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Positive Economy – Low Unemployment – Low Interest Rates

The below article is from the President of the Real Estate Board. Our real estate market should be thriving, but the media has put a fear in people that even Orson Welles would be proud of. Don’t let the doom and gloom of the media affect you. Sellers, be patient, there are still Buyers out there everyday looking for houses. Buyers, now is a great time to buy, you have a lot to choose from.

Property sales in the Fraser Valley decreased by 48 per cent in October compared to the same month last year, moving from 1,464 sales on the Multiple Listing Service  (MLS) in October 2007 to 768 sales for the same period in 2008.

Although REALTORS  have seen month-to-month price fluctuations in a number of Fraser Valley communities the overall change in home prices over the past six months is downward, with average prices of detached homes showing a decrease of 6.5 per cent, average prices of townhomes down 9.2 per cent and average prices of apartments down 2.6 per cent.

“The decrease in home sales does not reflect BC’s positive economic reality of record low unemployment and interest rates and consistent population growth,” says Kelvin Neufeld, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “While the global economic picture is causing individual buyers to wait on the sidelines, there are property developers across the Lower Mainland who remain confident in BC’s economic fundamentals and continue to move forward with current and long-term projects.

“In some areas of the Fraser Valley, the number of days on the market has doubled in the past year putting more pressure on sellers to lower their asking prices,” Neufeld says. “The benefit of lower sales and higher inventory is that homes are becoming more affordable. Currently, there are some excellent buys in the Fraser Valley. With our typically slower, ‘winter’ months ahead it presents consumers with the best buying conditions we’ve seen this year.”

The Board received 2,794 new listings last month, an 11 per cent decrease from the 3,124 new listings received during the same month last year and also 8 per cent fewer than the 3,053 listings received in September 2008. This decrease in new listings lowered the number of active listings to 11,715 in October, still 42 per cent higher than October of last year, yet a 5 per cent decrease from September 2008.

The average price of a single family detached home in the Fraser Valley was $513,892 in October 2008, a decrease of 0.6 per cent compared to $517,087 in October of last year and a decrease of 6.5 per cent compared to $549,512 in May 2008.

Townhomes went for an average $309,834 last month, reflecting a 6.1 per cent decrease from October 2007 when they averaged $329,991, and reflecting a decrease of 9.2 per cent compared to the average price of $341,149 in May 2008. The average price of an apartment in October was $223,669, a decrease of 1.6 per cent compared to $227,358 last year and a decrease of 2.6 per cent compared to $229,727 in May 2008.

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