July saw home price increases stall in Langley, though they remain shockingly high compared to last year.
Sales also dramatically slowed compared to May and June levels, although that was an expected seasonal change, said the head of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB).
“A slowing down in activity is expected during the summer,” said FVREB president Charles Wiebe.
Sales in Langley dropped sharply across all categories of housing.
The number of detached homes sold dropped from 202 in June to 133 in July, a 34.2 per cent drop. Sales were also down 23.1 per cent compared to July 2015.
Townhouse sales dropped to 99 from 165, down 40 per cent in a month, up just 2.1 per cent on the same month in last year.
Condo sales were down to 88, from 116 the previous month, a 24.1 per cent drop. Condos were the only segment to see increased sales compared to July 2015, up from just 47.
Prices finally remained static after months of frantic increases.
A detached home in Langley sold for an average of $944,914, up 36.8 per cent from a year before, but just 0.2 per cent up from June. The FVREB’s benchmark price of $873,300 is up $39.4 per cent from a year before, but just 3.6 per cent from June.
Townhouse prices increased even more sharply, with the average hitting $501,496, up 47.2 per cent from $340,588 the year before.
The benchmark price of a townhouse rose to $426,600, up 40.3 per cent from the year before.
Condos, which had been largely immune to the sharp price increases until earlier this year, saw an average rise of 13.2 per cent year over year, to $256,961 from $227,007. The benchmark price was $250,600, up 27.3 per cent from the same month in 2015.
While Langley saw largely flat prices between June and July, the Fraser Valley as a whole actually saw a decline in the price of detached houses.
Parts of Surrey saw steeper declines in both sales and prices than Langley.
Wiebe said that the slowdown in sales will be good for the market.
“Additional inventory will help drive us towards a more balanced environment for consumers and remove some of the upward pressure on prices we’ve been seeing,” Wiebe said.
The provincial government recently imposed a 15 per cent tax on purchases of homes by foreign nationals, which caused a scramble at the start of August to finalize sales. The change was announced less than a week before the end of July.
It’s unknown yet what overall effect the tax will have in the Fraser Valley.