Residential sales in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley fell for the third consecutive month, the latest Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) statistics show.
In November, the Fraser Valley recorded 839 residential sales, a 6.9% decrease compared to October, which registered 901, and a 57.5% decrease compared to November 2021.
New listings for the month also saw a relatively steep decline. In November, the FVREB received 1,703 new listings, after seeing 2,186 last month, a 22.1% decrease. New listings also decreased 18.8% compared to November 2021.
Accordingly, the total amount of active listings also decreased, down from 5,642 in October to 5,330 in November, a 5.5% decrease, but a 74.9% increase compared to this time last year, perhaps indicating that this may just be a short-term reaction to the uncertainty in the market, but that there is no need to be alarmed in the long-term.
“The market continues to tighten in response to rising interest rates,” said FVREB CEO Baldev Gill in a press release on Friday. “As a result, individuals are facing additional levels of uncertainty regarding the decision to buy or sell a home, underscoring the importance of seeking advice and guidance from a local REALTOR to mitigate the risks involved.”
“The trends we’ve seen over the past several months will likely continue through to year-end,” added Sandra Benz, President of the FVREB. “While rate hikes have effectively put many buyers and sellers in a holding pattern, we’re still seeing relatively quick turnover for all housing categories, indicating robust opportunities for properties that are strategically priced.”
According to the Board’s November statistics, the average number of days to sell a single-detached homes was 34 days, 28 days for townhouses, and 27 days for apartments, on average.
Benchmark prices for each of the residential types also decreased compared to last month, but less so compared to this time last year.
For single-detached homes, the benchmark price is now at $1,404,900, a 2.2% decrease from October 2022 and a 6.3% decrease from November 2021.
The benchmark price for townhouses is now at $799,400, a 1.3% compared to October 2022, but a 3.3% increase compared to November 2021.
For apartments, the benchmark price is now $518,000, a decrease of 1.8% compared to October 2022 and a 5.2% increase compared to November 2021.
The Market Lean
Statistics are helpful, but what’s interesting is understanding what they actually indicate or imply.
Using a combination of the above statistics, we can identify the sales-to-new-listings ratio, as well as the sales-to-active-listings ratio, two indicators of whether the real estate market is currently leaning towards buyers or sellers.
For sales-to-new-listings, 55% or higher is typically considered a sellers’ market and 40% or lower a buyers’ market. Using that metric, the ratio following November is at 49.3%. Last month the ratio was at 41.2%, so together they likely indicate a slight lean towards sellers, but is still fairly balanced.
Looking at the sales-to-active-listings, 20% or higher is generally considered a sellers’ market, while a ratio 12% or lower indicates a buyers’ market. The ratio is now 15.7%, after being at 15.9% last month, further indicating balance.
Howard is a Staff Writer at STOREYS. He is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has also written about media for One Zero and international politics for WhoWhatWhy. Before STOREYS, he was also the Deputy Editor of 604 Now.