Single family homes still popular in Chilliwack housing

Trend goes against the move toward townhouses and apartments in most other areas

With low inventory and rising prices, it shouldn’t be surprising to see housing starts on the rise so far in 2017 and particularly last month.

With 373 starts in the Chilliwack area between January and May of this year, that’s a 40 per cent increase over the 266 over the first five months of 2016, according to the monthly report on housing starts by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

And while in most areas of B.C, multiples – townhouses and apartments – are leading the way in new construction, single family homes are proving popular in Chilliwack.

“Housing starts trended higher in May in Canada’s urban areas,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Row and apartment units led the upward move, while construction has slowed for pricier single- and semi-detached houses.”

Yet in Chilliwack, there were 239 single-family home starts January to May compared to 134 multiples. That’s a 65 per cent increase over the 145 single starts in the first five months of 2016, and represents a divergence from the trends. In May alone, there were 117 single family homes starts locally.

An uptick in the average sale price in May in Chilliwack to an all-time high of $458,000 is likely boosting the new construction.

In Abbotsford-Mission, there were just 160 single-family home starts over the first five months of 2017 compared to 490 multiples.