The Milner Heights development in Willoughby continues to expand. With the elimination of bridge tolls, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president Gopal Sahota believes homebuyers may give greater consideration into buying a home in Langley. Troy Landreville Langley Times

UPDATED: Houses in Langley top $1 million mark

Detached homes in Langley have jumped 74 per cent in price from three years ago

The August real estate numbers are in — and with them comes massive sticker shock for folks dreaming about buying a house in Langley.

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) statistics released Wednesday show that the benchmark price for a detached home in Langley has, for the first time, topped the $1 million mark, at $1,007,400.

This is a 14 per cent jump in price from a year ago, and 74 per cent pricier than what detached homes in Langley were going for in August 2014.

Langley joins South Surrey and White Rock ($1,521,000) and Cloverdale ($1,012,800) as municipalities under the FVREB umbrella where detached homes average out at $1 million or more.

Taking a toll?

Will the recent elimination of tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge cause these house prices to climb even further north in the Langleys?

Only time will tell, says Gopal Sahota, Langley realtor and president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

Sahota is certain, however, that the B.C. NDP government’s decision to scrap the tolls as of Sept. 1 will only benefit people living south of the Fraser.

But Sahota notes that it’s too early to tell how it will affect housing prices, if at all.

“Our board has always been a proponent of fairness for Fraser Valley residents when it comes to tolling, so we’re pleased that our communities were considered in this decision,” Sahota said. “We’ll have to see what the long-term impacts are to know exactly how successful the change will be, but in the meantime it will put money in the pockets of Fraser Valley homeowners who commute every day and that’s a good thing.”

Sahota says people who were reluctant to pay tolls, could now give “greater consideration” to buying a home in the Fraser Valley.

“Now that they’re removed, I think we’ll see a lot more interest in communities like Langley and Surrey that can still be quite affordable,” Sahota predicted.

Market shift

With the prices of detached homes becoming out of reach for many, more homebuyers than ever in the Fraser Valley are turning their attention to attached homes.

Persistent and growing demand for townhomes and apartments in the Fraser Valley led to the second strongest August historically in terms of sales.

The FVREB processed 1,879 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service in August, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared to the 1,694 sales in August of last year, and a three per cent decrease compared to the 1,937 sales in July 2017.

Of the total sales processed 470 were townhouses and 548 were apartments, together representing 54 per cent of market activity in August.

“It’s not surprising to see demand like this still so late into the summer; the Fraser Valley has never been a better place to live than it is now,” Sahota said. “Our communities are thriving, and there are still affordable options throughout our region. Also, it doesn’t hurt that removing the bridge tolls gives us even greater access to the Lower Mainland.”

Townhomes in Langley were worth, on average, $464,500 in August, down .07 per cent from July but still 55.8 per cent higher in price than they were three years ago.

The benchmark price for Langley apartments in August was $361,800, a 2.7 per cent jump in price from the previous month and 60 per cent pricier than August 2014.