Real estate sales in Chilliwack in May 2017 returned to the all-time highs of last spring. (Greg Laychak/Black Press file)

Chilliwack home sales shoot up in May as prices hit new highs

Last spring’s frenetic sales pace is back as supply hits new lows

The frenzied home sales activity of 2016 may be back in Chilliwack.

After two months of sales in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) that paled in comparison to a year ago, May 2017 saw the number of real estate transactions again hit near record-breaking heights.

There were 511 sales last month worth $234 million for an average residential home sale price of $458,000, up 10 per cent year over year.

That sales number is down only slightly from the 529 sales in May 2016 when the average sale price was $415,000. The average sale price of a home in May 2015 was $321,242 and in May 2014 it was $307,689.

That’s a price increase last month of 43 per cent compared to May 2015 and 49 per cent to May 2014.

Spring usually triggers increased home sales but the lack of inventory is forcing prices into record territory.

“This is not unique to our area,” said CADREB President Greg Nord-Leth. “A lack of housing inventory is being felt throughout the country. In B.C., we also have a rather unique political climate at this time, and we are waiting to see what will happen at the provincial government level to gauge any effects on the market.”

CADREB notes that even without last spring’s boom in sales, seasonally adjusted rates are higher and it anticipates 2017 will close out as strong as the year before.

With fewer than 1,000 active listings at month end, a number typically above 1,200, demand continues to outstrip supply by a considerable margin.

“The buyers are out there,” Nord-Leth said. “However, as real estate is fuelled by supply and demand, a low inventory is nudging prices up, and in many cases, sellers are receiving higher than asking price.”

May’s residential home sales represent a bounce back to 2016 levels after more modest March and April. March had 363 sales, a high number historically, but down from 494 in 2016. And April’s 372 sales were down from 530 in April 2016.

While single family homes tend to drive the market in Chilliwack, sales last month of all types were strong with an uptick in sales for townhomes and apartments.

As for prices, of the 511 sales last month, the highest number (68) were in the $400,000 to $449,999 range.

There were 13 sales of properties over the $1 million mark in the CADREB area, including two over $1.5 million.


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