(Surrey, BC) – The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reports a strong start to its 2007 Multiple Listing Service® sales and listings selection (no doubt it was a strong month for sales and listings proving once again that rational financial behaviour is uncommon and that there is a greater fool born every minute).
The total number of sales processed in January was 1,001, a decrease of 14 per cent compared to the same month last year when 1,165 sales were processed, however an 18.8 per cent increase compared to the 842 sales processed in January 2005 (Jan '05 was the last time there was anything closely resembling a slump in sales. Jan 2007 was not impressive but not depressing for the real estate crowd and it will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months).
New listings in January increased by 14 per cent compared to 2006 (not a rush to the exits but a solid increase of people wanting to cash out). As well, the Fraser Valley Multiple Listing Service® saw an increase in the number of expensive properties listed. “High-end buyers (who are out of their minds to expect what they are asking) will see that over 75 single family homes listed at one million or more entered the Fraser Valley market in January,” says David Rishel, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “There is also a range of choices for average home buyers, with almost 600 homes valued between $250,000 and $500,000 listed last month.” (if you don't mind living in a sketchy 50+ year old house in downtown Abbotsford you can buy something for $250,000)
The Board received 2,425 new listings in January compared to 2,127 during the same period last year, bringing the total active inventory in the Fraser Valley to 6,099, an increase of 29 per cent over last year (a substaintial YOY rise in inventory). The average price of a single-family detached house in the Fraser Valley in January was $494,177 (that price is disgusting requiring a 'lowly' family income of nearly $110,000 to conventionally finance and purchase that home), an increase of just over 11 per cent compared to the same month last year. In January 2006, the average price was $444,771 (when it was still a disgusting price but it 'only' took a minimum family income of $98,000 to conventionally finance and purchase the same home). Townhouses sold for an average of $302,591 in January, an increase of 16.2 per cent from 2006 when they sold for an average of $260,445. The average apartment price went up 18 per cent in one year, from January 2006’s average of $169,473, to $199,995 in 2007. (I wonder where people got the extra money last year to bid up prices so much. Oh ya, that's right there were loose lending standards and people willing to amortize over 35 and 40 years. So they didn't earn the money, they just borrowed it).
It seems that the FVREB is proud to say that real estate prices increased so much in the last 12 months that over 100,000 more families in the Fraser Valley can now not afford to purchase their own basic housing at current prices. Good thing most people bought a while ago.