For the fourth straight month, homes throughout the region increased, albeit slowly and steadily. As I dig into the details of our various regions, communities and housing types, I will reveal that we have some unequal markets, with some escalating as we head into Summer, with others flatlining or even softening. The following report is, as always, handcrafted by Brad Richert, without the assistance of AI. The opinions and interpretations herein are my own. All data is attained through the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, and Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Data is considered reliable, although is not guaranteed and is, admittedly, delayed and/or problematic in some circumstances.
Below: Market Reports for… (click to jump)
- GREATER VANCOUVER,
- FRASER VALLEY,
- Maple Ridge,
- New Westminster,
- Surrey & White Rock, &
- City of Vancouver.
REGIONAL – GREATER VANCOUVER
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), which represents the municipalities closest to, and including, the City of Vancouver. This includes cities like Richmond, Burnaby, and Coquitlam, as well as farther Sechelt & Maple Ridge. Among all housing types, the Vancouver board posted Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark home values of $1,188,000 (-5.8% cp May 2022), up from $1,173,000 in April.
As you can likely see from the graph above, not all housing types are increasing equally in Greater Vancouver. While detached homes continue to be the furthest behind prices from a year ago (-6.7%), the prices are also rising the fastest. Month over month, townhomes bumped only nominally from $1.0811m to $1.083m. Apartments increased a bit more, both in percentage and absolute dollars, from $752,300 in April to $760,800 (+1.1%) and have almost recovered any losses incurred over 2022. Meanwhile, single family homes went from $1.9189m to $1.9536m (+1.8%). So while the typical townhome owners may have enjoyed a $8,500 increase in equity, single family owners gained almost $35,000. This is generally what happens in a sellers market, as land values outpace building values, and buyers are able to leverage established equity for larger and larger mortgages. This trend has been going on for years as single family homes continue to further the gap from attached homes: it’s supply and demand.
REGIONAL – FRASER VALLEY
Meanwhile, my own board in the Fraser Valley, covering the cities from North Delta to Abbotsford and Mission, showed a benchmark value of $1,019,700 (-12.6% cp May 2022) across all housing types. The last time we posted a $1 million benchmark value was September 2022.
Similar to prices in Greater Vancouver, there is fairly noticeable differences between housing types. However, it should be noted that similar to the 2021-22 boom, Fraser Valley prices are, once again, outpacing Greater Vancouver. The single family home HPI benchmark in the region is up to $1.492m, up from $$1.443m in April. That +3.4% increase in one month represents almost $50,000 in equity for the “typical” single family homeowner (-12.9% cp May 2022). Townhome owners witnessed their values increase from $808,000 to $826,200 over the month, or +2.3% (-10.1% cp May 2022). Meanwhile apartments jumped from $530,200 in April to $542,300 in May, also representing a +2.3% month over month gain (-6.7% cp May 2022).
Abbotsford single family homes are still -15.0% lower than they were this time last year, but the trend is rapidly making grounds against that correction. Since January 2023, the benchmark value has risen over $150,000 to today’s value of $1,206,800, which includes the significant +6.1% one month boost in May.
Absolute sales figures have held steady over the last three months, with a 3 month 269, including the 90 sales in May. However, the number of new listings has risen sharply, which could help buyers a bit in the coming months. While this inventory boost has pushed the sales to listing ratio down to 27.1%, this still represents a market favourable to sellers. Due to this, homes are moving quickly, with the average sold days on market sitting at 19.
Townhomes in Abbotsford aren’t experiencing the same spike as detached homes, but there are still some positive signs. Month over month values increased from $609,300 to $625,600 (+2.7%), which is roughly where values sat in December 2022, but heading in a different direction.
Sales continue to increase quite rapidly, from 30 in February to 48 and 54 in March and April to 74 in May. With the number of new listings rising only incrementally, this is putting a lot more pressure on buyers, as the sales to listing ratio is up at 68.5% – a very strong sellers market. If this ratio continues, we can expect to see townhome prices really start to take off.
Abbotsford’s apartment market continues to struggle even amidst this strengthening market. There were no gains over the past month, with the benchmark value remaining static at $426,100 (-13.1% cp May 2022).
There is hope for potential sellers though. The number of sales has been fairly healthy over the last three months, and the number of new listings has remained stagnant. This has resulted in a sales to active listing ratio of 56.7%, which indicates a strong sellers market, which oddly is not translating into a rise in prices. However, with three months of this ratio being over 50%, I can’t foresee prices remaining in this range for long.
