Buyers are sitting this one out as the downward trend of number of sales and prices continued to slide in January.  Sales processed on the MLS for January 2023 numbered 626.  One has to go back 10 years to January 2013, before finding a month with sales as sluggish so far this year.

Sandra Benz, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, observes, “Buyers are understandably cautious, which explains the slow start to the year.” Even though new listings increased by over 128% month over month from December 2022 to January 2023, this is the lowest number of new listings for the month of January since 1984. Total number of active listings, however, are up by 76% compared to the start of the year 2022.

Benz is optimistic as she notes, “The pent-up demand that has been building since the last quarter of 2022 will likely give rise to a sales uptick, especially if rate hikes subside, which we expect will be the case. We also expect inventory to start increasing over the coming months as sellers act on decisions that have been on hold, waiting for rates to peak.”

Gradually as the numbers of new listings start to increase during the spring, and if rates hold steady, it is reasonable to expect a quickening in both sales and a decrease in the time inventory is on the market.  Currently in January a single-family home took on average 48 days to sell while a townhome was 40 days. Apartments were similar with only 41 days on market before sale. We have noticed an increase in the number of offers coming in already in the last few weeks. Also, well priced homes are sold quickly and some even with multiple offers.

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