In February, sales of all property types in the Fraser Valley increased by 21% year over year with demand for two property types in particular - single family detached homes and townhomes - outpacing supply.
Last month the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,337 sales on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) compared to 1,102 sales in February of last year. New listings in February totaled 2,160 which added up to 7,864 active listings up from January’s 7,307.
“It was our busiest February since 2007” says newly-elected board president Jorda Maisey. “In my community of Langley the average number of days to sell a detached house is now less than one month and it’s a challenge finding the right product for some of our buyers, however every area is different. To understand the market for your home and your neighbourhood, talk to your Realtor.”
Our best seller in the Fraser Valley remains the single family detached home, followed by townhomes, in part because almost half of our buyers are families with children, but also because these products are so much more affordable in the Fraser Valley. With a typical townhome costing less than $300,000 and the interest rates so low, many first-time buyers are finding they can get more for their money here.”
The MLS HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in February was $581,400, and increase of 4.2% compared to February 2014.
Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a singe family detached home in February was 41 days, ten days faster than last year. Townhouses are selling slightly faster and apartments are on par with February 2014.
In the month of February the Will Rempel Team was highest in sales for Re/Max Treeland Realty and in the Top 5 Realtors in the entire Fraser Valley, once again earning Medallion Club membership. Homes have been selling in under 7 days, for near or above asking price. With a very busy start to March, this pace is expected to continue
Selling your home is a complex process that can be stressful and time-consuming. The Will Rempel Team has the knowledge, skills, and connections to help you through the process every step of the way. Consider the following benefits of working with us:
With knowledge and training in marketing strategy, negotiation tactics, and the workings of the current real estate market, Will and his team will be able to guide you through the steps of the home-selling process and be able to explain exactly what to expect. He will make you aware of your rights and responsibilities, work with you to strategize the best moves according to your own goals, discuss financing options, and point you in the direction of other specialized professionals who will aid you in different stages of the process.
The Will Rempel Team have their fingers on the pulse of the current real estate market, and will know what comparable properties in Langley, Surrey, Aldergrove and Abbotsford are selling for. We have the resources and knowledge to establish the best asking price and to attract the highest selling price. With access to our company’s professional marketing resources and connections, we will ensure potential buyers are immediately made aware of your home and market the property to sell as quickly as possible and for the most money.
Will and his team know the importance of a property’s first impression. We will have experienced first-hand, for example, the impact a property’s “drive-up appeal” has on the rest of a potential Buyer’s experience of your home. We will be able to offer you tips and information on how to get your home in the best selling shape possible, in order to sell your property quickly and for top dollar.
Access to Qualified Buyers:
Wesave time and effort by dealing only with qualified buyers. We have access to a pool of pre-screened and pre-qualified buyers who are serious about buying a home in your neighbourhood. The Will Rempel Team has worked hard to develop this base of qualified buyers which will become an invaluable resource for you.
Realtors serve many functions, but perhaps the most important is their role as primary negotiator on your behalf. Will realizes your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, and for the most money possible, and will work closely with you during the negotiation process to facilitate this goal. Realtors bring to the process the knowledge and skills to draw up legally binding contracts, to assist in negotiating offers and counter-offers, and to offer counsel and perspective as you work toward your selling goals.
Fraser’s Valley’s real estate market returned to normal activity levels in 2014 with sales of single
family detached homes leading the way.
Ray Werger, President of the Board, says “It was a busy year for both buyers and sellers. In 2014, both sales and
new listings were stronger in Fraser Valley compared to 2013 – most notably for detached homes and townhomes – with the result that we’ve returned to normal market activity for our region on par with our 10‐year average.”
The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 15,840 sales in 2014, compared to 13,663 the previous
year, an increase of 16 per cent. It also received 4 per cent more new listings during the same time period – 30,642 in 2014 compared to 29,338 in 2013. Over the year, the number of active listings for buyers to choose from
dropped by 23 per cent going from 7,541 properties in December 2013 to 6,380 in December 2014.
