(Black Press file)

Number of homes for sale in Langley swells in September

Inventory levels are swinging back to normal, said a longtime realtor.

Langley homebuyers looking for a house, condo, or townhouse have a huge increase in their options compared to a year ago, according to statistics released by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) Wednesday.

The stats show that sales are still down, and that median prices for single family homes are still down slightly year over year.

But the biggest changes are the increases in the number of homes up for sale.

In September, there were 428 single family homes for sale in the Langleys. That’s up 7.5 per cent from August, and a 45.1 per cent increase from the 295 that were on the market in September 2017.

The increase was much steeper for townhouses and condos.

There were 263 townhouses on the market in September this year, up 15.9 per cent from August, and up 189 per cent from the 91 townhouses that were for sale in September 2017.

Condo buyers could choose from 261 listed dwellings in Langley, up 13.5 per cent from August, and 230.4 per cent from the 79 on sale in September last year.

The increase in housing inventory has been building up for months, as sales dropped off sharply.

Just 71 houses sold in September, 40 townouses, and 61 condo units.

Despite the big swings in sales and inventory, Langley realtor Deanna Horn said this isn’t a housing correction, just a return to normal.

“We had for the last 18 months or two years, we had a very, very exceptional market,” Horn said.

That gave rise to the sharp price increases of 2016 and 2017, Horn said.

“We’re moving into a normal inventory level,” she said.

She expects that it will now take a longer time – 50 to 60 days – to sell a home in the region, compared to the last couple of years.

Across the region served by FVREB realtors – North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Abbotsford, and Mission – 1,035 houses sold last September.

The last few years have seen a supercharged sellers market in the region starting in 2015, with up to 55 per cent of homes listed for sale selling in some months. In the last few months, sales have declined sharply, with the numbers sliding into what the FVREB considers a “balanced” market and still trending downward.

A market is considered “balanced” when between 12 and 20 per cent of listed homes sell in a month. The current ratio is 14 per cent.

• READ MORE: Supply high, sales low, but still no impact on high Fraser Valley housing prices

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