Houses for sale in Ottawa

After several months of decline and a “seasonal lull,” the Fraser Valley real estate market saw new signs of life in January, according to the latest statistics published by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) on Friday.

In January, the Fraser Valley recorded a total of 938 residential sales, which represents a 12% increase over December and the first month-over-month increase after six consecutive months of decline.

New listings also saw a big jump, with 2,368 added in January, which represents a 151% increase from December and the largest month-over-month increase in five years, according to the FVREB.

With that new batch of listings, the amount of active listings in the Fraser Valley is now up to 4,877, which represents a 4% improvement over December and 18% over January 2023.

“With January sales on the rise, we are seeing hopeful signs that optimism is returning to the market,” said FVREB Chair Narinder Bains.

Buyers Or Sellers

The above statistics allow us to identify the sales-to-new-listing ratio as well as the sales-to-active-listings ratio, which are two quantitative indicators that can give us a sense of whether the market is currently favouring buyers or sellers.

For the sales-to-new-listings ratio, a ratio of 40% or lower is considered a buyers’ market, a ratio of 55% or higher is viewed as a sellers’ market, and anything in between is viewed as a sign of market balance.

With 938 home sales and 2,368 new listings in January, the sales-to-new-listings ratio is now at 39.6% — right in buyers’ market territory.

For the sales-to-active-listings ratio, 12% or lower is viewed as a buyers’ market, 20% or over is viewed as a sellers’ market, and anything in between is viewed as balance.

With 938 home sales and 4,877 total active listings after January, the sales-to-active-listings ratio is now at 19.2%, which indicates a balanced market. The ratio did have some variance by property type, however, being at 19% for single-detached homes, 34% for townhouses, and 27% for condominiums.

Prices And Outlook

Following January, the benchmark price is now $1,466,100 for single-detached homes, $825,600 for townhouses, and $539,700 for condominiums. Those three benchmarks represent a 0.4% decrease, 0.1% decrease, and 0.4% increase when compared to December 2023, but all represent increases — of 8.6%, 6.9%, and 6.5% — when compared to January 2023.

According to the FVREB, single-detached homes stayed on the market for an average of 44 days, while townhouses averaged 33 days and condominiums averaged 41 days.

“Current balanced market conditions present opportunities for both buyers and sellers,” said FVREB CEO Baldev Gill. “In today’s market, buyers and sellers have time to get preapprovals, put together offers, and take the time needed to work through the purchase or sale of a home.”

FVREB Chair Narinder Bains also adds that they have seen more traffic at open houses, indicating that more and more buyers are considering entering the market, perhaps anticipating that the Bank of Canada may be nearing the end of its rate hike cycle.

There is no Bank of Canada interest rate announce this month, with the next announcement scheduled for Wednesday, March 6.

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