Despite pandemic, home prices are up, market stable: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

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      A pandemic is raging, people have lost jobs, businesses are not operating as usual, but the housing market is holding up quite well.

      That’s the picture emerging from the latest report of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

      Prices of single family homes, townhouses, and apartment units increased in April 2020.

      Because sales and listings contracted in tandem, the market is stable, according to a FVREB media release Monday (May 4).

      “Given that the volume of new listings coming on stream fell even faster than sales in April, the market remains stable,” board president Chris Shields said in the release.

      This development seems to affirm a point made in a recent housing forecast update by TD Economics.

      According to TD economist Rishi Sondhi, a housing market rebound depends a lot on homeowners avoiding distressed selling during the pandemic.

      “Absolutely key to our forecasts is the assumption that listings mirror sales by dropping substantially in the near-term and recovering gradually thereafter,” Sondhi wrote.

      What this does is it “puts a floor on prices and sustains relatively tight-supply demand balances across most markets, allowing for the resumption of positive price growth as provincial economies are re-opened”, Sondhi explained.

      Based on figures by the Canadian Real Estate Association, sales in March across the country dropped 14.3 percent compared to February.

      Meanwhile, listings of homes for sale decreased 12.5 percent in March from February figures.

      The FVREB covers North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission.

      In April 2020, the benchmark price of a single family home in areas covered by the Fraser Valley board stood at $993,400, up 0.5 per cent compared to March, and three percent higher than 2019.

      Townhomes had a $553,200 bencmark price, a 0.7 percent increase over March, and 1.4 percent more than April 2019.

      Apartment units were at $424,100, representing a 0.2 percent compared to March, and 0.8 percent increase compared to April 2019.

      According to the FVREB, home listings in April 2020 fell 58 percent compared to the same month in 2019.

      Meanwhile, sales dropped 50 percent compared to April 2019.