The real estate market tends to cool off this time of year, but even by those standards November was very slow, according to new statistics published by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREV) on Monday.

A grand total of 891 sales were recorded this past month, which represents an 8% drop-off from the 970 recorded in October, and represents the ninth-slowest November in a decade, according to FVREB.

The decreases go back several months and the Fraser Valley has now seen a decrease in home sales in five consecutive months.

New listings also saw a drop-off from 2,535 in October to 2,030 in November, which represents a 20% month-over-month decrease and a 43% decrease from May, when new listings peaked at 3,533.

With that new batch of listings, the number of active listings in the Fraser Valley reached 6,254 in November, which represents a 5% decrease from October and a 17% decrease compared to November 2022.

The benchmark price is now $1,489,100 for single-detached homes, $837,200 for townhouses, and $545,300 for condominiums. All three represent minor decreases of under 1% when compared to October, while representing an increase of between 5% and 7% when compared to November 2022.

Buyers Or Sellers

The above statistics allow us to 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 currently favouring 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 891 home sales and 2,030 new listings in October, the sales-to-new-listings ratio is now at 43.8%. In October, the ratio was at 38.3%, indicating greater market balance in November.

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 balance.

With 891 home sales and 6,254 total active listings after November, the sales-to-active-listings ratio is now at 14.2%, after being at 14.7% in October, reinforcing that neither buyers nor sellers may have a clear advantage right now.

Looking Forward

"With seasonality and high interest rates continuing to dampen sales activity, we expect to see sales slow further into early 2024," said FVREB CEO Baldev Gill. "However, even a slow market can present opportunities, and buyers would be well-advised to work with a knowledgeable, professional realtor who can provide expert advice and guidance."

Gill's sentiment was echoed by FVREB Chair Narinder Bains, who noted that as we enter the holiday season, "buyers and sellers are busy with other priorities and will most likely continue to wait on the sidelines."

"We anticipate this holding pattern, defined by slow sales and declining new listings, will continue through the winter months until we see some downward movement in interest rates," Bains added.

The Bank of Canada will be making their policy interest rate announcement on Wednesday, December 6.