The Fraser Valley housing market has now reached a more healthy balance after September saw sales slow down and new listings rise, according to new statistics published by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) on Wednesday.

In September, the Fraser Valley region recorded a grand total of 1,100 home sales after seeing 1,273 homes sold in August. The September 2023 total was still a 22.6% improvement when compared to September 2022, however.

In terms of listings, the month saw 2,860 come online after adding 2,622 in August, bringing the total number of active listings in the region to 6,532.

With sales dipping as new listings increase, prices naturally dipped slightly in September.

The benchmark price is now $1,526,000 for single-detached homes, a decrease of 0.6% from August, but a 4.6% increase compared to September 2022.

For townhouses, the benchmark price is now $848,600, a 0.3% increase from August and a 3.5% increase from September 2022. And for condominiums, the benchmark price is now $545,900, representing a 1.4% decrease from August while remaining a 3.4% increase over September 2022.

"With inventory levels continuing on a slow and steady rise, together with slow sales, what we are seeing is a more balanced market," said FVREB Chair Narinder Bains. "If this trend continues, increased new listings will help to maintain a balanced market, giving buyers greater choice."

Buyers or Sellers

With the aforementioned statistics, we can now identify the sales-to-new-listing ratio as well as the sales-to-active-listings ratio, which are two quantitative indicators that can give us a sense of whether the market is leaning towards buyers or sellers.

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

With 1,100 home sales and 2,860 new listings in September, the sales-to-new-listings ratio is now at 38.5%. In August, the ratio was at 48.5%, reflecting the fact that the increased amount of options gives buyers a potential leg up in the market.

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 a market balance.

With 1,100 home sales and 6,532 total active listings, the sales-to-active-listings ratio is now at 16.8%, after being at 20.2% in August, indicating a balanced market, with movement towards the direction of buyers.

Regardless of who has the advantage, single-detached homes are now staying on the market for an average of 29 days, compared to 23 days for townhouses and 24 days for condos.

FVREB says that interest rate uncertainty is still in play, and recommends any interested buyers or sellers to speak to their realtor.

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