Benchmark house price in Abbotsford tops $500k

Value of a typical single-family home in Abbotsford increases three per cent in just one month.

The benchmark price for a single-family home in Abbotsford topped $500

For the first time ever, the price of an average Abbotsford home now exceeds half a million dollars as the rush for real estate accelerated in January.

According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), the benchmark price of a single-family home reached $509,100 in January 2016, up almost three per cent, from $494,800, in just a month.

Over the last 12 months, the typical Abbotsford home has seen its value increase by 16.3 per cent – or more than $70,000.

The Fraser Valley’s housing market had its strongest January on record, according to FVREB president Jorda Maisey.

“Typically, we see January numbers slow down post-holiday season, but so far demand for Fraser Valley homes hasn’t let up. Homebuyers are reluctant to wait when the market is moving this fast,” Maisey said.

“There are a number of factors we can attribute this jump to, but most importantly, we’re seeing that the demand for owning a home continues to rise and inventory is struggling to keep up. Job creation and a strong B.C. economy are drawing more people to our region; and despite rising prices in some areas, many communities within the Fraser Valley remain affordable.”

Benchmark prices for townhomes and apartments also rose significantly, each increasing 1.2 per cent over the past month.

While inventory is still low, developers are slowly responding, with the number of single-family homes built in Abbotsford in 2015 reaching its highest point in nine years, according to the city’s planning and development services’ fourth-quarter report.

Building permits were issued for 499 single-family homes in 2015. That number is the highest in the last nine years and nearly double the average of 258.

Multi-family housing construction also hit five-year highs, with building permits issued for 164 townhouse units and 334 apartment units.