Fraser Valley Real Estate Market Update: March 2023 Topsy Turvy

“There are encouraging signs that the market is balancing out with sales rising and prices firming in the face of low supply.”

The median sale price this March was $979,000, up < 1% from the previous month but down 17% from March 2022. 

There were 1406 total sales this March, up 75% from 804 in February but down 40% from the high of 2359 sales in March 2022 and 3,167 sales in March 2021.

March 2023 had the lowest number of Active Listings for any March on record since at least 2005. At just 3,816 listings, this was also the very first March that had fewer active listings than the previous December and January. 

Condos, Townhomes and “entry-level” detached homes, when priced accurately/low, have been selling with multiple offers, and some sales ratios (inventory/sales) are near 100 percent! With all this competition, you would be surprised to read that the median price has stayed basically flat in many markets, and this is explained by the price reductions and sales freeze on most of the higher-end homes. Buyers struggle to make large upgrades, with mortgage rates staying high for the immediate future. 

We’ll use Surrey as an example this month:

– If you’re looking for a house under $1,500,000 then you will find this market very busy. 83/113 sold for a sales ratio of 73% In most cases the good homes are selling in multiples.
– Between $1,500,000 and $2,250,000 price range, Buyers will find the market more comfortable with a 20% sales ratio (48/232). Some of the better properties with sharp pricing will sell in multiple offers, but for the most part Buyers have more choice and less pressure. 
– 131 of the Sellers over $2,250,000 are wondering why, if the market is so busy how come they aren’t getting any offers or worse any showings. As shown below, there were 6/137 homes sold bringing the sales ratio to 4% 

From my perspective on the immediate future: condos, townhomes and entry-level detached homes will remain highly competitive, but prices will remain flat until either: 

  1. The high-end market regains its footing or
  2. The Buyers start drying up, and the pressure from the high-end homes pushes all products lower. 

As a Buyer, we continue to recommend patience with the lack of inventory. The frustration of losing in multiples on homes you love can be very difficult, so it’s essential to find a realtor who can recommend when and where to be aggressive and when to abstain.

As a Seller, we have strategies for each price band and neighbourhood. Listing with the intention to drive multiples could work in some situations, but in other situations, it could leave money on the table.

For new construction, our investors are waiting for the next great opportunity. I haven’t seen anything that works great as an investment that is currently being marketed. However, I’m always happy to run the numbers and look at any project.

P.S. As always, real estate can change on a dime as outside influence drives much of our home prices, especially when the market is moving frantically, and the volume is so low. Clear as mud? Please reach out so we can create an update tailored for you.

Happy Easter! I know I’m slow on these market updates. Sorry.

Let's Work Together

Share This Article

Mike Cook
Mike Cook
A blue-collar worker in a white-collar world, I spent most of my twenties building high-end homes, leading major renovations, restoring, and finding/fixing deficiencies in new construction. I am happy to use this experience to point out the potential of a home. I pride myself on always looking for a way of improving the experience for my clients, agents on my team, and my community through leadership, technology, and charity.

Let's Chat!

We're here to make real estate simple.