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FVREB JANUARY PRESS RELEASE SURREY

News Release: February 3, 2009

January housing sales volume slows to historic levels in Fraser Valley         

(Surrey, BC) – A total of 389 sales were processed through Fraser Valley’s MLS® in January, a decrease of 59 per cent compared to 956 sales in January 2008 and comparable to January sales figures last seen in the early 1980s, according to statistics from Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service®. 

However, for the fourth month in a row, the Board received fewer new listings.  REALTORS® added 2,003 new listings in January 2009, 30 per cent less compared to the same month last year. This decreased the number of properties available in the Fraser Valley to 8,630, 26 percent higher than January 2008, but 30 percent fewer than the Board’s record high number of active listings in September 2008.

“Those who don’t have to buy right now aren’t and they’re creating tremendous opportunity for those who are house-hunting,” says Kelvin Neufeld, president of the Board. “The ability right now for Fraser Valley REALTORS® to negotiate for their buyers is the strongest it’s been in over a decade.”

Neufeld says if the current imbalance between supply and demand continues to change with the trend moving toward a decrease in homes on the market, buyers will only have this window of opportunity for so long.

“When selection decreases, pricing becomes more competitive,” he says.

Residential benchmark prices, the value of a ‘typical’ Fraser Valley detached home as determined by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI)*, decreased 9.6 per cent compared to January 2008, the eighth consecutive monthly decline. The benchmark price was $452,145 in January 2009 compared to $500,070 last year. 

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