According to Werger, sales during the month of December followed the same trend as every month in 2014 with
sales surpassing the same month compared to 2013. “It was the third busiest December we’ve experienced in the last decade with sales almost keeping pace with the number of new listings.
“As a result, we’ve seen our inventory deplete, which is normal for this time of year however, our selection hasn’t
been this low for almost eight years. We hope to see the usual influx of new listings during the first quarter of 2015
because we’re currently seeing a shortage of affordably priced single family detached homes in certain areas. ”
In December, sales increased by 21 per cent, going from 890 in 2013 to 1,075 last month. New listings increased by 13 per cent in December compared to 2013 going from 1,013 to 1,147.
Home prices in December continued along the same trends as seen for most of 2014, with prices of single family
detached homes continuing to rise; townhouse prices remaining steady, and apartment prices decreasing slightly.
The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home in December was $573,100 an
increase of 4.3 per cent compared to December 2013, when it was $549,500.
The MLS® HPI benchmark price of townhouses in December was $293,500 on par with $293,300 in December
2013. The benchmark price of apartments decreased year‐over‐year by 0.8 per cent, going from $192,600 in
December 2013 to $191,100 in December 2014.
May’s property sales in the Fraser Valley reached the highest they’ve been in seven years with the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board posting 1,633 sales on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®), an increase of 18 per cent compared to May 2013 and 11 per cent more than in April.
Previous record-setting Mays were in the mid-2000s during the market peak, with last month’s sales coming in just below the 10-year average.
Ray Werger, President of the Board, says, “For the second month in a row, we’re experiencing healthy sales volumes with the most popular choice being single family detached homes followed by townhouses. For single family homes, that market is at the upper-end of a balanced market with certain areas in a sellers’ market where over 30 per cent of available inventory is selling.”
Werger adds that the market for apartments has not picked up to the same degree. “We’ve seen an improvement in condo sales in specific areas, however in many communities the market continues to favour buyers due to inventory levels that remain elevated and buyer preference for homes that offer more space and amenities.
“Last month in the Fraser Valley, 60 per cent of our residential sales were single family detached homes and we’re starting to see that preference reflected in prices. Prices are up three per cent over the past year, even higher in the most sought-after communities and most of that increase has taken place in the last six months.”
The benchmark price as determined by the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) of a single family detached home in Fraser Valley increased 3.1 per cent in one year. It went from $549,200 in May 2013 to $566,400 last month.
In May, the benchmark price of a Fraser Valley townhouse was $297,300, a decrease of 0.2 per cent compared to $298,000 in May 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment decreased by 2.6 per cent year-over-year; going from $203,400 in May of last year to $198,100 in May 2014.
In May, the Board received 3,218 new listings, an increase of 2 per cent compared to April and 1 per cent more than were received during the same month last year. The new inventory took the number of active listings in Fraser Valley to 9,870, a decrease of 7 per cent compared to the volume available in May 2013.
Werger says, “Our home supply is the best it’s been since last fall, with the highest demand for priced-right, quality properties. If your home fits that description, anticipate a lot of interest.”
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,795 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. The FVREB marked its 90-year anniversary in 2011.
SURREY, BC – The growth in sales on Fraser Valley’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) outpaced the growth in new inventory in April, propelling the market into solid balanced conditions.
In April, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s total sales volume increased by 8 per cent year over year and 17 per cent compared to March while new listings saw a 7 per cent increase compared to April 2013 and a 13 per cent increase compared to the previous month.
Ray Werger, president of the Board, says, “There’s a lot of optimism right now. It will take a few more months of numbers, but our 2014 market is already on track to outperform last year.
“A measurement we rely on to gauge the health of the housing market is the ratio between sales and active listings and in April that number was the highest it’s been in our region in three years. Last month, that ratio for both single family detached homes and townhomes was 21 per cent, meaning for every 100 homes available, 21 sold. That’s a strong, balanced market.”
Werger adds that demand for apartments in the Fraser Valley remained softer. “In some of our areas we have an oversupply of condos and you’ll see that reflected in prices. Generally, prices of benchmark or typical apartments have decreased over the past year. However, both buyers and sellers need to be aware that it depends on the community and the age and quality of the condo.”
