Even though the weather isn’t co-operating, we’re starting to see a “pre-spring” surge in home sales and new listings coming on the market. It’s not unusual to see the market pick up in February; however, the market throughout the Fraser Valley hasn’t had the quick and major uptick seen in February 2011.
Board President, Scott Olson, says, “Although our market has picked up, it’s still favouring buyers. In terms of our clients, we’re seeing more caution and deliberation when house hunting. This could mean using a home inspection as part of negotiations, or asking for extras to be thrown in, or the client walking away if terms are not met. The other side is that selection at certain price points is limited depending on location, so if the buyer finds the right home, they act, which is keeping prices stable.”
The MLS Housing Price Index benchmark price of a “typical” detached home in South Surrey White Rock in February 2012 was $909,100 which is up 17.2% over last year but just 0.6% over the month. While prices are up from 2011, the actual number of sales has decreased by about one-third. The benchmark price for townhomes in this area increased by 4.6% in one year but is down 2.7% from one month ago. The number of townhomes that have sold has increased dramatically, by about 84%. The South Surrey White Rock apartment benchmark price has stayed pretty static over the last year (just up 0.5%) as has the number of sales but the benchmark price has increased 3.1% since January, 2012.
The Crescent Beach Ocean Park area has continued to be popular with buyers for a variety of reasons including proximity to the border and the freeway to Vancouver along with excellent schools, terrific amenities, sense of community and the natural beauty, peace and quiet that goes with our parks and beach areas. In this specific neighborhood, benchmark prices are up 14% since February, 2011 for detached homes and 5.67% for townhomes.
As weather conditions improve, the end of the school year approaches and more families consider the moving that goes along with work transfers, we will likely see the number of active buyers increase. Interest rates continue to hover at record lows encouraging people to get into the market while they can. Stabilizing prices make for better affordability for those people new to home ownership and those who are moving here from other areas where prices aren’t traditionally as high.
Whether you’re thinking of selling or buying, be sure to discuss the specifics of your real estate needs with a qualified professional to make sure your move is the best move.