Fraser Valley’s real estate market in 2012 will be remembered as the year buyers and sellers took a breather reflecting quieter sales, an average number of new listings and prices overall remaining flat.
The president of Fraser Valley’s Real Estate Board, Scott Olson, says, “The last half of 2012 was like a Mexican stand-off. Buyers kept hoping for greater price drops while sellers who didn’t have to sell just took their home off the market rather than lower their price.
“With the economy so stable, we’re not in a situation where people have to sell their home, so they’re not. It’s a very different market than in 2008 when listings were at an all-time high and sales were at historical lows.”
The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® processed 13,878 sales in 2012 compared to 15,529 the previous year, a decrease of 11 per cent, while the number of new listings remained about the same – 31,009 in 2012 compared to 31,592 in 2011. Over the year, the number of active listings for buyers to choose from dropped by 3 per cent going from 7,399 properties in December 2011 to 7,187 in December 2012.
Although 2012 ranks the second slowest year for sales in Fraser Valley since 2003, the volume of new listings finished in the middle of the pack. Scott Olson, says, “Inventory levels are down, which is a sign of a healthy market where insufficient demand leads to reduced supply. This is also keeping prices in most areas either flat or down only slightly.”
In December, the benchmark price of a detached home in the Fraser Valley was $539,000, an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to $532,700 in December 2011 and a decrease of 1.0 per cent compared to November.
For townhouses, the benchmark price in December was $296,400, a decrease of 2.2 per cent compared to the same month last year when it was $303,000 and down 0.8 per cent compared to November. The benchmark price of apartments in December was $200,100, an increase of 1.6 per cent compared to December 2011 when it was $196,900 and a decrease of 1.3 per cent compared to November.
Average prices year over year show detached homes down 3 per cent – $576,709 in 2012 compared to $594,402 in 2011. The average price of townhomes increased by 3.7 per cent, going from $316,259 in 2011 to $327,935 in 2012 and the average price of apartments decreased by 0.2 per cent going from $218,235 in 2011 to $217,843 in 2012.