Chilliwack home sales buck Fraser Valley trend

As a wave of declining home sales sweeps the Lower Mainland, Chilliwack has been relatively immune, keeping its housing market stable.

As a wave of declining home sales sweeps the Lower Mainland, Chilliwack has been relatively immune, keeping its housing market stable.

A total of 228 homes sold last month, down six per cent from the same month in 2012. The Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board attributes the decline to buyers waiting for the results of the election and the impact of the return to the GST before making a decision.

CADREB expects sales to rise in coming months.

“In recent discussions with the B.C. Real Estate Association, all indications are that we will continue to see a similar market for the near future. We are likely to see local sales figures return to seasonal norms, and we may even see a stronger market as record low interest rates continue,” said president Jesse Hildebrandt.

Throughout the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, which covers Abbotsford, Mission, Langley, White Rock, Surrey, and North Delta, home sales plummeted 15 per cent last month as compared to the same time last year. May sales in the area were the slowest since 2001. In Abbotsford alone, sales of detached homes dropped 15 per cent, and active listings 18 per cent.

High real estate prices are contributing to decreasing sales in the Mainland, but prices won’t decline significantly until sales drop even further.

Chilliwack’s housing market has kept stable, indicating fair-priced properties.

“Cost of living in Chilliwack is so much less than even Abbotsford, or going farther west. In prices for homes, we don’t see the peaks, we don’t see the lows. We see a pretty average price,” said Hildebrandt.

It remains a buyer’s market, although not a terrible one for sellers.

Over a third of the residential properties that sold last month in Chilliwack were in the $300,000 to $399,999 range, with the next most popular category being the $400,000 to $499,999 range. No houses sold over $1,000,000, and five sold under $49,999.

“What this represents is a continued interest in move-up homes and newer construction,” said Hildebrandt. “Buyers are realizing that with the low interest rates and a strengthening economy, their dollars will buy a lot more during a flat market.”

There were 1,832 active listings at the end of the month, a decline from the 1,901 listings at the end of May 2012.

Single family detached homes sat on the market 58 days before selling, townhouses 79 days, and mobile homes 94 days. This is slightly longer than the statistics at the end of April of this year. Apartments took 91 days to sell, according to the May 2013 figures, an increase of 40 days from April.

akonevski@theprogress.com
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