New mortgage rules still driving Fraser Valley home sales down: broker

Sales were down 24 per cent last month compared to this time last year

Real estate sales across the Fraser Valley were down a significant 24 per cent in March compared to a year ago, according to the latest numbers, but one real estate broker said there’s no need to panic.

“The 10-year average is 1,658 sales per month, and we processed 1,654 [this month],” said Michael Trites, managing broker with Royal LePage NorthStar in Surrey. “The sky isn’t falling.”

Referring to the latest numbers from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, Trites said the drop was nevertheless some cause for concern for those selling their homes, as they may need to drop their price for a more sluggish market.

“That will set a precedent for houses that are similar to it,” he said. “If your neighbour down the street sells for $1 million, you’re logically thinking that your house is worth a million. But if he has to take $950,000 for it, it’s not worth $1 million anymore.”

As for detached homes, Trites said sales were down pretty evenly across the region.

“White Rock is down 29.9 per cent, Langley is down 39.6 per cent, North Delta is down 30.0 per cent and Surrey is down 27.6 per cent.”

Even in the booming condo market, there’s a decline in sales from last year – 27.9% across the valley. “Last year was very much a strong banner year.”

Trites attributes the trend to the change in mortgage rules, known as the “stress test” that was implemented earlier this year.

All borrowers must now qualify for a mortgage based on either the five-year benchmark rate or their lender’s actual rate plus two per cent, whichever is higher. The change will apply to all mortgages, new or renewed, even if the down payment exceeds 20 per cent.

While there have been murmurs of how the province’s recently announced speculation tax, and newly expanded foreign buyer tax, will affect the housing market, Trites said it’s still too soon to feel the effects of that proposal.

Prices on Fraser Valley real estate, meanwhile, continued to rise in March.

The benchmark price of a single-family detached home went up 0.9 per cent compared to the previous month and 15.2 per cent compared to last year.

The benchmark price of a townhouse climbed two per cent compared to last month and 24.9 per cent compared to last year.

The benchmark price of a condo grew 4.3 per cent compared to last month and 48 per cent compared to last year.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Police looking at other collisions linked to impaired driver who allegedly struck Langley 12-year-old

One of two Friday hit-and-runs the driver is believed to be part of, Langley police say

Burnouts stressing out Langley’s Cruise-In board

A board member said the charity car show can’t allow burnouts for safety reasons

Langley council will hear petition to rename park after teen overdose victim

With 3,500 signatures so far, organizer is thinking of closing down online campaign

Best Set Decoration and Best Supporting Actress for Langley Players Club production

Dancing at Lughnasa among winners at the 26 Annual Community Theatre Coalition Awards

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Winnipeg student, killed in bus crash, remembered as passionate, kind

University of Victoria student Emma Machado, 18, was killed in the bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Most Read