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June 2019 Market Stats

“There is tremendous variation in the market depending on the property type and location. It’s currently a buyers’ market for detached homes in South Surrey/White Rock; but is leaning towards a sellers’ market for townhomes in Langley, so if you’re considering taking advantage of the market slowdown, first, talk to your REALTOR®.” – Darin Germyn

 

 

Last month’s property sales in the Fraser Valley were 29.3 per cent below the 10-year sales average for June and were the second lowest total for the month since the year 2000. The number of new listings also decreased in June, coming in at 9.6 per cent below the 10-year average for the number of listings received during that month.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,306 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, a 13.9 per cent decrease compared to sales in May 2019, and a 10.1 per cent decrease compared to the 1,452 sales in June of last year.

Darin Germyn, President of the Board, commented, “The Fraser Valley market is still adjusting to the federal government’s new mortgage requirements and to the provincial government’s speculation and vacancy taxes. We’re seeing historically low levels for home purchases in our region, and at the same time, we’re seeing some prospective sellers holding back on listing their homes; waiting to see what the market will do.

“This has created a great opportunity for buyers in the Fraser Valley. Inventory overall is growing; prices of benchmark, or typical homes, have decreased 6 to 10 per cent over the past year and interest rates are still holding firm.”

There were 8,516 active listings available in the Fraser Valley at the end of June, an increase of 19.3 per cent compared to June of last year and an increase of 0.1 per cent compared to May 2019. The Board received 2,810 new listings in June, a 20.7 per cent decrease compared to May 2019’s intake of 3,542 new listings and a 10.5 per cent decrease compared to June of last year.

“There is tremendous variation in the market depending on the property type and location”, added Germyn. “It’s currently a buyers’ market for detached homes in South Surrey/White Rock; but is leaning towards a sellers’ market for townhomes in Langley, so if you’re considering taking advantage of the market slowdown, first, talk to your REALTOR®.”

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $960,100, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.4 per cent compared to May 2019 and decreased 6.1 per cent compared to June 2018.
  • Townhomes: At $525,200, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley increased 0.5 per cent compared to May 2019 and decreased 5.9 per cent compared to June 2018.
  • Apartments: At $409,800, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley decreased 1.7 per cent compared to May 2019 and decreased 9.6 per cent compared to June 2018.

May 2019 Market Stats

We’re seeing buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines, act, because of better price opportunities and more selection. It’s been four years since buyers had this much choice in the Fraser Valley.

 

 

The increase in home sales in the Fraser Valley in May compared to April is thanks to renewed interest in single family detached homes. Although total market activity remained well below historical norms – 18 per cent below the 10-year average – the sale of detached homes increased by 14.9 per cent in one month.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,517 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, a 9.7 per cent increase compared to sales in April 2019, and a 13.7 per cent decrease compared to the 1,758 sales in May of last year.

In looking at the three main residential property types, detached homes garnered 41.2 per cent of the market in May, up from 39.4 per cent in April. Attached homes garnered 58.8 per cent in May, compared to 60.6 per cent in April.

Darin Germyn, President of the Board, said of the market: “Buyers are recognizing that in the last three months, home prices have stopped declining and that in order to take advantage of the improvement in prices over the past year, now is a great time to consider making the purchase they held off on in the previous months.

“We’re seeing buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines, act, because of better price opportunities and more selection. It’s been four years since buyers had this much choice in the Fraser Valley.”

There were 8,506 active listings available in the Fraser Valley at the end of May, an increase of 26.3 per cent compared to May of last year and an increase of 8.1 per cent compared to April 2019.

The Board received 3,542 new listings during the month, a 4.5 per cent increase compared to April 2019’s intake of 3,391 new listings and a 10.7 per cent decrease year-over-year.

“Key to this market is pricing,” continued Germyn. “We empathize with our clients on the challenges they face today to qualify to buy a home and we work with them to find the right property at a realistic price they can afford.”

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $964,200, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley remained unchanged compared to April 2019 and decreased 5.9 per cent compared to May 2018.
  • Townhomes: At $522,500 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley increased 0.1 per cent compared to April 2019 and decreased 5.9 per cent compared to May 2018.
  • Apartments: At $416,800, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.9 per cent compared to April 2019 and decreased 8.0 per cent compared to May 2018.

April 2019 Market Stats

Slower than normal market still attracting buyers in the Fraser Valley

 

The Fraser Valley real estate market experienced its second slowest April in ten years and yet sales of certain property types and price ranges remain solid.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,383 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, a 13.3 per cent increase compared to sales in March 2019, and a 19 per cent decrease compared to the 1,708 sales in April of last year. Of the 1,383 total sales of residential and commercial combined, 489 were residential detached homes, 379 were townhouses, and 374 were apartments.

Darin Germyn, President of the Board, said of the market: “Consumers may not have the purchasing power that they did prior to January 2018, but the desire for home ownership is still there and we’re seeing that reflected in our MLS® data.

“Detached homes under one million dollars and attached homes – ranging from $400,000 to $700,000 – continue to attract buyers in the Fraser Valley. Townhome sales in Abbotsford increased by almost 60 per cent compared to March and were on par with last year’s April sales.”

There were 7,870 active listings available in the Fraser Valley at the end of April, an increase of 12.3 per cent compared to March 2019’s inventory and an increase of 38.9 per cent year-over-year.

The Board received 3,391 new listings during the month, an 18.1 per cent increase compared to March 2019’s intake of 2,872 new listings and a decrease of 1.1 per cent compared to April of last year.

“A slower, stable market has had a positive impact on affordability in our region. Prices of typical residential homes in the Fraser Valley have decreased between 5 and 6 per cent in the last year. In the last three months, benchmark prices have either plateaued or have experienced a small recovery,” added Germyn.

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment in April was 37, and 31 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 37 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $964,600, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley increased 0.2 per cent compared to March 2019 and decreased 4.8 per cent compared to April 2018.
  • Townhomes: At $521,800 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley increased 0.9 per cent compared to March 2019 and decreased 5.1 per cent compared to April 2018.
  • Apartments: At $420,700, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 0.6 per cent compared to March 2019 and decreased 6 per cent compared to April 2018.

Off leash Dog Parks in South Surrey

Own a dog?  Here are the best off-leash parks and sites in South Surrey to take your furry friend this spring!

Blackie Spit – 3100 McBride Avenue, Surrey

Blackie Spit has a fully fenced off-leash area, with a mixed terrain of grass, gravel, and sand. You will be able to find a covered area for the rainy days when your pup still needs to stretch their legs! Additionally, Blackie Spit has a designated off-leash beach area.  Dogs are not allowed on the regular beaches between May 15th – September 15th  but through the summer the off-leash beach is a great spot for dogs to go for a dip.

 

The spit has beautiful views of mud bay and the north shore mountains.

 

Dogwood Park  – 13485 20th Avenue, Surrey

Dogwood Park is made up a large series of trails that wind through the forest, and connect to a larger system of trails outside of the designated off-leash area.  The park offers a large open field for playing fetch, and trails with lots of trees for dogs who like to explore. Dogwood also offers a separate are for small dogs or if no small dogs some people bring their more aggressive dogs to that area to be separate from the other pups.

There’s fresh water supply and lots of great dogs and owners.  There is a sitting area with chairs and picnic tables so you can relax while your dog goes and burns off some steam. It’s a great place to bring your pup any day of the week!

 

Wills Brook Park – 2955 160 Street, Surrey

Wills Brook is on the east side of South Surrey, and a bit closer to those who live in Grandview corners and Morgan Creek area.  Within the park, you’ll find a 1.2-acre off-leash area for dogs, with access from 160 Street, as well as Mountain View Drive via the forest trail. Note that this park offers the same area for dogs of different sizes.  The park itself is pretty simple, with just a large rectangle area, but it is great to get your dog there if they are a runner.

 

Paws Crossing – 15765 Croydon Dr, Surrey

Paws Crossing is great for those who need an easily accessible space  for their dog who live in the Morgan Crossing area. It is not a large area but it’s a great place to quickly take rover out for a pee.  If you want some more space, wills brook park is just a 10-minute walk away.

