Prices drive property buyers to the suburbs

by John Tenpenny02 Nov 2015
Realtors in BC’s Lower Mainland are busier than ever as affordability and land supply continue to drive buyers to the Fraser Valley and they don’t expect the business to dry up anytime soon.

According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), sales in September were up 22 per cent over last year and on par with September 2005.

Fraser Valley real estate sales are now growing faster than elsewhere in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s (REBGV) jurisdiction, which includes Whistler, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

The benchmark home price index for a single-family detached home within the REBGV’s jurisdiction sits at $722,300, up 13.7% over the past year and 27.7% over the past five years. Within the FVREB’s jurisdiction, it’s $639,500, up 12.3% from a year ago and 25.2% over the past five years.

“Overall, from a Realtor’s perspective, we have to closely monitor the new inventory and act fast if it’s the right home for our buyers, because it is stressful for buyers depending on what they’re looking for,” Joan Maisey, a Realtor with Re/Max Little Oak Realty and the FVREB’s president, told Business In Vancouver.

Tsur Somerville, an associate professor for the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate said there are a number of reasons why buyers are moving east.

“In the Fraser Valley you can actually build single-family housing. So there’s a new supply of single-family housing, that’s No. 1. No. 2 is the really high-end [properties] tend to be in the core of our metropolitan areas. So unlike some places like Calgary where you have some high-end places not near the centre, the farther out is still more affordable here.”



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