More than 1,400 homes remain under construction in Abbotsford, the bulk of them being townhomes or apartments.

More than 1,400 homes remain under construction in Abbotsford, the bulk of them being townhomes or apartments.

House prices level from 2017, but market much better for buyers

Number of townhomes and apartments listed for sale up significantly

The price of a typical Abbotsford home in December of 2018 remained effectively unchanged over the last year – but the mood of the housing market has swung significantly over the last year.

The benchmark price of a detached home in Abbotsford was $792,600 at the close of 2018, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB). That is up just $300 from 12 months prior.

Whereas 2017 concluded another year of double-digit price increases, the end of 2018 saw the market tip towards buyers, with prices retreating and far fewer sales than a year prior. One thousand single-family homes changed hands in Abbotsford in 2018. That’s more than 30 per cent below home sale figures from each of the previous three years and similar to numbers from 2013, when average homes sold for around $425,000.

Prices of apartments and townhouses, which were slower to rise as the housing market took off, have also been slower to fall. Townhouse benchmark prices were up eight per cent through 2018, with apartments rising by 10 per cent. But sales in those two categories are also down – 18 per cent in the case of townhouses, 29 per cent in the case of apartments. And, unlike the detached housing market, significantly more townhomes and apartments were listed for sale in 2018 than the previous year. In December of 2017, just 48 townhomes and 37 apartments were up for sale. A year later, active listings existed for 113 townhomes and 217 apartments.

Those figures reflect both a slowdown in sales, as well as the completion of new multi-family housing projects in Abbotsford. Through the end of November, 461 new apartment units had been completed in 2018, along with 85 townhomes. More will be coming online in the years to come, with 1,424 homes under construction as of the end of November. Eighty-seven per cent of those were townhomes or apartments.

“In terms of demand, this is around what we’re used to seeing for our region,” said FVREB president John Barbisan. “There is still a great deal of interest for Fraser Valley real estate, but with prices moving slowly and more inventory becoming available, many consumers are taking a deliberate approach now that they can afford to.”

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tolsen@abbynews.com

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