In April, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $566,000, an increase of 3.4 per cent compared to $547,300 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $298,700, virtually unchanged compared to $299,100 in April 2013 and the benchmark price of apartments was $196,300, a decrease of 3.7 per cent compared to $203,900 in April of last year.
In April, the Board processed a total of 1,470 sales through its MLS® compared to 1,366 sales in April 2013 and 1,259 sales in March; and, received 3,153 new listings last month compared to 2,951 new listings received during April 2013. The number of active listings reached 9,400, 7 per cent more than were available in March however 6 per cent fewer than were available during April of last year.
In April, the number of days on average to sell a detached home in the Fraser Valley was 43; 47 for townhomes; and, 59 days on average for an apartment. All, four days faster than they were in April 2013.
Find the April Statistics Package here.
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SURREY, BC – In March, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) processed 1,259 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), an increase of 12 per cent compared to the 1,128 sales during March of last year, and a 14 per cent increase compared to February’s 1,102 sales.
Ray Werger, President of the Board, says, “We did see activity pick up last month with an increase in demand in particular for single family detached homes. Sales were noticeably higher in North Delta, Mission and Langley compared to last year.
“Last March, sales of detached homes accounted for 55 per cent of sales of our three main residential property types and this year that increased to 58 per cent. It may not sound like much, but that translated into over 100 more sales. The property type that lost ground was townhouses.” Werger explains, “Our main buyers are families looking for the best value possible by taking advantage of continuing low interest rates and stable home prices.”
The most popular price range for single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley last month was between $500,000 and $600,000. The benchmark price of a typical detached home was $563,400, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to $544,300 during the same month last year.
For townhouses, the benchmark price in March was $297,100, a decrease of 0.4 per cent compared to $298,200 in March 2013 and the benchmark price of apartments was $195,400, a decrease of 4.3 per cent compared to $204,200 in March 2013.
The Board posted 2,799 new listings last month, an increase of 2 per cent compared to the 2,736 posted during March of last year bringing the total number of active listings in March to 8,763 – 8 per cent less than were available during March 2013.
Werger adds, “We can’t emphasize enough that real estate is local. What’s happening with the Fraser Valley housing market in general may or may not be happening to the market for your home. Contact your local REALTOR® for detailed market information by community, neighbourhood and property type.”
In March, Fraser Valley’s sales-to-active-listings ratio – a comparison of sales and inventory that measures the health of the market – was 14 per cent for all property types (residential and commercial combined); and, 18 per cent for the three main residential property types indicating stability in the marketplace.
Find the March Statistics Package here.
By Teresa Cowart on March 11th, 2014
Being a first-time home buyer is an exciting time as you prepare for your future in a beautiful new home! It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun of house hunting, that you forget to think about some important things. From hidden costs, to realtor quality, here are 10 common mistakes first-time home buyers make and ways to overcome them!
1. No Budget
Personal budgets are always important and even more so when house hunting. You need to know how much of your income you can use towards a mortgage before you can even begin the search. Take some time to write out all the bills you currently pay and your income. There are many examples of household budgets online that you can use. Here is a nice downloadable template of a household budget that Microsoft created. This is also a good time to analyze your spending habits and how to keep them on track once you own a home.
2. Forgetting to Get Pre-approved
Walking into the housing market without knowing how much you are approved for can make the process very difficult. A mortgage pre-approval is when your bank takes your financial and credit information and creates a very good estimate as to what amount they will loan you. Being pre-approved for an amount makes a buyer look much more attractive to the seller and is seen as less of a risk. Getting pre-approved requires a pull of your credit and your financials for a small fee. The bank will give you pre-approval letter to submit during a bid on a home. Note: Pre-approval letters do expire, so stay aware of the date.
3. Underestimating Closing Costs
Things like notary fees, appraisal fees, escrow fees and credit report fees, are just a few of the costs every buyer should plan on paying when closing on a home. Plan on budgeting in 2-5% of your home price in closing costs.
