Sales numbers slowly catching up to pre-2008 levels.

Sales numbers slowly catching up to pre-2008 levels.

Homes: Fraser Valley real estate market trending up

The benchmark price for a Maple Ridge single-family, detached home rose to $476,700.

Even with a characteristic seasonal dip in sales, the Fraser Valley real estate market experienced its best August since 2011, with volumes improving over last year, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales on the Multiple Listing Service in Greater Vancouver reached 2,771 in August, representing a 10.2 per cent increase compared to the 2,514 sales recorded in August 2013.

“If we look at the average price of residential real estate in your area, the average price was $382,000 on Jan. 13,” REBGV president . “It’s $392,000 today.”

He said the growth has mostly been in sales of detached, single-family homes.

“If we look at the price of a detached home in Maple Ridge in March, the average price was $457,000. Today it’s $476,000. So we’ve had a fairly strong two or three months in that area.”

Both real estate boards report a typical decline in sales from July to August — a 9.5 per cent decline for the REBGV compared to July and a 10 per cent drop for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB).

The FVREB processed 1,302 sales on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in August, an increase of three per cent, compared to the 1,258 sales during the same month last year

The benchmark price for a Maple Ridge single-family, detached home rose to $476,700 — up 2.9 per cent from one year ago and 8.1 per cent from five years ago.

The benchmark price for a Pitt Meadows single-family, detached home rose to $521,700 — up 2.6 per cent from a year ago and 10.7 per cent from August 2009.

Pitt Meadows townhouse benchmark prices also made gains over those time periods, raising to $326,300 — a 4.2 per cent increase over last year and a  6.9 per cent increase over August 2009’s benchmark price.

But for Maple Ridge townhouses, the benchmark price dropped 0.2 per cent from a year ago to $272,600; which is a 0.5 raise from five years ago.

Harris says, “Broadly speaking, home prices in the region are continuing to experience modest, incremental gains.”

“Activity this summer has been strong but not unusual for our region,” Harris adds. “The volume of home sales has been higher than we’ve seen in the last three years, yet below the record-breaking levels of the past decade.”

In both real estate regions August sales were down from July, which is typical.

“As usual, we saw a typical summer slowdown in August compared to July, however like every month so far in 2014, August sales were higher than last year,” says Ray Werger, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

“It’s the continuation of the story we’ve seen all year; a return to a normal, balanced market.”

Werger said anyone considering entering the market — whether they’re considering a purchase or a sale — should get sound professional advice before entering the market.

“Depending on what property type you’re thinking of listing or buying, talk to your Realtor who will explain that the markets for detached and attached homes are quite different,” Werger says.

Werger says that in the Fraser Valley, “We have only five months’ supply of detached homes currently and nine months’ supply of condos.”

He said market conditions are excellent for people looking to buy, especially their first home.

“With interest rates as competitive as they are, combined with the increase of affordable, new townhome developments … we’re seeing first-time buyers bypass the condo phase to jump immediately to a larger, more expensive townhouse or a smaller single family home.”

 

– By Kevin Gillies, a freelance writer for Black Press.

 

 

For the record

Scott O’Dell is the owner of Home Hardware in Maple Ridge. Incorrect information appeared in the Home section article in the Sept. 5 edition of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.