The Fraser Valley is posting the highest home sales and price increases in urban British Columbia this year, but Valley real estate agents warn that a shortage of listings threatens the market.
For the first eight months of 2021, home sales through the multiple listing service in the Fraser Valley increased 83.7%, reports the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), while the average composite home price increased 25.7% from the same period in 2020.
Total sales as of August in the Valley had reached 19,311 homes, BCREA said, while the average composite home price increased to $991,151.
This compares with Greater Vancouver, which has tallied a 79.3% home sales increase compared with the first eight months of 2020, to 31,910 transactions. Greater Vancouver average home prices are now up 12.6% from last year, to a composite price of $1.04 million, according to BCREA data.
But both the BCREA and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) say a severe shortage of listings is hampering sales and driving prices higher.
“Home sales around the province have essentially returned to normal after a record- setting spring,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “However, we continue to see a drought in the total supply of listings as well as downward trend in new listings activity.”
Active listings of homes for sale in the Fraser Valley plunged 46.8% as of August, compared with the same period last year. As of last month there were just 3,386 listings for all types of homes, compared to more than 6,100 in August 2020.
“Homebuyers are facing one of the worst supply shortages in Fraser Valley history,” said Larry Anderson, president of the FVREB. “Our housing stock is at levels last seen in the early ’80s.”
Anderson said the townhouse sector is particularly undersupplied.
“For every 100 townhouses on the market in August, Fraser Valley realtors sold 94,” he said.
The shortage has led to spiralling prices for Fraser Valley townhouses, which were up 23.7% in August, year-over-year, to $697,000, Anderson added.
Across B.C., a total of 9,507 residential unit sales were recorded in August 2021, a decrease of 7.1% over August 2020. The average residential price in was $901,712, a 17.2% increase from the previous August.
B.C.’s total sales dollar volume in August was $8.6 billion, up 8.9% compared with August 2020, the BCREA reported. •