Saturday, May 03, 2008

Fraser Valley Real Estate - April 2008 Analysis

Warning: Obligatory toot-toot press release:

(Surrey, BC) – An increase in choice continues to be the real estate story in the Fraser Valley, with the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board receiving a record number of new listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in April.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board received 4,458 new listings last month compared to 2,922 new listings received during April of last year, an increase of 53 per cent. That swell of new inventory took the number of active listings to almost-record highs, reaching 11,111, an increase of 43 per cent compared to the 7,764 listings available during April 2007.

Even with the surge in listings, April sales remained strong at 1,787 total units sold, on par with the 1,781 sales sold in April of 2007. Kelvin Neufeld, the president of the Board says the last time Fraser Valley buyers had so much to choose from, was in the spring of 1994.

The price of a single-family house in the Fraser Valley averaged $547,590, representing a 4.7 per cent increase from April 2007. Townhomes went for an average $344,659 in April, an increase of 7.5 per cent compared to the same month last year when they averaged $320,702.
Average apartment prices in the Valley continued to rise in the double digits increasing by 10.3 per cent compared to last year. They averaged $213,901 in April 2007, compared to $235,840 last month.

Sheesh - look at all those listings. The real surprise this month was the strength of the sales numbers. With strong sales like last month the market is proving that a fool is easily parted with his money - a greater fool that is.

Median price gains are slowing down.

Year over year price gains in the house price index are slowing way down too. I am looking to August for negative year over year numbers.

The strong correlation between the Months of Inventory level and price changes is very strong. We had 6.2 months of inventory in April and because of exceptionally strong sales prices did not decrease.


Anonymous said...
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markoz said...

Inventory is great. Sales are depressing. It shows people still haven't "hit the wall" in terms of willingness or ability to buy. In a recent post Rob Chipman said, "Consumers have agreed to be satisfied with less space, sometimes with the balancing payout of better location or amenities, and sometimes simply without trade-off." He was referring to his own personal working area but I think the same can be said of the Fraser Valley in terms of "satisfied with less". When will it end?

BobbyBear said...

At the top many factors may come into play at once. This includes weak financing,rising inventory,economic downturn,little government stimuli possible, exhaustion,speculation and naivety, to name some.

Patiently Waiting said...


Click on the video with this CTV link for a little more insight into who is buying in the Fraser Valley right now.

boom boom boom

markoz said...

Thanks Patiently, they still sold all but 11 units in one day though. Most people are still oblivious. A co-worker, who is a long-time homeowner, mentioned to me the other day that she wished she could afford an apartment downtown as an investment. I told her about the 18,000 empty units and preponderance of 40 year mortgages amongst first time buyers and she said, "A 40 year mortgage isn't so bad, at least you own the place." Sigh.

casual observer said...

I recently read that homeowners in Abbotsford are "paying the largest chunk of their income in all of Canada for their mortgage payments." They are even paying a larger percentage than homeowners in Vancouver. This doesn not seem sustainable.

BobbyBear said...

As The Federal Reserve cuts interest rates perhaps they will eventually go lower than in 2003.

During the Great Depression and until after WW2 their rates were around zero for all those years.

Of course it cannot happen here. So then why is the BOC aggressively lowering interest rates? Musy be very worried about something.

Patiently Waiting said...

Most are still oblivious, but I'm seeing people wake up, one at a time. I've heard bearish comments coming from people who've been bulls for years.

OTOH I still know young people who are looking, but they've been looking for a while and not buying. Future knife-catchers, perhaps.

jesse said...

WRT Quattro, AFAIK there is no requirement to secure financing of a presale until it comes time to take occupancy -- they are still viewed as free money. Also I know a few people running into some longer-than-expected sagas securing financing either because they really can't afford the place or the lenders are asking too many questions. 40 years is a long time.

macho slob said...

The only way to gauge the mood swing from bulls to bears is the direction of inventory, and we're witnessing the biggest inventory spike in years.

The oblivious have no interest in RE, economics, or investing. They are neither potential buyers nor sellers, and although they will eventually help to spread the rumors, they have no direct influence on the market.

All bubbles have to come to an end, and this one would have been exhausted even without any help from the recession or the disaster in the US. The party is clearly over.

patriotz said...

As The Federal Reserve cuts interest rates perhaps they will eventually go lower than in 2003.

Maybe, but remember these are not the open market rates for mortgages, etc. Those rates are determined by the credit markets, i.e. the bond markets and banks. As we are seeing right now. Open market rates have not been following the Fed's rates down.

If the Chinese et al get fed up with Bernake's Incredible Shrinking Dollar act, they are going to be demanding much higher rates to buy Uncle Sam's IOU's.

And if the BoC is seen to be pursuing a policy of devaluation (i.e. inflation) we will see higher rates too.

the pope said...

Hey Mohican, thanks for sharing the stats - I've just posted an update on the April market directing people here for more info on the FVREB stats (and to Pauls for the REBGV stats).

I posted one of your charts, let me know if you have an issue with that and I'll remove it. On a related note you may want to post your URL on the graphs so you get 'automatic attribution' when they are reposted online. As the market grows more dramatic you'll likely be seeing a growing interest in these stats.

Thanks again for all the work you put into your blog!

Montery said...

Mohican, if you do update your graphs, could you also put axis labels on as well? It's sometimes hard to tell if a line is referring to a left axis or a right axis.

Just a little bit of additional user-friendliness is all, thanks :)

patriotz said...

I recently read that homeowners in Abbotsford are "paying the largest chunk of their income in all of Canada for their mortgage payments."

Ugh. As I have pointed out before, this is a hypothetical number based on the median household buying the median house at today's price. The median existing homeowner in Abby did not pay today's price for their house by a long shot, nor is the median household buying the median house today as a first purchase.