4. Bypassing the Home Inspection
Purchasing a home without getting a good home inspection is a big gamble to make. Many hidden problems can only be found if a professional inspector takes a close look at the home. Things like previous fires, black mold, poor electrical work and plumbing are just a handful of important things a home inspector can find. A home inspection process involves setting up a time for the home inspection and paying a fee. The inspector will tour the home and give you a detailed report of all the issues found in the home. The fee for a home inspection is money well spent rather than spending thousands of dollars on unforeseen issues.
5. Stuck in the Present
When house-hunting, sometimes buyers only view things from their buying perspective. Resale value is very important and should be taken into consideration when choosing a home. Ideally you will have the house for a good amount of time or perhaps forever. Circumstances in life sometimes call for a home move. It is important to purchase a home that is attractive to other buyers in the event you have to sell. Look at each house from a general buyer’s mindset, not just your own. Your realtor will be a good resource for determining resell value and the potential that a house has for a future sell.
6. Budgeting Only the Mortgage Payment
Many first-time home buyers spend so much time focused on budgeting the mortgage payment that they forget the costs associated with running the house. Things like utilities, home owners insurance, trash removal, regular maintenance, and unexpected issues are all things that can easily be overlooked. Quicken suggests setting aside 10% of your budget for utilities.
7. Instantaneous Gratification
After purchasing their first-home, many buyers want their new home “perfect” right away. Investing heavy amounts to design your house exactly how you want it in a short period of time can be hard on your finances. We live in a society where instant gratification is the norm, but with housing projects, the more paced you are the better. Spread your home projects out over time. Half of the fun of fixing up a house can be the process!
8. Acting as a Realtor
Cutting out realtor costs can seems like an attractive choice to many. A realtor isn’t just a person to show houses and grab a paycheck, he or she is an important resource of information. Market trends, location features and access to home databases are all important and useful information that realtors are able to give you. Another good reason to use a professional realtor is that they take the emotion and bias out of real estate transactions. They can help you sort out decisions and even guide you on effective bidding. Finding a good realtor can be as simple as asking around to friends and families. Good experience and knowledge is a must for any realtor you choose.
9. First Offer is a Winner
The first offer by a first-time home buyer can be the most exciting, however it can also be the most frustrating. Many home bids don’t work out. They may be rejected or countered. If a house has multiple offers then the stress is multiplied. It is very important for buyers to understand the negotiation process and the competitive landscape, which why having the best realtor is key. Finding the right house and the right offer takes time. Stay positive if a bid is rejected, there are many other houses to see!
10. Getting Too Attached
First-time home buyers tend to get caught up in their emotions and become very attached to one particular house. They focus so much of their energy on one home that they brush aside other good options. Real estate transactions are complex and setting your heart on one house can lead to disappointment. If you are lucky enough to find a house you really love, just keep in mind that if things don’t go as planned, there will always be other options. You may find that one of the other options may be better than the first!
SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) recorded 1,102 sales in February, an increase of 43 per cent over January’s sales and an increase of 21 per cent over the 913 sales during February of last year.
Ray Werger, President of the Board, says, “The last time we saw an improvement in the market this early in the year was two years ago when we ended up having a solid, steady market from February through to mid-summer. It’s too early to predict whether this year will be similar, but for now sales are up and the average number of days to sell a detached home is one week faster than it was in January.”
Werger adds, “Although sales have picked up, it’s important to mention that they’re still hovering about 10 per cent below our 10-year average and the increases in activity are specific to property type and location, so be sure to ask your REALTOR® how your home and neighbourhood compare.”
The Board posted 2,666 new listings last month, an increase of 3 per cent compared to the 2,582 posted during February of last year bringing the total number of active listings in February to 8,210 – 11 per cent more than were available in January and 8 per cent less than were available during February 2013.
Werger adds, “Generally, we’re finding for all property types if they’re priced right there is a buyer; however, demand for single family detached homes and townhomes is the most consistent with certain pockets in Langley, Abbotsford and North Delta that are thriving, which is why prices for detached homes in those areas are either on par or elevated compared to last year.
