Sellers market for Langley houses

Prices for homes in B.C. are going up – again.

The BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported that in May 10,174 homes sold across the province, a 16.6 per cent increase from the same month in 2014. 

The average price for a residential home rose to $632,182, an 11.8 per cent increase since last May.

“Home sales for the month were at an eight year high for the month of May,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist. “Strong consumer demand is pushing home sales up in most of the large urban areas of the province.”

Sales in the Fraser Valley, including Langley, were stronger than the provincial average, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

The 1,969 homes sold in May represent a 21 per cent increase compared to the same month in 2014.

In Langley, house prices kept rising sharply to go along with the increase in sales.

The number of detached homes sold in Langley in May rose by 21.2 per cent, while listings – houses up for sale – dropped by 31.5 per cent year-over-year.

The benchmark price of a detached home – the price of an “average” house – went up by 5.3 per cent to hit $606,700. The average price of a house in general rose by 11.9 per cent to $682,591.

Meanwhile, the furious pace of house buying left townhouses and condos relatively unscathed.

The benchmark price of a townhouse was up three per cent, to $300,000, while benchmark condos fell 9.8 per cent to $196,300, from $217,700 a year ago.

While the benchmark price of a townhouse was rising, the average price fell 5.3 per cent, and the average price of a condo rose four per cent.

Long-term statistics from the FVREB show that increases in the price of detached houses have outpaced increases in townhouse and condo costs since 2013. 

Condo prices have actually fallen from their peaks around 2010 and 2013, while townhouse prices have remained relatively steady. Detached house prices started to trend even more sharply upward earlier this year.

The ever-increasing cost of housing has caused a number of debates over density and whether foreign investors are buying up houses to flip in the future.

Premier Christy Clark recently ruled out a tax on foreign home buyers.

Langley Township, which has seen few complaints about foreign ownership, is seeing a huge boom in townhouses and to a lesser extent in condo construction, with a significant amount of single-family housing also being built, mostly in the Willoughby area.

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