-over-year comparisons are largely useless, as April 2020 was the lowest point in the property market in years due to COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. For example, just 39 single family homes sold in April last year.
A more reasonable comparison would be sales numbers from April of 2019, when 86 single family homes, 78 townhouses, and 82 condos changed hands. By that gauge, April 2021 numbers are still wildly above normal.
This is the eighth consecutive month that sales in the Fraser Valley have broken records. Across the region, from Delta to Abbotsford and Mission, 3,016 homes sold, down nine per cent from March, and above the previous 2016 record high of 2,969.
The other big change is that over the last month, a lot more homes have come on the market. For most of the winter, there was very little inventory, especially relative to the high number of sales.
“In the last couple of weeks, we have seen evidence of a change in pace,” said Larry Anderson, president of the FVREB.
“In general, we’re seeing fewer multiple offers, fewer subject-free offers, and homes over-priced are starting to sit longer,” Anderson said. “These are positive signs that the market is responding to near-record levels of new inventory.”
Prices are still rising in Langley.
The benchmark price for a detached house in Langley was $1.345 million in Langley in April, up 5.1 per cent month-over-month and 29.4 per cent compared to the same month last year.
Townhouse prices hit $661,500 in April, up 4.1 per cent from March and 16.8 per cent from a year ago.
Condo prices saw the slowest increase, hitting $447,200, up three per cent from March and 10.9 per cent from the same month last year.
The general consensus among economists is that the frenzied housing market – which has parallels in many other countries – is driven by a number of factors, including very low interest rates, additional savings many household racked up early in the pandemic, and a drive by many city-dwellers to find more room during a lockdown when they were working at home.