This BC market has seen its first market slowdown in nearly two years…

However, the cooling trend might actually prove beneficial for would-be home buyers

This BC market has seen its first market slowdown in nearly two years…

Fraser Valley’s monthly sales activity has fallen below the 10-year average for the first time in nearly two years, according to the region’s housing industry association.

A total of 1,637 home sales transpired in Fraser Valley in April, representing a drop of 36.6% monthly and a decline of 45.7% annually.

“We would typically see a flurry of activity around this time of the year,” said Sandra Benz, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “However, that’s not been the case so far. While it’s still too early to say whether this trend will endure, the slowing of sales combined with an increase in active listings is helping to restore a semblance of balance to the market, which is encouraging for home buyers.”

The region saw 3,622 new listings in April, down by 20.9% from March and down by 27.8% from April 2021. Total active inventory stood at 5,387, which was 14.6% higher on a monthly basis.

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As for benchmark prices, single-family properties stood at $1.731 million (up by 33.8% year over year), while townhomes were at $902,500 (up by 38.3%). Apartments saw their benchmark grow by 35.6% annually to reach $649,500 in April.

Baldev Gill, CEO of the FVREB, said that the Bank of Canada’s rate hikes will play a major role in market dynamics over the foreseeable future.

“In fact, we’re already back to rate levels we haven’t seen since 2019. This will put an added burden on homebuyers, particularly on first-timers, who will have to meet more stringent stress test conditions,” Gill said.

“Ultimately, this will likely result in a decrease in demand, which may slow price growth. However, it will do little to resolve the underlying issue of low inventory.”