Understanding the Fraser Valley Real Estate Market

What You Should Know About the Fraser Valley Real Estate Market - Prices, Trends, and Outlook

Great attention is often paid to the Greater Vancouver area, and the City of Vancouver itself. At Home Equity Solutions, we operate throughout the province and aim to provide analysis on housing markets across British Columbia. With that in mind we highlight the far off market of the mysterious Fraser Valley.

If you are interested in some of our other analysis, click here or here

Where is the Fraser Valley, Exactly?

This may sound like a silly question, but it is surprisingly difficult to answer. The Fraser Valley can refer to a regional and legal jurisdiction, areas covered by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, or areas considered the Fraser Valley by other persons or institutions. This article will leverage data from several different sources, which do not necessarily agree upon the definitions.

Any government data, such as the Census of Canada or statistics from Metro Vancouver (formerly known as the Greater Vancouver Regional District) use the following definition of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley:

Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley

Here we see that the Fraser Valley starts east of Langley/Maple Ridge and extends quite a ways east and north. This definition, however, includes large swaths of land with relatively sparse population.

Housing market statistics generally use a different defintion. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and Urban Analytics (a new home sales research firm) use the following definition for the Fraser Valley:

Image Description This definition encompasses everything south of the Fraser Riever an everything north of the Fraser River and east of Port Coquitlam.

Trends in the Fraser Valley Resale Market

Image Description

  • Unlike Greater Vancouver, prices of existing apartments in the Fraser Valley have been on a general decline since the recession and now sit at $193,000, on average
  • Over the past five years, benchmark apartment prices have fallen 5.5% in the Fraser Valley, led by North Delta, which has seen an almost 10% fall in prices
  • Cloverdale is the only area to register any price growth
  • Single-family homes, on the other hand, have risen by 20% over the last 5 years, driven by price growth in South Surrey/White Rock. These homes are the most expensive in the Fraser Valley and cost just over $1 million, on average

Trends in the New Home Market in the Fraser Valley

This section relies on research from Urban Analytics:

  • New home sales in the Fraser Valley are dominated by townhomes, which account for 60-70% of new home sales
  • Like the resale market, prices in the new homes market in the Fraser Valley have not increased meaningfully since 2009
  • High rise apartments of comparable quality and in the vicinity of transit sell for 20-30% less when compared to downtown Vancouver
  • The average price per sq. ft. for townhomes in Surrey/Langley is about half that of Vancouver's Eastside. This has a big impact on your typical mortgage payment
  • Fifth Avenue estimates that the vast majority of new home sales in the Fraser Valley are for owner-occupiers.

Conclusion

The Fraser Valley real estate market is an entirely different beast that the Greater Vancouver real estate market. It is driven largely by townhomes and owner-occupiers and represents a more affordable opportunity for many young families.