The average selling price of the 280 homes sold in the Chilliwack and district area last month was $534,684, virtually unchanged from a year ago. (Greg Laychak/Black Press file)

Mortgage stress test continues to hinder Chilliwack real estate sales

Yet average selling price over $530,000 virtually unchanged year over year

Sales are down, listings are up, but the macroeconomic principle of supply and demand just isn’t having an effect on prices of homes in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) area.

April is typically a hot month for sales, but with just 280 sales last month, that’s down from 361 in April 2018.

The average selling price of $534,684 is close to the average of $533,020 for the same month last year.

And while 280 sounds low, that’s compared to the three-year selling boom from 2016 to 2018 that saw an average of 421 sales in April.

In 2015 there were 281 sales, in 2014 just 240 and in 2013 and 2012, 193 and 187 respectively.

As to the “why” sales continue to slump in 2019, CADREB blames the federal government’s “stress test,” which is living up to its name. The board estimates as much as 20 per cent of previously potential buyers are being shut out of the housing market because of the new mortgage qualification rules.

• READ MORE: B.C. real estate board urges feds to revisit mortgage stress test

“Despite interest rates continuing to be historically low, the stress test, which was imposed in the new year has prevented many from achieving their dream of home ownership,” said Kyle Nason, CADREB president in a press release. “It’s proving to be frustrating to buyers and sellers.”

Nason said that the local board has now met with both the provincial and federal governments, asking for help for consumers to help offset the negative effects of the stress test. The test not only takes into account what a person can qualify for now in a mortgage payment, but what could be withstood in the event of a rate hike (currently based on 5.9 per cent).

While sales are down, listings are up 55 per cent from 989 in April 2018. The slowing sales has not put pressure on prices, however, with average sales prices up 3.4 per cent across the board. Chilliwack is down 3.15 per cent, but Sardis is up 5.1 per cent. The best bargains are in Hope, where the median price has decreased by 15.6 per cent.

Part of the reason why the average selling price is not going down with lagging sales is because what is being purchased is at the higher end. The highest number of sales last month (35) were in the $550,000 to $599,999 range followed by 26 sales in the $600,000 to $649,999 range.

Of the 280 sales, 140 were single family homes for an average price of $643,644. The 64 townhouses sold for an average price of $446,610. And the average of the 13 apartments sold was $259,204.

There were 13 sales over the $1 million mark, all houses with acreages for an average price of $1.24 million.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack real estates sales in March still slumping as prices stay steady


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Chilliwack junior roller derby team celebrates long-awaited win over Seattle

NWO Junior Roller Derby hosted two games on the weekend against the Seattle Derby Brats

Violin meets piano in The Red Violin at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Jasper Wood joins the Bergmann Duo for an intimate morning concert in Chilliwack

Bold and brazen singer Begonia brings colourful show to Tractorgrease in Chilliwack

The musician from Winnipeg is equally comfortable singing lullabies, headbangers and ballads

PHOTOS: Home, Leisure and Outdoor Living Expo runs all weekend in Chilliwack

There are more than 250 vendors set up for the annual home show at Chilliwack Heritage Park

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Henderson at the Chilliwack SPCA

Henderson, also known as Biggy, has FIV, a virus similar to HIV in humans

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read