The average days on market has stayed around 27-29 days on market over the entirety of the Spring market, including May.
Spring has been good for Burnaby home owners following a slow first quarter. Since January, the benchmark value has risen from $1.892m to $2.045m, including a +1.9% gain between April and May. This value is only -6.4% lower than it was this time last year, which was the highest value Burnaby has ever seen (at $2.199m).
Last month I reported that sales in Burnaby had almost tripled between January and April. Sales have since far surpassed, from the low of 25 in January to 90 in May. While there was a healthy number of new listings in May, it doesn’t match the pace of sales. This has results in a 43.7% sales to listing ratio that conveys a strong sellers market, with the trend only putting more pressure on buyers.
The average days on market increased from 22 in April to 29 in May.
The number of townhome sales continues to rise. Last month I mentioned that there were only 438 sales in Burnaby in all of 2022. In May 2023, there were 58 sales – the most sales since March 2022. However, the increase in sales has not resulted in higher prices. For the second time in three months, the benchmark value actually declined, albeit slightly, from $939,700 to $936,200. This is good news for buyers trying to buy homes under the $1 million threshold.
The reason for the comparatively weaker prices despite the strong sales is the proportionally spiking number of new listings, which is replenishing the market as fast as homes are sold. While there were only 15 new listings in December 2022, May had 98! While the sales to active listing ratio is still a very strong 56.9%, the pace of new listings is helping buyers.
The average days on market for Burnaby townhomes is 19 – a substantial improvement from the December 2022 high of 43.
The Burnaby apartment markets continue to be one of the strongest in the region, now into its 5th consecutive month of price increases. After “bottoming out” at $724,600 in December, the benchmark value has steadily risen to $780,000 in May. The $15,700 (+2.1%) gain between April and May was among the strongest. This market segment is now only -0.8% below last year’s value. It is quite possible that June 2023 may trigger the highest value ever for Burnaby apartments, should the trend continue.
The higher prices, of course, are a result of the combination of climbing high number of sales with a flat number of active listings. The 53.5% sales to listing ratio is the highest we’ve seen since March of 2022 when the market was off the charts.
The average days on market for a Burnaby condo is 21.
Chilliwack detached homes have been slow to react to the stronger market, which is somewhat typical. Usually we see increased market activity in Vancouver/Richmond/Burnaby first, then Langley/Surrey, followed by Abbotsford/Chilliwack. Chilliwack’s single family home benchmark value is currently at $869,900, only a slight increase from April’s $860,300 (+1.1%). As you can see from the graph above, this is still a significant decrease from the $1.124m peak of February 2022 and a -13.3% loss since May 2022.
However, with a 418% increase in sales between January and May, the market is looking much more positive. Of course, the healthy uptick in new listing activity is what is helping buyers keep prices relatively manageable in the east Valley. Even still, the sales to listing ratio has jumped to 44.5%, which will likely lead to future price jumps should this trend continue.
The average days on market has fallen from 54 at the turn of the New Year to 25 in May.
The Chilliwack townhome benchmark value increased only nominally over May, from $598,100 to $600,200. However, with very strong sales, now +82.2% compared to this time last year, and rapidly declining inventory levels, buyers in this segment should seriously consider pulling the trigger before seeing the market rise. While the sales to listing ratio has been in a sellers market territory throughout 2023, the most recent jump from 45.5% in April to a more extreme 76.6% shows that buyers are hot for this market segment.
The average days on market for Chilliwack townhomes has jumped around a bit over 2023, but is currently sitting at 25 days.
Chilliwack apartment prices have fared a bit better than townhomes, with an increase of $10,000 to the benchmark value, from $402,900 to $412,900. This represents a decent +12.1% jump from the annual low of $368,300 in December 2022 – not bad for 5 months. Sales have been steadily rising while new listings have more or less kept up with the demand. The sales to listing ratio has therefore held steady in the 27-35% range throughout spring, showing a sellers market without an overwhelming amount of pressure on buyers.
A lot of Chilliwack apartment sales are taking a fair bit of time on the market, pushing the average up to 40 days.
The typical Coquitlam detached home is currently valued at $1,755,500, a +1.6% increase from April and -10.0% less than this time last year. This figure still represents a -$200,000 equity loss from the April 2022 peak, but its heading in a direction that is certainly favouring sellers.
