Although the September housing market showed improvement over last years historical lows; sales went from the worst in 10 years to just below the 10-year average.
The slow but steady decline in sales activity (spring uptick aside) may have something to do with last year’s tightening of mortgage rules introduced by the federal government. Although we are seeing evidence of first-time home buyers returning to the market, the reality is financing for first timers is more challenging than ever.
Septembers slight improvement in sales compared to Sept 2012 has not translated to an increase in home prices because inventory levels have either kept pace or depending on the property type and community are elevated. For example there is 12 months of condo inventory right now in White Rock/South Surrey, 5 months of inventory for single family homes in North Delta and only 3 and a half months of townhouse inventory in Langley.
In September, the benchmark price of single family detached home in the Fraser Valley was $552,900, a 0.6 per cent increase compared to $549,500 during the same month last year. For townhouses, the benchmark price was $296,200, a decrease of 1.4 per cent compared to $300,500 in September 2012 and the benchmark price of apartments was $203,100, 1.9 per cent less than in September 2012 when it was $207,000.
It is likely recovery to balanced market conditions will be gradual and highly area / property type specific.
Enjoy the Sunshine!