With Vancouver’s hot real estate showing no signs of slowing down, the Fraser Valley is also heating up.
House prices there have climbed at a much faster rate in recent months according to the latest Royal LePage House Survey.
Real estate experts say the pace of house price gains in the Fraser Valley now nearly rivals that of Vancouver.
For example, the benchmark price of a detached home in the valley is now up 26 per cent from a year ago, which is around $740,000.
The rest of Metro Vancouver is up 27 per cent.
“This market is uncharted territory for Fraser Valley real estate,” said Charles Wiebe, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.” It’s typical for spring to see a jump in activity; however, March came and went at a break-neck, record-setting pace. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
In North Vancouver, bungalows saw the highest jump in median price, climbing 24 per cent to $1.3 million due to the shortage in supply.
Richmond saw the highest increase, jumping 26 per cent to almost one million dollars. During the first quarter, all three major housing types surveyed saw double-digit price growth, with bungalows and two-storey properties appreciating by 31 and 29 per cent year-over-year, respectively.
The lack of supply in Burnaby also forced home prices to rise to about $866,000. The lack of land available for new buildings has also placed a significant strain on inventory.
Coquitlam saw home prices rise about 18 per cent. Like many other regions in Greater Vancouver, sales activity is nearing an all-time high, as many buyers vie for the limited real estate available within the region. This has caused residences like bungalows and two-storey homes to become a hot commodity.
In Surrey, the average price of a home rose 15 per cent year-over-year to $677,000.
Langley also saw strong growth with its aggregate price jumping about 13 per cent.
“This is a trend that we’ve almost expected,” said financial analyst Robert Levy. “It’s one that you think would make sense, it’s just the pace at which houses have climbed in the Fraser Valley, especially over a period where typically you have that winter slowdown.”
“But the numbers for March [are] absolutely blowing the roof off and [the month’s] gains are almost unprecedented. You wouldn’t expect they would be this drastic.”
Levy said the dangers are, if you go up too fast, you are much more susceptible to the downside. “In the month of March it was only 17 days a house was on the market. That’s almost unusual liquidity for that kind of asset.”
Levy added that Asian money coming in to the Vancouver market is just one aspect of this story. “We are Canada’s strongest provincial economy in British Columbia, we still have record-low interest rates, you still have what’s going on in Alberta and people out of work there and maybe they come to British Columbia for opportunities, so there’s a number of factors prompting demand in this market.”