‘Solid’ year ahead for Chilliwack real estate

A ‘solid’ real estate scene is predicted for the first quarter of the new year in Chilliwack as interest rates remain low.

A ‘solid’ real estate scene is predicted for the first quarter of the new year in Chilliwack as interest rates remain low and modest sales increases are projected.

“We don’t expect to see any surprises for Chilliwack and area,” Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board President Mark Andersen said in a news release.

“All indicators are pointing to stable list prices and a four to five per cent increase in sales for 2012,” he said.

There were 120 sales in December, tying the number made in the same month last year.

Andersen said house buyers also took advantage of the “value-added buying dollars during the slower Christmas season” as the highest number of sales (18) were seen in the $300,000-$349,000 range, followed by 17 sales in the $350,000-$399,000 range.

The housing inventory in Chilliwack fell slightly to 1,330 listings.

Andersen said with low interest rates and motivated sellers, it is a “perfect time” to buy a first home, a move-up or an investment property.

When renters become buyers, he said, not only does it represent one of the soundest long-term investments in a person’s life, it also helps to boost the local economy.

“Annually, housing-related spending from the sales transaction and associated fees to renovations and furnishings, accounts for more than 20 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product in Canada,” Andersen said.

“Most of those services and associated fees take place in the actual community where the sale occurred, so annually the housing sector contributes greatly to a community’s stability,” he said.

Chilliwack realtors are also engaged in the community, donating $7,000 to Chilliwack Community Services, $5,000 to the Village youth housing project on School Street and $2,000 to the Christmas Sharing Project.