The number of sales has absolutely skyrocketed since it’s record breaking lowest month in at least 18 years in January. From a basement low of 20 deals to 90 in May, which is even +34.3% more than May 2022. The number of new listings is barely catching up each month: May’s 155 new listings is -1.3% less than May 2022. This upside down supply and demand means that Coquitlam single family home have gone from a strong buyers market of 10.4% of homes sold in January to a strong buyers markets of 43.7% in May.
The average days on market has fallen from 43 in February to 24 in May.
The Coquitlam benchmark townhome value is once again quickly gaining on it’s 2022 peak, gaining another +2.0% in a month to $1,058,700. Even with a bit of a stall in March, this is still +8.5% since January and just -5.5% lower than the posted May 2022 value.
There were 51 townhome sales in Coquitlam in May, which is 10.9% more than this time last year and definitely a significant improvement over the 4 paltry sales in January. However, a spike in new listings, is resulting in an overall increased inventory, which is only just levelling out the high demand sales to listing ratio at 58.0%.
I have a caveat to Coquitlam’s statistics for May. On occasion, there seems to be a statistical anomaly or a month where the algorithm doesn’t quite match reality. I feel that benchmark value for apartments in April may have been that and what we are seeing is a bit of a correction from that. In March, the typical townhome value was $702,000, which then dove to $675,300, but now is back up to $723,800. This up and down doesn’t really match what I was seeing on the ground, so my feeling is that it’s been more of a steady increase over the last couple of months. This May figure is only -3.6% below where we were in the same month last year. If the market keeps going this way, it’s likely that we might see a record breaking month within the summer.
Sales have dramatically increased from the low of 35 in December 2022 to 131 in May. New listings are barely keeping up with the sales, so inventory levels have flatlined, resulting in an extreme sellers market, represented by the 61.2% sales to listing ratio.
The average days on market continues to decrease, now at 23 days.
Detached homes in the Langleys have risen +7.7% this year so far, to $1,575,000, which is still -14.4% below the benchmark value of last May.
The 111 detached home sales in Langley are the most since March 2022. The number of listings, however, also rose sharply, from 136 in April to 254 in May. This caused the greatest total inventory the Langley have seen in 2023 and a softening sales to listing ratio. Although the 35.6% of homes sold is still a sellers market, it represents less demand than the 43-46% in March and April.
Despite the lower sales to listing ratio, Langley’s detached homes are selling faster than most homes on the market, down to an average of 15 days – that’s quite a difference than the 56 day average in December and January.
The benchmark value for a Langley townhome bumped up another $10k to $821,000 as Langley townhomes have seen only a slight increase in values this Spring. In fact, townhomes have only had two months of consecutive price increases from a low of $796,400 in March.
Townhome sales in Langley has actually decreased since then, from the huge jump to 102 in March to 93 and 92 in April and May. This levelling out has helped the inventory to climb up a little bit, allowing the sales to listing ratio to decrease a bit, but still up at a ridiculously high 70.5%. My interpretation of such a high sales to listing ratio with minimal price increases is that Langley buyers aren’t willing to get too aggressive with pricing and sellers are being realistic.
The average days on market has fallen to 13, one of the quickest in the region. Between this and the sales to listing ratio, I would predict a likely significant increase to the benchmark value for June.
Langley apartments received another steady jump in prices in May, from $575,000 to $584,200. This is a healthy +6.3% increase since the start of the year. The benchmark value is now -8.8% below it’s value 12 months earlier.
After struggling through fall with weak sales, Langley had a 149 sales in May, which is an improvement of +35.5% compared to 2022. Strong sales figures is chipping away at the inventory, which of course is leading to a sales to listing ratio signifying a strong sellers market, at 66.2%!
The average sale in Langley is 23 days on market.
Maple Ridge values took a big jump in May after a slow start to the year. A +2.9% month over month increase now sees the typical Maple Ridge detached home at $1,261,700. This is still -12.3% compared to this time last year, but in a strong trend for sellers.
The number of sales in Maple Ridge have risen steadily from the December low of 36 to 98 in May, with a slight increase in total inventory. The sales to listing ratio has edged up slowly to 35%, which represents a sellers market.
The average days on market is comparable to other homes in the region at 26 days.
The Maple Ridge townhome benchmark value has increased from $699,000 in January to $768,100, achieving a decent +9.9% in 4 months. Although it is still -10.2% below where it was in May 2022, the market is strong for townhomes north of the Fraser.
