Chilliwack housing to see modest growth in 2015: Report

A sense of consumer confidence and a mini construction boom on the south side are some of the reasons reasons cited

Modest growth in 2015 is being predicted for Chilliwack real estate prices. In terms of notable areas

Modest growth in 2015 is being predicted for Chilliwack real estate prices. In terms of notable areas

Chilliwack’s housing market will continue to chug along in 2015, although condo prices may remain a little flat.

A sense of consumer confidence and a mini construction boom on the south side are reasons cited for the modest growth predicted for Chilliwack, in the 2015 Housing Market Outlook Report released by REMAX.

The average residential price in Chilliwack inched up to an estimated $307,000 in 2014 — an increase of three per cent over the previous year. The average price is a composite of all housing forms from single family homes to condos.

One trend Chilliwack is expected to continue to benefit from is the migration into the Fraser Valley by former or retiring Vancouverites looking for real estate deals and decent quality of life.

The Market Outlook released last week compares 2014 national prices and sales activity, and unveils a 2015 forecast for 32 regions across Canada, including Chilliwack.

Unit sales rose 15 per cent to 2,395 sales in 2014 from 2,074 in 2013, with September and October seeing a lot of activity. For 2015, house sales are expected to increase six to 10 per cent, and the average price is expected to rise three to four per cent to $317,750.

“That is almost exactly what we were projecting for sales and prices,” said Jake Siemens, president of Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board. “It’s a fairly stable market with interest rates also expected to remain low.”

There does seem to be a trend forming, he said, with a shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market, as prices increase modestly.

As the market started heating up towards the end of last summer, days on the market decreased and the market started shifting from a balanced to a seller’s market. There was stock of all property types available in 2014, including condominiums.

“Consumer confidence, strength of the economy and new construction in areas like south Chilliwack, prompt optimism for the residential real estate market in 2015.”

As long as the housing inventory keeps pace, buyers won’t become too frustrated, Siemens noted.

“Once we hit an 18 per cent listings-to-sales ratio, then it is considered to be moving into a seller’s market,” he said.

Movement in the market matters. As more first-time buyers enter the market, “move-up buyers” then sell their homes and shift to the next level.

Vancouver retirees will be increasingly moving in as well.

“The additional equity after purchasing a place in Chilliwack provides a comfortable retirement fund,” noted the report author.

In general, status quo or modest increases are predicted.

“The condo market is expected to remain flat in the coming year, with no change in average price anticipated,” according to the Market Outlook report. “In the upper-end of the market, price appreciation of four to five per cent is expected for the coming year, and sales are anticipated to remain on par with 2014.”

Garrison Crossing, on the former CFB Chilliwack, is singled out for its contribution to a good mix of stock, including rental space, row houses, condominiums and townhouses.

“The award-winning designs and walkability of the community continued to draw the attention of first-time home buyers and move-up buyers alike.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/chwkjourno

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