March 2019 Market Stats

 

 

 

Last month, buyers in the Fraser Valley took advantage of the continued stability in home prices and the highest inventory levels for March since 2015.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,221 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a 24.3 per cent increase compared to sales in February 2019, and a 26.6 per cent decrease compared to the 1,664 sales in March of last year. Of the 1,221 total sales, 462 were residential detached homes, 300 were townhouses, and 346 were apartments. This was the lowest sales total for the Board during March since 2013.

Darin Germyn, President of the Board, said of the market: “From a buyer’s perspective, there are more opportunities available as we move deeper into spring. Many of our communities are seeing higher inventory levels, especially in the attached market with the number of available townhomes almost doubling and Fraser Valley condos more than doubling compared to last year.”

There were 7,011 active listings available in the Fraser Valley at the end of March, an increase of 9.4 per cent compared to February 2019’s inventory and an increase of 46.2 per cent year-over-year.

The Board received 2,872 new listings during the month, a 29.6 per cent increase compared to February 2019’s intake of 2,216 new listings and a 0.2 per cent increase compared year-over-year.

“One of the reasons our market has remained stable is simply due to affordability. Although prices have increased dramatically over the last ten years, during the last twelve months we’ve seen prices for all major residential property types in the Fraser Valley decrease between four and five per cent. This is good news for buyers,” continued Germyn.

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment in March was 38, and 29 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 38 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $963,100, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley increased 0.4 per cent compared to February 2019 and decreased 4.2 per cent compared to March 2018.
  • Townhomes: At $517,300, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley increased 0.3 per cent compared to February 2019 and decreased 4.5 per cent compared to March 2018.
  • Apartments: At $418,000, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 2 per cent compared to February 2019 and decreased 5.1 per cent compared to March 2018.

February 2019 Market Stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming off a mild January, the Fraser Valley real estate market saw an increase in sales activity and overall inventory in February along with decreased prices in several of its communities.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 982 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a 25.3 per cent increase compared to sales in January 2019, and a 29.1 per cent decrease compared to the 1,385 sales in February of last year. Of the 982 total sales, 354 were residential detached homes, 236 were townhouses, and 288 were apartments.

Darin Germyn, President of the Board, said of the market: “With inventory continuing to build, and prices softening across many of our areas and property types, buyers will be well positioned to make a move this spring.”

There were 6,406 active listings available in the Fraser Valley at the end of February, an increase of 6.9 per cent compared to January 2019’s inventory and an increase of 47.6 percent year-over-year.

The Board received 2,216 new listings during the month, a 15.1 percent decrease compared to January 2019’s intake of 2,609 new listings and a 3.4 percent decrease compared year-over-year.

“Demand within our region varies depending on the community, with both residential detached homes and attached properties garnering interest when priced effectively,” continued Germyn. “If you’re looking to list, contact a REALTOR® who can help you understand the local market and what price point will bring you the buyers you’re looking for.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment in January was 40, and 39 for townhomes. Single-family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 43 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $958,900, the Benchmark price for a single-family detached home in the Fraser Valley increased 0.5 percent compared to January 2019 and decreased 3.7 percent compared to February 2018.
  • Townhomes: At $516,000, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley decreased 1.2 percent compared to January 2019 and increased 2.8 percent compared to February 2018.
  • Apartments: At $409,700, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 0.2 percent compared to January 2019 and decreased 3 percent compared to February 2018.

January 2019 Market Stats

 

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 784 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, a 2 percent decrease compared to sales in December 2018, and a 35.2 percent decrease compared to the 1,210 sales in January of last year.

Of the 784 total sales, 250 were residential detached homes, 190 were townhouses, and 257 were apartments. This is the first time in the Board’s history that apartments have outsold residential detached homes during a month.

“This remains a challenging environment for buyers and sellers alike,” said John Barbisan, President of the Board. “Factors such as reduced buying power, changing expectations for pricing, and a recovering inventory are all having an impact.”

There were 5,995 active listings available in the Fraser Valley at the end of January, an increase of 9.9 percent compared to December 2018’s inventory and an increase of 51.3 percent year-over-year.

Additionally, 2,609 new listings were received by the Board for the month, a significant increase compared to December 2018’s intake of 978 new listings and a 24.7 percent increase compared year-over-year.

