The lure east to the most affordable city in the Lower Mainland continues as real estate sales last month in Chilliwack represented a “banner month,” according to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB).
With 309 residential sales worth just under $147 million in September, an average home sale price of $475,293 is an 18.7 per cent increase year-over-year, but is still a relative bargain in the hot B.C. real estate market.
“Everything is up,” CADREB president Greg Nord-Leth said in a press release issued Tuesday. “The big draw remains more value for the dollar in this end of the Valley. Houses with yards are beyond many people’s reach in the larger metropolitan areas.”
Indeed, single family homes continue to lead the demand in the Chilliwack board area – which includes Agassiz and Hope — with 154 selling last month for an average price of $561,956. That’s up from 138 in September 2016 for an average price of $482,948, a 16.3 per cent increase.
There were six residential properties sold for more than $1 million in September, one of those for more than $1.5 million.
And while prices remain strong with high demand and low supply, month-over-month the average price remains steady. The 179 single family homes sold in August did so at an average price of $584,167.
That comes after the second highest ever July sales level in Chilliwack.
Demand for townhouses and apartments also remains strong. There were 90 townhouse sales last month for an average price of $417,331 up from $339,250 in September 2016. And the 42 apartments sold last month at an average price of $223,602 was down from the 44 sold in September 2016 at an average price of $191,924.
There were 959 active listings at the end of last month, which is at least 200 below what CADREB likes to see in the market. Listings below 1,000 homes represent a 10-year low.
“In the absence of a wide inventory, new construction helps fill the void,” Nord-Leth said. “Residential construction activity has ramped up considerably to try to meet demand. Labour demands are high right now, particularly before the winter weather arrives.”
There are a lot of new housing projects in the works currently in the city, with a higher than normal number of public hearings at recent city council meetings for rezoning applications, many for infill projects. There were 10 public hearings on the agenda for the evening Oct. 3 city council meeting, nine of which were for applications to rezone properties in various ways in increase housing density.
At the afternoon portion of that meeting, council was scheduled to give first reading to a further six applications to increase density. One of those, which goes to public hearing on Oct. 17, is to create a comprehensive development zone for the Empress Lane /Princess Avenue/Young Road block of properties city hall hopes to lure a developer to create a large mixed-use housing and retail project for the central location.