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April's Real Estate Sales Statistics

For Immediate Release: Apr. 3, 2012

Fraser Valley house hunters looking for good buys; keeping prices resilient


SURREY, BC – The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) processed 1,412 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®)

in March, a decrease of 22 per cent compared to March of last year, however only 13 per cent less than the 10‐year
average of 1,626 sales for same month.

Scott Olson, president of FVREB, says, “It was quieter than usual for March, but still steady with an increase in demand for more affordable properties, in particular detached homes for less than $500,000 and townhomes.


“Compared to last March, every community in Fraser Valley experienced a decrease in the sales of single family
detached homes especially those priced at the higher‐end; however Abbotsford, Langley and North Surrey all saw
increases in the sale of townhomes.”

Olson adds, “Last year, single family homes represented 63 per cent of our residential market. This March, it dropped to 56 per cent, so we’re seeing demand for more affordable options. This is in contrast to last year when we saw elevated sales of higher‐end homes in areas such as North Delta, South Surrey and White Rock.”


In March 2012 in Fraser Valley, the sale of detached homes with a value greater than half a million dollars decreased by 33 per cent compared to last year, explaining why average prices, which can be skewed by the dollar volume of high or low end sales*, are showing decreases year‐over‐year, while benchmark prices – homes with typical characteristics for the neighbourhood – are showing increases compared to 2011.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home in March was $572,700, an increase of 6.8 per cent compared to $536,200 last year. The benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses increased by 1.5 per cent in one year, going from $310,300 in March 2011 to $315,000 in March 2012, while the benchmark price of apartments also increased by 1.5 per cent going from $210,600 in March of last year to $204,700 in March 2012.


The number of Fraser Valley properties on the market in March finished at 9,643, an increase of 5 per cent compared to the same month last year although the number of new listings received – 3,066 – represents a 9 per cent decrease compared to March 2011.


The average number of days to sell a detached home was 46 in March 2012, one day faster than last year. It took 49 days on average to sell a townhouse and under two months or 58 days to sell an apartment.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,903 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. The FVREB marked its 90‐year anniversary in 2011.


To view the most recent statistics report with graphs, click here.


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What is a pre-sale?

Example scenario: When the developer intends to build an apartment building and applies for financing, the bank will grant financing under certain conditions. One of them will likely be a certain percentage of pre-sales the developer will need to secure before receiving the funds.
It is common practice for a developer to approach several real estate investors and offer them an opportunity to purchase units of the non-existent building at a discounted price, and on good terms.

Once the number of pre-sales is accomplished, the developer goes ahead with the construction, which will likely take two years or longer to complete. During construction, their marketing team offers the remainder of the units for sale at market value to the public.

If you are a RE investor, you know that it is preferable to be buying at the pre-sale prices, not market value prices.

The question is, how do you get the invitation to buy a pre-sale?
In the past many years, investors have made substantial income by buying at wholesale prices and selling at retail prices even before they needed to complete their purchase. I saw many of them lining up and sometimes even camping overnight in front of the sales center to get a chance to buy at lower prices, but not everyone was lucky enough. You needed to be well-connected to get an opportunity, and you had to act fast.

Today is a bit of a different story. Several projects in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley offer really good prices and incentives to secure a unit now and complete the purchase two or three years later. The list of incentives varies from one project to the next. Besides attractive prices, you can get low deposit amounts (5-15%), low or no assignment fees, free updates, a mortgage rate buy-down program, extra parking and more.

A month ago, I helped a few of my clients purchase a presale in Surrey that sold out in 2 days, and I know of another good developer that will be offering a few units for sale as well.

If you would like to know more about these opportunities, I would encourage you to call or email me, and I’ll be happy to send you details on those projects.
Kind regards,
Tibor Bogdan
Century 21 Creekside Realty Ltd.
45428 Luckakuck Way #190, Chilliwack, BC V2R 3S9
cell: 604-855-2521
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