In April, the FVREB reported 3,622 new listings, down 27.8 per cent compared to the same month in 2021. Photo: PiLensPhoto / Adobe Stock

For the first time in two years, home sales in the Fraser Valley dropped from March and fell below the region’s decade-long average, an indication that the market is rebalancing as more active listings come online.

According to the latest information from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), property sales fell 36.6 per cent between March and April as 1,637 homes traded hands over the region’s MLS system. On a yearly basis, the number of sales processed dropped 45.7 per cent compared to April 2021.

Although this marks the sixth-highest April on record for the past ten years, it’s also the first time monthly sales in the region have fallen below the ten-year average since June 2020.

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“We would typically see a flurry of activity around this time of the year. However that’s not been the case so far,” said FVREB’s president, Sandra Benz, in the monthly market report. “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 homebuyers.”

In April, the FVREB reported 3,622 new listings, down 27.8 per cent compared to the same month in 2021. The number of listings also decreased 20.9 per cent compared to the previous month when 4,580 new listings came online. The month-end active inventory in April was 5,387 properties, a 14.6 per cent increase compared to March.

Last month, townhome properties in the Fraser Valley increased the most in price, rising 1.8 per cent monthly and 38.3 per cent annually to a benchmark of $902,500. Apartment homes reported similar levels of price growth, increasing one per cent month-over-month and 35.6 per cent yearly to a benchmark of $649,500. In April, the cost of a single-family detached home hit $1,731,000, up 0.2 per cent compared to March and 33.8 per cent higher than the previous year.

Across the Fraser Valley, it took an average of 16 days to sell a single-family detached home, slightly longer than townhome and apartment listings, which both needed 13 days to find a buyer.

Baldev Gill, FVREB’s CEO, commented in the April housing report that the government has been quick to implement interest rate hikes in order to tame record-high inflation. Already, we’re back to rate levels that haven’t been seen since 2019, but this may put a strain on some homebuyers but could dampen market demand.

“This will put an added burden on homebuyers, particularly on first-timers, who will have to meet more stringent stress test conditions,” said Gill. “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.”

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