“Historically, January months start slowly, and 2019 is following that trend,” explained Barbisan. “Pricing for each of our major residential property types remains either stable or decreased in most areas. This isn’t necessarily indicative of what’s to come in 2019, but it reinforces the need to be aware of what’s happening in your local market in order to be effective.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment in January was 45, and 44 for townhomes. Single-family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 55 days before selling.

December 2018 Market Stats

 

 

 

After three consecutive years of total annual sales surpassing 20,000 units, 2018 saw the Fraser Valley real estate market return to more typical levels for both sales and inventory.

The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 15,586 sales in 2018, a 30.2 per cent decrease compared to 2017’s 22,338 sales and the lowest total sales for the Fraser Valley since 2013. The total dollar volume of MLS® transactions for the year was $11.8 billion, dropping from $15.7 billion sold during the year prior.

Of the total transactions that took place in 2018, 3,866 were townhouses and 4,296 were apartments. Each of those property types saw a significant decrease in sales compared to 2017, with total townhouse sales dropping 25.6 per cent year-over-year and apartments dropping 30.5 per cent.

“In terms of demand, this is around what we’re used to seeing for our region,” said John Barbisan, President of the Board. “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.”

For inventory, a total of 32,058 new listings were received by the Board’s MLS® system in 2018. This was the fourth highest total for new inventory in the Board’s history.

In December the Board processed a total of 800 sales, the lowest for the month since 2012. Inventory in December finished at 5,454 active units, with a total of 978 new listings entering the market throughout the month.

Barbisan adds, “With buyers shifting into the driver’s seat and able to navigate the market more comfortably, it has become key for sellers to price effectively and leverage their home’s appeal to stand out and find success.

October 2018 Market Stats

 

 

The Fraser Valley housing market saw slight increases in both total transactions and overall inventory this month after sales hit their lowest point for the year in September.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,155 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, a decrease of 35.8 per cent compared to the 1,779 sales in October of last year, and a 11.6 per cent increase compared to sales in September 2018.

Of the 1,155 sales, 438 were residential detached homes, 306 were townhouses, and 292 were apartments.

“While slight, this is the first time since May that sales here have been on the upswing.” said John Barbisan, President of the Board. “We’re beneath typical activity levels for this time of year but it’s good to see that buyers and sellers are still finding success this season.”

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley in October finished at 7,746 listings, increasing 1.3 per cent month-over-month and 41.3 per cent year-over-year.

A total of 2,776 new listings were received by the Board in October, a 5.8 per cent decrease from that received in September 2018, and a 12 per cent increase compared to October 2017.

“We’re in a much better spot in terms of overall inventory compared to this time last year, and now closer to a more balanced market. Attached inventory in particular has seen notable gains, doubling year-over-year for townhouses and nearly tripling for apartments.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell both an apartment and townhouse in October was 31. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 39 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

• Single Family Detached: At $986,700, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.2 per cent compared to September 2018 and increased 1.1 per cent compared to October 2017.

• Townhomes: At $538,400, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley decreased 1.4 per cent compared to September 2018 and increased 7.1 per cent compared to October 2017.

• Apartments: At $432,800, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley decreased 1.3 per cent compared to September 2018 and increased 17.2 per cent compared to October 2017.

6 Documents You Should Review Before Buying into a Strata

So you have decided it’s time to move! Whether you are a first-time buyer, preparing to leave renting behind, or a long time homeowner thinking of downsizing you have likely been looking at strata style properties,

Every thing you need to know about Strata's!

but what is all of this about common property and maintenance fee’s you may be wondering?

Well, there a number of things for you to consider before making the decision to buy your first strata property.

What is a Strata?

There are many types of strata properties including, residential, commercial and industrial.

There are also several different styles of strata properties that fall under the category of residential; from low rise condos to high-rise condo, townhouses, duplexes or even detached homes built on a bare land strata lot. This article will discuss residential strata properties, with a focus on condos and townhomes.

In a residential complex, owners own their unit within the complex and are collective owners of the common property. Common property includes areas like hallways, stairwells, elevators, fitness centres, clubhouses, parking lots and roadways within the complex.

 

How does a Strata work?

Strata’s in British Columbia are regulated under the British Columbia Strata Property Act and then furthermore through the bylaws and rules which are set in place by each individual Strata Corporation. A Strata Corporation operates the strata and is run by a “Strata Council” comprised of owners of that strata.  Strata’s can be self-managed and fully run by the council and owners. Alternatively they may hire a management company to carry out some or all of the duties of the strata corporation.

A Strata Corporation may set out bylaws that affect the lots owners’ right to use and responsibility. Additionally, a Strata Corporation may also have a set of rules.  Bylaws usually differ between each Strata Corporation depending on the needs of the complex and its owners.

 

So why Strata?

By having a unified building that follows bylaws and rules it makes for a high level of continuity amongst the building owners.

 

Additionally, by sharing of the responsibility for repairs, on-going costs and paying into a reserve fund to be used for future projects or emergencies eliminates some risk for individual owners.  A huge benefit of living in a strata is that having a responsible and a proactive Council there is a level of peace of mind that important maintenance and improvement work is being taken care of in your complex.

Often times many strata style properties are “lock up and leave”. This means that you can simply shut off your lights and lock you door and have peace of mind that your building maintenance, garden tending, lawn care, and sidewalk plowing as a few examples, are all being taken care of in your absence. Furthermore the element of security from living in a community gives many people peace of mind.

However, prior making your purchase, several essential documents should be reviewed before finalizing a contract of purchase and sale.  There is nothing worse than a unexpected surprise after purchasing a new home.

 

What should I review before buying a strata property?

 

Below are some of the critical documents a buyer should be aware of and review. Every property is different and a thorough investigation into the state of the strata is always recommended before committing to a purchase.

 

Form B

The Form B is an information certificate issued by the Strata Corporation.  This document reflects the current status of the individual strata lot.  The Form B will show on-going financial commitments of the strata lot (monthly maintenance fees), any parking spaces and storage lockers assigned to the lot, any special levees or charges against the lot.  The Form B will also show information on the entire Strata Corporation including the current up to date balance of the contingency fund.

 

Depreciation Report

The depreciation report is a financial report that shows inventory and evaluation of the common property and strata assets. The depreciation report is an important tool to show lot owners the ongoing expenses and expected future financial obligations to maintain and replace aging and failing building components. For example, the report will show the expected remaining serviceable lifetime of building components including the roof, building envelope, common area components such as paint, flooring, elevators and amenities as well as when the next expected replacement is required and the expected cost. This report then allows for the council and owners to make educated decisions regarding future budget planning and maintenance fee amounts to ensure a sufficient contingency is in place for future projects.

 

Title to the Strata Lot

Before acquiring any property checking that the title is free and clear of any surviving encumbrances or liens is vital.  This is something a REALTOR should do.

 

The Bylaws and Rules

These set out owners’ specific rights and obligations, giving you a good sense of how rigidly the Strata Corporation controls owners. Look carefully for any pet, age, and rental restrictions and whether they will be a problem for you.  Also, additional rules may restrict what you can do within your strata lot like having a BBQ or limitation on use.

 

Financial Statements

Reviewing the financial health of the strata corporation is imperative before making the decision to purchase. At a minimum, a prudent buyer will want to see what that annual operating budget is and whether the strata corporation is able to stick to that budget as well as the on-going contribution to the contingency fund and the current balance of the contingency fund. This is where working with a REALTOR experienced in dealing with strata complexes can be of great assistance.

 

Minimum 2 years of Meeting Minutes and any Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting minutes.

Reviewing the past 2 years of meeting minutes is one of the best ways to get a glimpse into the nitty-gritty details of the complex. Meeting minutes will detail any issues that have been raised by lot owners, major building maintenance that has happened, and updates to the going on’s of the strata. One can often find details of, for example, re-occurring noise complaints, rodent activity in the past or other issues that could affect your use and enjoyment while living in your new home that might not have been apparent from just viewing the property.

 

The Bottom Line

With the cost of entry being lower than a detached home and having the ability to lock up and leave knowing ongoing maintenance will be taken care of, as well as the security of having many owners pay into contingency funds to cover building expenditures with oversight from the Strata council, strata homes are an excellent option for many. However, buying into a strata that has been poorly managed or that has pending litigations could prove to be a very costly investment.

Its good practice to work with a licensed REALTOR who will help guide you through this process and help you understand the vital documents easier.

 

We are here to help with any of your strata related questions! Get started looking for your new home today!