Cedar Valley Realtor

Market News

Fraser Valley’s real estate market in 2008 will be remembered as the year buyers and sellers took a breather reflecting quieter sales, an average number of new listings and prices overall remaining flat. The president of Fraser Valley’s Real Estate Board, Scott Olson, says, “The last half of 2008 was like a Mexican stand-off. Buyers kept hoping for greater price drops while sellers who didn’t have to sell just took their home off the market rather than lower their price. “With the economy so stable, we’re not in a situation where people have to sell their home, so they’re not. It’s a very different market than in 2008 when listings were at an all-time high and sales were at historical lows.” The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® processed 13,878 sales in 2008 compared to 15,529 the previous year, a decrease of 11 per cent, while the number of new listings remained about the same – 31,009 in 2008 compared to 31,592 in 2007. Over the year, the number of active listings for buyers to choose from dropped by 3 per cent going from 7,399 properties in December 2007 to 7,187 in December 2008. Although 2008 ranks the second slowest year for sales in Fraser Valley since 2003, the volume of new listings finished in the middle of the pack. Scott Olson, says, “Inventory levels are down, which is a sign of a healthy market where insufficient demand leads to reduced supply. This is also keeping prices in most areas either flat or down only slightly.” In December, the benchmark price of a detached home in the Fraser Valley was $539,000, an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to $532,700 in December 2007 and a decrease of 1.0 per cent compared to November. For townhouses, the benchmark price in December was $296,400, a decrease of 2.2 per cent compared to the same month last year when it was $303,000 and down 0.8 per cent compared to November. The benchmark price of apartments in December was $200,100, an increase of 1.6 per cent compared to December 2007 when it was $196,900 and a decrease of 1.3 per cent compared to November. Average prices year over year show detached homes down 3 per cent – $576,709 in 2008 compared to $594,402 in 2007. The average price of townhomes increased by 3.7 per cent, going from $316,259 in 2007 to $327,935 in 2008 and the average price of apartments decreased by 0.2 per cent going from $218,235 in 2007 to $217,843 in 2008.

"Mission: Possible," the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's annual Conference & Trade Show, is only weeks away! The Conference will take place at the Coast Hotel & Convention Centre, 20393 Fraser Highway in Langley on January 30, 31, and February 1, 2009. Formerly known as "Education Week," this event is open to Canadian REALTORS® and Managing Brokers. Registration is only $99 +HST on or before December 31, 2012, or $109 +HST after December 31, 2012. For accomodations at the Coast Hotel (not included in conference fee), please contact the hotel directly at 1.800.716.6199, ask for in-house reservations, and quote "GF915" for a discounted room rate of $112 + HST.

From the Ladner seniors who fundraised to buy socks to students in Richmond and Langley, the 18th annual REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive collected blankets and warm clothing to help over 19,000 working poor and homeless people across the Lower Mainland. Hundreds of real estate offices acted as drop-off locations during the November 26 - December 3 event. REALTORS® picked up, sorted and delivered thousands of donations to over three-dozen charities from Whistler to Hope. The Squamish Helping Hands Society organizes a variety of shelter and food programs to assist those in need and is a recipient charity of the Blanket Drive. “The blanket and clothing donations we get not only help our clients, the act of giving itself recognizes a much deeper understanding of the human need there is in our communities and how important it is for us to take care of each other,” said Maureen Mackell, executive director. That sentiment was echoed by Andy Kwak, executive director of The Salvation Army Centre of Hope in Abbotsford. “Our mission is to bring warmth, nutrition and shelter to those who need it, so you can imagine how helpful hundreds of bags of clothing and blankets are to the people we serve. We really appreciate the effort that REALTORS® put into this drive and their support throughout the entire year." Since 1994, the Blanket Drive has grown to become the largest collection of its kind in the Lower Mainland assisting over 205,000 people over those years. Donations come from REALTORS®, their clients, the general public, corporations, retailers, community groups and schools. Everyone works together to make the drive a success.