Real estate sales continued to increase in Langley as the delayed home buying season stretched into October.
According to numbers released by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), Langley is burning through its supply of homes up for sale and fewer homes are replacing them.
“The situation is unprecedented,” said Chris Shields, FVREB president. “We are in the middle of a pandemic and in many of our communities we are seeing a strong seller’s market for townhomes and single-family homes priced correctly. For example, in Langley, our current supply of detached homes would sell in 1.4 months if no new listings became available.”
Langley saw sales of 154 detached houses last month, up from 119 in the same month a year ago, and up from 145 in September, a 6.2 per cent increase.
Townhouse sales hit 132, compared to 88 last October, and 128 in September, a 3.1 per cent month-over-month increase.
Condo sales reached 121, up from 86 in the same month in 2019 and from 103 in September, a 17.5 per cent jump.
The number of houses listed for sale started to drop, with a 19 per cent drop for detached homes, 13.7 per cent for townhouses, and 1.5 per cent for condos compared to September.
There were just 218 single family homes listed for sale in Langley, 214 townhouses, and 391 condos as of the release of the FVREB monthly statistics.
Prices remained fairly steady.
The benchmark price of a Langley home was $1.09 million, up just 1.2 per cent from September. Townhouses were $676,400, down 0.1 per cent, and condos were $397,500, down 1.6 per cent.
The B.C. real estate market saw sales drop to almost nil during the early months of the pandemic in March and April. But starting in the summer, sales picked up again, driven by a combination of pent-up demand and slashed interest rates.
In the near term, the B.C. Real Estate Association released a report in October suggesting that a significant drop in immigration will affect local housing markets over the next few years.
“In the last five years, immigration has made up two-thirds of B.C.’s annual population growth,” the report says.
The arrival of new permanent residents and international students has been below average since March in B.C., according to the BCREA report.
The province could fall short of its permanent resident admission level by 28 per cent, or 13,350 people this year, based on numbers from the spring.
“Given the low admission levels this summer, this estimate is likely to be on the optimistic side,” the report says.
Lower numbers of international students are likely lowering rental rates in Vancouver, the report noted, but interprovincial migration to B.C. has increased, and emigration – people leaving B.C. – turned negative in 2020 for the first time in at least two decades, as few left and some living overseas returned home.
The report concludes the lack of immigration could be a short-term threat to real estate sales.
“Given the importance of immigration to population growth in BC, the longer that immigration remains depressed by the pandemic, the higher the eventual risk to the housing market becomes,” it says. “However, there is no reason to believe that immigration will remain depressed in B.C.”
Immigration is expected to increase in 2021 to 2023.