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Fraser Valley Housing Inventory builds as summer slowdown hits

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Blog by Liz Penner | August 2nd, 2018

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Fraser Valley Housing Inventory builds as summer slowdown hits

SURREY, BC – Overall housing supply continued to grow in July as sales dropped to their lowest point this year since January.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,290 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July, a decrease of 33.4 per cent compared to the 1,937 sales in July of last year, and a 11.2 per cent decrease compared to the 1,452 sales in June 2018.

Of the 1,290 sales processed last month 346 were townhouses and 337 were apartments, together representing 53 per cent of all transactions in July.

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley in July finished at 7,399 listings, increasing 3.6 per cent month-over-month and 23.9 per cent year-over-year.

“Despite a much healthier level of inventory, demand continues to be influenced by pricing and market barriers such as the mortgage stress test and rising interest rates,” remarked Board President John Barbisan. “On top of that, summer is busy for people and usually a slow season for real estate.”

2,921 new listings were received by the Board in July, a 7 per cent decrease from June 2018’s 3,140 new listings, and a 11.5 per cent decrease compared to July 2017’s intake.

“A slower market like this one is an excellent opportunity for buyers to explore their options and enjoy a more relaxed purchasing environment,” continued Barbisan. “If you’re looking, talk to your REALTOR® who can help you get a full view on everything available that fits your needs.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell an apartment in July was 21, and 24 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 31 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity 

• Single Family Detached: At $1,017,400, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.1 per cent compared to June 2018 and increased 5.3 per cent compared to July 2017.

• Townhomes: At $557,500, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.1 per cent compared to June 2018 and increased 14.7 per cent compared to July 2017.

• Apartments: At $450,400, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.7 per cent compared to June 2018 and increased 32 per cent compared to July 2017.


Vancouver home sales reach 17-year low in April

VANCOUVER - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says market conditions in the city are changing as sales in April fell to a 17-year low for the month.

The board says 2,579 detached properties, townhouses and condominiums sold last month in Metro Vancouver, down 27.4 per cent from April 2017 and 22.5 per cent below the 10-year average for the month.

About 18.6 per cent more properties were newly listed last month than in April last year, giving buyers more selection.

Still, prices moved up with the composite benchmark price for all properties at $1,092,000 -- up 14.3 per cent from the same month last year and 0.7 per cent from March 2018.

Detached houses saw the smallest price gains, with the benchmark price at $1,605,800 -- up 5.1 per cent from April 2017 and down 0.2 per cent from March 2018.

The benchmark price for an apartment rose 23.7 per cent from the same time last year to $701,000, while the townhouse benchmark rose 17.7 per cent to $854,200.

Originally published on BNN Bloomberg on May 2, 2018.

Langley City prepares for rapid transit arrival
Langley City Rapid Transit

New “Nexus” strategy aims to make the city a “key destination” and “desired place to live”

  • When the first rapid transit train to connect Langley City to Surrey and the rest of the Lower Mainland arrives, about a decade from now, it will be a different Langley City in many respects, one that has made changes to best take advantage of the unique opportunity the new service represents.

That is the goal of the new vision strategy, “Langley City: Nexus of Community”, which has been unanimously adopted by council.

The word Nexus was chosen to describe Langley City, as “a portal between two worlds,” Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver.

The goal of the strategy is to make the city a “key destination” on the new rail transit line and “a desired place to live for people of all ages and family units.”

A long list of changes to achieve that goal are outlined in two documents, Langley City: Nexus of Community and Langley City Vision: Recommendations and Implementation Report. 

The product of extensive research and workshops, the vision strategy aims to avoid the mistake other municipalities have made by failing to get ready for rapid transit’s arrival.

The Nexus documents notes communities that fail to plan ahead for rapid transit haven’t done so well.

One section points to the history of early SkyTrain development in Vancouver and New Westminster.

The Cambie Corridor planning is described as “reactionary rather than proactive as it took place well after the construction of the Canada Line.”

Redevelopment along the Expo Line has been “highly variable … over 30 years, zero redevelopments has taken place within walking distance of the 22nd Street Station while massive redevelopment has taken place around the New Westminster Station in the same city.”

The wide-ranging Nexus strategy aims to avoid that fate with a “made in Langley” approach with updated regulations governing housing to encourage a bigger range of residential types in advance of rapid transit, and pre-planned projects to complement the arrival of the train.

Some of the specific proposals include making the train station planned for 203 Street more than a transportation station, with mixed-use development that forms a community hub.

It also calls for a performing arts centre described as “a cultural/entertainment facility, including a range of performance spaces”, a variety of special events, “held frequently and throughout the year,” restaurants with “unique and diverse menus,” “niche/destination retail shops like butchers, cheese shops “and other shops for products you just don’t buy online, and an improved nightlife.

READ MORE: Metro Van mayors move forward with transportation plan with hopes of curing congestion 

“Rapid transit is coming to Langley City in the next decade and we want to be ready.” said Mayor Ted Schaffer.

“We want to drive that change.”

The strategy is the product of past consultations, demographic and development research and two workshops with participants, including Mayor and Council and experts and leaders in areas like city planning, place-making, sustainability, architecture, politics, recreation and wellness, education, technology and lifestyle.

“We can become a magnet that attracts people based on our cornerstones of community, connection, experiences and integration” Schaffer said.

The City strategy has been developed in response to a commitment from three levels of government to fund a new rapid transit extension to the City—a new B-Line express bus service in 2019 and fixed rail by 2028.

“We have a unique opportunity to capitalize on the new fixed rail rapid transit line that is coming to Langley City,” said City Chief Administrative Officer Francis Cheung.

The Nexus documents describe a future Langley City with a variety of new mixed-use developments that offer a diversity of housing, community services and business opportunities for residents.

It says visitors to the future Langley City will see “wine bars, craft breweries, coffee shops, specialty bakeries, food from around the world—as you walk through town you will see buskers in the centre square, children playing and dancing to the music, seniors playing cards in the shade.

Over at the arts centre you can catch a show and during intermission, you admire the graduate art display in the lobby from the local university.

Downtown will be vibrant and bustling with shoppers and revelers, day and night; and entertainment will reflect our people and nature.”

While the documents acknowledge the city has issues – small size, aging housing stock, householder incomes that lag behind other South Fraser municipalities, it says the municipality ’s “current assets are well positioned to be in greater demand a decade from now.”

“The City has ‘good bones’. It is a compact municipality with an efficient infrastructure network, a distinct and walkable downtown, significant commercial and industrial sectors and a residential sector with substantial single family and multi-family development.”

Published by Dan Ferguson with the Langley Times. 

Full article link:https://www.langleytimes.com/news/langley-city-prepares-for-rapid-transit-arrival/

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