The August statistics are out from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and it was another uncharacteristically strong summer month with an increase in sales while most other key metrics continued to track to 10 year averages. August historically experiences softening in key metrics as the industry takes a breather for summer vacation and while we saw some softening, it was milder than many Augusts, especially in the townhome segment.
August sales declined from last month but are up significantly over last year. Condo sales rose by 4%, townhomes by 9% and detached home climbed a surprising 18% year-over-year. Total sales across the Fraser Valley ended at 1,163, 97% of the 10 year average. Active listings are a similar story—down compared to July but up over last year. Total active listings ended the month at approximately 107% of the 10 year average.
We continue to see relative stability in HPI Benchmark prices across all major residential home types. From last month, the Benchmark price of a condo and detached home decreased 0.1% and 0.3% respectively, with townhomes posting a 0.1% increase.
Historically, sale price as a percent of original list price declines in the summer and that was the case for condos and detached homes this August, but the townhome segment experienced an atypical increase. Average days on market felt the summer lull as well with mild increases for all home types. Despite this, all major home types remained below the 10 year average for August.
What does this mean for development land in the Fraser Valley?
From a macro perspective, buyers of development land in the Fraser Valley are expressing increased confidence in the market and a growing appetite for their “next site.” This persistent market strength through a historically weak season is bound to stoke that fire and make for an active fall. We’re already seeing evidence of this as repriced land is transacting again even during the summer lull.
The strength in the August stats for the townhouse segment is likely to intensify the flock towards townhouse development that has been growing over the past 6 months. The attraction comes from:
- the idea that townhomes will always be a staple housing form in the Fraser Valley
- the perception that the construction of townhouses is less risky than condos due to the ability to phase the build-out
- the assumption that townhouses often have stronger absorption than detached homes due to more affordable price points
This trend is making for robust demand for townhouse development land and minimal relief on land prices for buyers.
Check out our curated summary of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s August stats in infographics below.
View the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s entire stats package for August 2019 here.
This representation is based in whole or in part on data generated by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy.