Home sales in the Fraser Valley remained steady in April despite inventory shortfalls, according to the latest statistics published by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) on Tuesday.

The Fraser Valley registered 1,554 home sales in April, on par with the 1,550 registered in March, although a slight 5.1% decreased when compared to April 2022.

This is a negligible month-over-month improvement, but a bit more impressive considering the number of new listings fell 3.2%, from 2,559 in March to 2,478 in April, which is also 31.6% lower when compared to April 2022.

With those new listings, the total amount of active inventory now sits at 4,632.

"Buyers are continuing to find opportunities in the Fraser Valley, even in the face of lower inventories," said FVREB Chair Narinder Bains.

FVREB says that buyers are taking advantage of the continued pause in interest rate increases, which the Bank of Canada held at 4.5% in April.

The Market Lean

It's one thing to know that sales are steady, and another to know whether the market is favouring buyers or sellers, but the aforementioned statistics allow us to calculate the sales-to-new-listings ratio and the sales-to-active-listings ratio, two quantitative indicators of which direction the market is currently leaning towards.

For the sales-to-new-listings ratio, a ratio of 40% or lower is considered a buyers' market, a ratio 55% or higher is viewed as favouring sellers, and anything in between is a sign of healthy market balance.

With 1,554 home sales and 2,478 new listings registered in April, the sales-to-new-listings ratio is now 62.7%, after sitting at 60.6% after March. Those higher numbers indicate that sellers may be able to find an advantage on the market, and even more so now.

For the sales-to-active-listings ratio, 12% or lower is viewed as a buyers' market, 20% or over is viewed as a sellers' market, and anything in between is viewed as market balance.

With 1,554 sales and an active inventory of 4,632, the sales-to-active listings ratio is now 33.5%. This is a small decrease from the 34.2% seen last month, although still deep in sellers' market territory.

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Strong Prices Expected to Raise Inventory

"Our members are starting to see a rise in multiple offers on properties as the spring market kicks in," said FVREB CEO Baldev Gill. "With the heightened activity, many homeowners are asking: is now the right time to buy or sell?"

According to FVREB, the average number of days for a property to be sold in April was 25 for single-detached homes, 23 for townhouses, and 26 for condominiums.

Following April, the composite residential benchmark price is now up to $992,000, a 2.8% month-over-month increase.

By residential property type, the benchmark price is now $1,442,900 for single-detached homes, $808,000 for townhouses, and $530,200 for condominiums. All three represent increases when compared to March, but decreases compared to this time last year.

"With prices remaining strong," added Bains, "we expect to see inventories increase over the coming months as sellers seek to capitalize on price growth after sitting out for so long."