House prices are staying in check says president

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president Ron Todson said three main property types in the Valley increased in value so far in 2013

In March, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,128 sales on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a 20 per cent decrease compared to the 1,412 sales during the same month last year, and a 24 per cent increase compared to February’s 913 sales.

The board also received 11 per cent fewer new listings in March compared to last year – 2,736 compared to 3,066 – keeping inventory in check.

March finished with 9,503 active listings, 1.5 per cent fewer than March of last year and 3.5 per cent fewer than the 9,832 available during March of 2009; the highest volume of active listings for that month in the last decade.

“Although we saw a typical spring uptick in activity from February to March, our sales remained at about 70 per cent of the norm for March and our new listings came in at 90 per cent of what the Board would typically receive,” said Ron Todson, president of the FVREB.

“Because inventory levels are in check, prices are staying in check.”

In March, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $544,300, an increase of 0.6 per cent compared to $541,300 during the same month last year.

For townhouses, the benchmark price was $298,200, a decrease of 1.7 per cent compared to $303,400 in March 2012 and the benchmark price of apartments was $204,200, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to $202,500 in March 2012.

“Inventory levels are not as high as they need to be to put significant downward pressure on prices of the benchmark, or typical home. These are homes that have characteristics most common to houses in a given community.

“In fact, we’re seeing the reverse happen. Benchmark prices for all three main property types in the Fraser Valley increased in value during the first quarter of 2013. Since January, detached homes are up by one per cent, townhomes by 0.6 per cent; and apartments by two per cent,” Todson added.