Homeowners in Langley and neighbouring communities were likely surprised when they saw their recently delivered property assessments.
That’s because when it comes to single family detached homes, the Langleys combined are once again part of the million dollar club according to statistics released Jan. 3 by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB).
FVREB stats show the benchmark price for detached homes in Langley topping the million-dollar mark, at $1,002,200 (benchmark represents a typical property within each market).
This, despite a minuscule 0.5 per cent dip in price from November 2017.
But looking at the bigger picture, detached homes in Langley have risen 80.8 per cent in benchmark price over the past five years.
Also part of the single family homes’ million-dollar club are South Surrey/White Rock ($1,472,300), Surrey ($1,014,600), and Cloverdale ($1,004,900).
North Surrey ($950,900), North Delta ($921,800) are on the cusp of a million dollars with Abbotsford ($792,300) and Mission ($640,000) rounding out the communities under the FVREB umbrella, according to December statistics from the board.
Langley townhouses and condos have also become pricier over the calendar year.
According to BC Assessment, strata condos in Langley City have gone up as much as 36 per cent in the last year, with a typical condo skyrocketing from $242,000 in 2017 to $329,000 in 2018.
In Langley Township, strata condos have increased around 33 per cent, and strata townhouses around 13 per cent, with a typical townhome surpassing the half-million mark at $553,000 in 2018, compared to $490,000 in 2017.
However, the lofty price tag of detached homes in Langley and the rest of Metro Vancouver has shifted the focus and expectations of local homebuyers, remarked Gopal Sahota, FVREB president and local realtor.
“There’s lifestyle shifts going on right now,” Sahota said. “We have millennials (looking to buy) and baby boomers looking to downsize, so there’s a different product market out there whether it’s townhomes or condos that are very affordable.”
Sahota said attached homes are becoming a “go-to for lots of people.”
“The last little while, we’re seeing record numbers in (the sales of) attached homes… condos and townhomes,” Sahota said.
The most expensive place to buy a townhouse in December among communities listed by the FVREB was South Surrey/White Rock, with a benchmark price of $647,300, followed by Cloverdale, at $572,600.
North of the Fraser River, the benchmark price of a detached home in the Vancouver West (which includes — among other neighbourhoods — Point Grey, Shaughnessey and Kitsilano) and West Vancouver regions is unreachable for most, at $3,556,100 and $3,093,200, respectively.
Even with a 78.9 per cent price jump for a single family detached home since 2013, Maple Ridge is still somewhat within reach, relatively speaking.
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) statistics show that it costs, on average, $827,000 to buy a detached home in Maple Ridge in December, with neighbouring Pitt Meadows slightly more expensive at $894,300.
Near Record-Setting Year
The rising cost of real estate hasn’t cooled the market, however.
The Fraser Valley housing market had its second highest selling year on record in 2017, with total MLS transactions and dollar volume sold behind only 2016’s unprecedented level of activity.
The FVREB’s Multiple Listing Service processed 22,338 sales in 2017, 7.3 per cent less than the record of 23,974 sales set in 2016. The total dollar volume of MLS sales was $15.7 billion, coming out slightly beneath 2016’s record setting total dollar volume of $16.2 billion.
Of the total transactions for the year, 5,198 were townhouses sold and 6,183 were apartments, together representing over half of overall market activity for the region. This was also the highest total annual sales for apartments in the board’s history.
“Much of the market’s momentum through 2017 came from the incredible shift in demand to attached-style homes, particularly in our larger communities,” Sahota said.
More people are moving into the Fraser Valley, not just because the real estate market is still within their grasp, but because, Sahota noted, “the Valley is a great place to live.”
“There’s some phenomenal communities out here with all the amenities for young families that want to raise their kids,” he said.
Sahota said predicting which direction the market will go in the next few years is “out of my God-given realm.”
“There’s no way to tell,” he said. “Supply and demand usually dictates the prices.”
Multi-million Dollar Properties
BC Assessment’s list of the Fraser Valley’s top valued residential properties were released recently, and two Langley properties made the top 10.
Listed as No. 2 was a property at 19683 0 Ave., at $17,218,000, and coming in at No. 6 was a property at 7661 197 St., at $12,392,000.
The highest valued residential property in the Valley is at 17146 20 Ave., in Surrey, at $30,026,000.