“Fraser Valley’s condo market, moderately busier in February, continues to favour buyers offering excellent opportunities due to higher levels of inventory and prices comparable to what they were eight years ago.”
In February, the benchmark price of single family detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $558,100, an increase of 3.2 per cent compared to $540,900 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $298,900, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to $296,700 in February 2013 and the benchmark price of apartments was $193,200, a decrease of 4.6 per cent compared to $202,500 in February 2013.
In February, it took on average 51 days to sell a detached home compared to 58 days in January. Townhomes took 55 days on average to sell compared to 60 days the month before and apartments spent an average of 70 days on the market in February compared to 86 days in January.
Find the February Statistics Package here.
UPDATE: Since the CMHC premium hike, the largest private mortgage insurer, Genworth, has announced that its premiums will increase to match CMHC’s effective May 1.
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has announced 15 per cent increases to the premiums on its mortgage insurance. These will come into effect for new CMHC-insured mortgages taken out May 1, 2014 or after.
- If you already have a CMHC-insured mortgage or mortgage approval, your premiums will stay the same.
- If you refinance and still require CMHC insurance, your premiums will then go up.
- If you submit an application to CMHC before May 1, your premiums will be at the old rate. Therefore, if you plan to buy a home soon and have a down payment of five to 20 per cent, you can save yourself about $5 per month by buying and nailing down your mortgage before the May 1 deadline. Check with an independent mortgage broker to find out how much you qualify to borrow so you can search within your price range.
- If you take out a mortgage after May 1 that requires CMHC insurance , these will be your premiums.
Mortgage insurance is required on all mortgages that meet these criteria:
- Down payment of 5-to-20 per cent of home’s value
- Maximum amortization period: 25 years
- Maximum home price: $999,999
- Maximum amount to refinance a mortgage: 80 per cent of home’s value
You can only qualify for CMHC insurance if your maximum gross debt service (GDS) is 39 per cent and your maximum total debt service (TDS) is 44 per cent. These numbers refer to the percentage of your income needed for all housing costs (GDS) and the percentage required for GDS plus other debts (TDS). Some lenders may have more stringent guidelines.
Again, a mortgage broker can give you guidance.
The CMHC insurance-premium increase is not expected to affect the Canadian housing market.
SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) recorded higher activity in January compared to one year ago with an increase in sales and a slight increase in new listings.
The Board processed 772 sales on the MLS® last month, a 25 per cent increase compared to the 617 sales in January 2013. In addition, the Board saw a modest 1 per cent increase in new listings in January, 2,676 compared to 2,643 received during the same month last year, but a 164 per cent increase compared to the new listings received the previous month, December 2013.
Ron Todson, President of the Board, says, “Starting early in the year, we typically see a ‘re-stocking of our shelves’ in advance of the spring market, which is a positive trend for buyers in that it creates new opportunities for them. With higher inventory they have greater freedom to comparison shop.”
From a historical perspective, the number of new listings received in January 2014 was 7 per cent higher than the 10-year average for that month, while sales finished 8 per cent less than the 10-year average.
Todson explains, “Over the last few months, housing supply in the Fraser Valley has moderated while sales have been variable, fluctuating below average levels. When supply meets or exceeds demand, it has a calming effect on prices.
“Generally, values of ground-oriented homes in Fraser Valley have been stable or increasing while condo values have been flat or decreasing. This is why it’s important to talk to your local REALTOR® because we’re seeing different market trends dependent on property type and location.”
In January, the benchmark price of a detached home in the Fraser Valley was $552,500, an increase of 2.2 per cent compared to $540,500 in January 2013 and an increase of 0.6 per cent compared to December.
For townhouses, the benchmark price in January was $297,600, an increase of 1.3 per cent compared to the same month last year when it was $293,700 and up 1.5 per cent compared to December. The benchmark price of apartments in January was $192,300, a decrease of 4.0 per cent compared to January 2013 when it was $200,400 and a decrease of 0.2 per cent compared to December.
January’s total active inventory at 7,384 listings finished 8 per cent lower than the 8,031 active listings available during January 2013.
Find the January Statistics Package here.
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