The volume of sales increased 66 per cent between January to March 2015 and the same period in 2016
Even in the heady B.C. real estate market, the Fraser Valley has broken from the pack. According to a Re/max spring market report, the number of sales jumped 66 per cent from the first quarter of 2015 to the same period in 2016. Average prices of all residential housing types increased by about a third, rising from $549,065 to $719,992. In Greater Vancouver, prices rose 24 per cent over the same period.
“I’ve never seen it like this before,” says John Corrie, a real estate agent with Re/max Little Oak Realty who has worked in the Abbotsford market since the late 1960s. “I tell clients, you’re going to sell your house for far more than you think, that’s the good thing. The bad thing is we might not be able to find you anything you’re going to buy.”
It’s the result, according to Re/max’s spring survey, of a spillover effect as buyers are willing to move farther and farther out in search of affordable single-family homes—and as sales pick up pace, the inventory of properties on the market is dwindling. There are typically 4,000 to 5,000 listings in the Fraser Valley; this spring, the number is around 800 to 900, according Greg Newberry, an agent with HomeLife Glenayre Realty who specializes in Chilliwack.
“At first the focus was on specific areas, now it’s everything sells anywhere for pretty much over the listing price with no hesitation,” says Newberry. He recently listed a 1970s detached house in Chilliwack for $399,000. In one day he received five offers; it sold for $540,000. Another house, built in 2012, sold for $15,000 over asking before it even made it on to the Multiple Listing Service.
Corrie, who has worked in the market for five decades, says that the price increases and the volume of sales are unprecedented. “When you look at the history of this market, you can see busy marketplaces and there’s always a slowdown when prices back down somewhat. This is a whole different market.”
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