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Abbotsford house sales dip again

Prices also plateauing as housing market continues to cool in the Fraser Valley.

The Abbotsford housing market continued to moderate in August, with sales of single-family houses down sharply from previous months.

Just 116 houses traded hands in August, down 32.2 per cent from July and less than half the number of sales from May, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

The summer frequently sees fewer sales, and August 2016 figures were still 15 per cent above numbers from the same month last year. That, though, is in contrast to the spring, when sales figures were often double that from the same time last year.

The numbers of both single-family house sales and new listings have now fallen each month since March. Recent months, however, have seen the number of sales falling faster than the number of new listings, and the number of "active listings" is now around 50 per cent higher than in February suggesting more supply for house seekers.

Prices also seem to be plateauing. While the price of a "typical" single-family home rose another 2.1 per cent in August, to $667,800, the median price – the point at which half of all homes sold are more expensive and half are less expensive – actually declined by nearly five per cent, coming in at $621,500.

Year-over-year, the price of a typical house – known as the benchmark price – has risen 39 per cent. Twelve months ago, the benchmark was at $480,800.

The prices of townhomes saw a similar shift in August, although the number of sales and new listings both rose over the last month.

The benchmark price of townhomes has risen 32 per cent over the last year, from $222,700 in August of 2015 to $293,100 in August of 2016.

Apartments sales and listings were largely unchanged from July, although they remain sharply up from the same month last year. Both benchmark and median prices of apartments were up around three per cent over the last year.

The benchmark price of an apartment is now $192,300, up 28 per cent from $150,000 in August of 2015.

“The numbers here aren’t alarming; they’re expected, and what we’re used to seeing around this time," FVREB president Charles Wiebe said in a press release. "Homebuyers should be encouraged that sales have slowed, giving inventory a chance to build back up and competition within the market to cool down.

"With sales activity moderating to more normal levels, we're beginning to see prices follow-suit, and even drop for certain housing types in some of our communities."