Townhome sales collapsed in January, which had the industry freaking out. However, things are back on track, with 55 sales in May. Inventory levels have flatlined since December, which isn’t helping buyers much. The resulting statistic is a sky high 85.9% sales to listing ratio which doesn’t seem to be slowing down. With that ratio, one would expect to see a lot of multiple bids, but the reality is that I checked 20 random sales and only 9 went for over list price, 1 for at list price, and 10 for under. This suggests that sellers are reading the market and pricing on the higher side or right at market value.
As I mentioned in a previous month, the statistic of 79 average days on market in January was an anomaly due to two sales of homes that had been on the market for over 200 days during a very low sale month. However, the more recent active market pushed the average down to 19-22 days earlier in Spring and just 16 days on market in May.
Maple Ridge apartment condos reached a benchmark value of $532,200 in May, a +1.5% monthly increase, which has the housing type -7.7% below its 12 month comparison. Considering that the May value is +6.3% greater than its February 2023 low point, it’s likely to see Maple Ridge apartments hitting new highs pretty soon.
The Maple Ridge apartment market was extremely active in May, with 50 sales – a significant jump from not only January’s 16 sales, but also April’s 22 sales and last May’s 41. This strong sales activity has pushed inventory down, causing the sales to active listing ratio to rise to 46.7%, a strong sellers market.
The average days on market has decreased from 38 in March to 24 in May.
New Westminster witnessed its greatest spike in its single family home market in May since February 2022. The benchmark value jumped from $1,455,700 to $1,525,800, showing a +4.8% increase in one month and over $70,000 in homeowner equity. The value is just -5.0% below where it was this time last year.
I do usually remind my readers that single family homes in New Westminster is a small market. As mentioned in a previous report, there were only 31 sales sold between December and February. Sales have since increased and May alone had 30 sales, which is similar to Spring 2022 levels, although not quite at the Spring 2021 levels which had 38-46 sales per month. While the number of active listings is steadily climbing, the sales to listing ratio has risen steeply to 36.1%, in solid sellers market range.
Homes are selling quickly, with an average of 15 days on market in May. However, I do caution too much dependence on this number since it is a small market and therefore more susceptible to wild fluctuations should a home thats been on the market for awhile sell (as we saw in January).
[Brad’s Note: Due to some aggressive and unique housing policies implemented in response to the 2016 housing price boom, New Westminster tends to be an outlier when it comes to housing prices, mitigating some extremes of the housing cycle. I wrote an article about this last year (see: Housing Affordability: A Tale of Two Greater Vancouver Cities). Of course, even the best local housing policy is still challenged by regional, national, and continental trends.]
Due to the rarity of townhomes in New Westminster, I will not provide a detailed analysis of this market segment. My graph above shows the benchmark price over time and I will provide links to statistics for those interested below:
[Brad’s Note: If you read my aforementioned article about New Westminster’s housing policies – Housing Affordability: A Tale of Two Greater Vancouver Cities – you might deduce that one of the reasons that New Westminster townhomes are so rare is because one of the policies was to encourage and incentivize “family friendly” apartment condos, meaning many more larger 3 bedroom condos within walking distance to transit and schools. This naturally results in a reduction of demand for the quintessential suburban townhome, filling the “missing middle” in a different way.]
Apartments are New Westminster’s largest market and the prices are steadily rising. The segment entered the 2023 year at a benchmark value of $619,400 and has since marched upward by +4.5% to $647,200. This represents a minor decrease now of -1.6% when compared to last May.
Sales had started the year off at 26 deals in January, jumped to 52 in February, and now in March almost hit 100, with a total of 97 sales. The total inventory has remained flat throughout the year, consistently around 122-131 available units. Due to this, the sales to listing ratio has rapidly shot up from 20% in January to now 74.6%!
Of course with that much pressure on the market, the average days on market has been pushed down to 18.
SURREY & WHITE ROCK DETACHED HOMES
Surrey is a big reason that Fraser Valley benchmark prices are outpacing Greater Vancouver. Since January, the detached home benchmark has risen by 9.0%. That may not mean much to many people, but that equals a total equity gain of $134,300 on what is now a $1.627m home – in just 4 months.
Meanwhile, White Rock’s detached prices had shown a bit of a tumble in February, but have gained over spring, showing a strong increase of +8.1% in just 3 months. The typical White Rock single family home now sits at $1,818,400.
Sales in both cities have experienced exponential increases since the new year, with Surrey going from 82 to 284 and White Rock from 5 to 18. The amount of inventory, however, have been edging upward and has actually resulted in a softening of the sales to listing ratio in both communities. Surrey is at 25.5% and White Rock at 18.6%, which are both in a more balanced territory than surrounding municipalities. I will mention that not all markets in Surrey are equal. Cloverdale, Surrey’s easternmost neighbourhood, had 52% of homes sold in May, whereas North Surrey was only at 19%.
The average days on market for Surrey sales is currently 27 and White Rock is 35.
After dipping briefly under $800,000 in January, the benchmark Surrey townhome has regained momentum and is now valued at $870,600 (-7.6% cp May 2022), showcasing a +9.4% increase in four months, with the most significant gains being in March and May.
There were 246 sales in May, which is the most we’ve seen since March 2022’s 386 sales. The total inventory had been decreasing every month since July 2022 until this past month. The sales to listing ratio has remained within the 50% range for the last three months, showing a consistently hot commodity.
The average days on market has fallen from 39 in January to 19 in May.
[Brad’s Note: White Rock has only had 11 townhome sales in 2023, which is too low for a statistical analysis.]
SURREY & WHITE ROCK APARTMENTS
The benchmark White Rock apartment is now +1.2% more than it was last May, despite much higher interest rates, and is on the doorstep of an all time high record. At $618,200, it is just a few dollars less than March & April’s records of $625,000 and $621,700, respectively. What this does mean is that if you bought the theoretical White Rock apartment back in January of this year, you’ve made $87,100 in equity in just 4 months – that’s a massive +16.4% gain in less than half a year.
Surrey apartments have been hitting a steady beat, from a low of $502,600 in December to $550,700 in May, for a +9.6% increase over 5 months. This latest statistic falls just -5.3% short of the May 2022 value.
Sales figures jumped sharply from January to March, but have since levelled out in both cities. While the White Rock inventory has plateau’d, the level sales figures has allowed Surrey to gain a bit of inventory. This has been good news for buyers, as the sales to listing ratio has softened a bit in May, to 37.4% in Surrey (down from 45.5% in April) and 32.6% in White Rock (from 33.9% in April).
The average days on market for Surrey apartments was down to 20; in White Rock, it was 32.
[Brad’s Note: My primary focus is in the Fraser Valley and a select number of Greater Vancouver cities. However, what happens in Vancouver has a significant effect on the rest of the municipalities in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, so it is important to understand the trends happening in the City, as they generally trickle down to other communities.]
The typical detached home in the City of Vancouver had fallen from $2.632m in March 2022 to $2.262m in December. However, 4 months of price gains has this benchmark value back up at $2.501m for an increase of +10.6% over that time.
Very strong sales since March has put pressure on buyers, and May hit the highest number of sales (234) since March 2022. Although total inventory numbers fell in early spring, there was a slight gain in May. However, this bump wasn’t enough for single family homes to remain in the “balanced market” territory as reported in March and April. May had a sales to listing ratio of 24.9%, now solidly considered a sellers market.
The average days on market has remained around 30 days over the last two months.
Vancouver’s relatively small townhome segment saw prices fall after 4 months of consecutive gains, from $1.348m in April to $1.320m in May. This is still a strong improvement for sellers from the $1.228m at the start of 2023.
Although sales did weaken in April (52), they shot back up in May to 90 units. There was a nominal increase to the overall inventory level, resulting in a strong sales to listing ratio in favour of sellers, with 33.1% of homes sold.
The average days on market has decreased to 20 in May, the quickest since last July.
The “typical” City of Vancouver apartment has inched closer to 2022 values, crossing the $800k threshold for the first time since falling beneath back in July 2022. It hasn’t been a rapid journey, as it’s taken 3 months to achieve a +4.7% increase from the February low of $771,600.
However, with the strong sales in May, with 606, and stagnant inventory levels, I wouldn’t be shocked if the summer market provides a new record breaking value. The sales to listing ratio has dramatically shifted from 13.9% in January to 37.0% in May, with no signs of slowing down.
The average days on market did increase slightly from 25 days in April to 28 in May.
CITY NOT LISTED?
Yes, I do cover more cities than those listed above. However, these market reports can get lengthy so I focus on areas which I either do the majority of my business and/or municipalities that have a significant affect on the regional market. If you would like more information about any additional city in the region, please do not hesitate to send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.