Real estate sales in March 2020 were strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic but sale are likely to slow in April. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Real estate sales in March 2020 were strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic but sale are likely to slow in April. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Open houses discouraged as Chilliwack realtors look for a way forward

March saw strong sales but April likely to see lower numbers

Home sales amid a global pandemic are sure to drop and the industry is joining others in the move to a virtual sales model.

As physical distancing is urged, touching of surfaces is discouraged, imagine how challenging it is to hold an open house as the COVID-19 virus moves across the community.

“While Realtors post photos of their listings, many are adding or enhancing virtual tours on their listings during this time of self-isolation,” Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) president Kim Parley said in a press release. “It’s a great way to view a property from the safety of your home, learn all the specifications and be poised to view it either now with the safety regulations in place, or at a later date.”

CADREB has “strongly recommended” that open houses are not put on at this time, and they will not be posted on to help discourage the practice.

When homes are viewed, real estate agents have been instructed to wear gloves and sanitize any touch points when they leave such as door handles and light switches.

As for local real estate sales, they were brisk in March with 267 completed sales, mostly in the first half of the month. That number compares to 209 sales in March 2019, but the 267 number is right around the 10-year average.

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

CADREB said listings are expected to drop as many sellers whose listing expires will opt to wait until the social distancing rules are changed. The board does not, however, expect prices to drop as the prediction is that when the market starts to rebound, there will be pent-up demand, particularly with such attractive mortgage rates currently being offered.

Of the 267 home sales in March, the most sold (29) were in the $450,000 to $499,999 range, followed by 27 sales in the $400,000 to $449,999 range. There were 14 sales over the $1 million mark, including one over $2 million.

Sales of single family homes remain the dominant choice in the CADREB area – which includes Chilliwack, Cultus Lake, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Boston Bar and the rural areas in between – with 145 sales compared to 69 townhouses and 26 apartments, the latter being the only segment down year over year from 34 in 2019.

The average sale price of a home in the CADREB area last month was $558,529, which compares to $525,401 a year ago. Single family homes continue to lead the way with 54 per cent of all homes sold for an average price of $602,382, which is down from $650,314 a year ago.

The average sale price of the 69 townhouses sold last month was $461,800 and the 26 apartments were sold for $273,560.

Listings are down to 944 at the end of the last month from 1,374 a year ago.

CADREB president Kim Parley suggested that since housing is a necessity, the market will rebound,

“Pent up demand, current low mortgage rates should create a busy market when social distancing rules are changed,” the board president said.

“Above all at this time, be safe, be healthy and make wise choices.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

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

Two ejected from single vehicle crash in Seabird Island

Landing zone for medevac has been requested

(File photo)
Semi truck and car collide on Highway 1 near Popkum

Slow lane eastbound is now closed as crews wait for tow trucks

Treeplanters from Shakti Reforestation are adding to the forests of Mount Thom Park. (City of Chilliwack)
Treeplanting project in Mount Thom Park will keep Chilliwack forest resilient

So far they’ve planted 2,000 of 80,000 trees planned for popular park on Promontory

Fire damage is seen in the windows of an apartment on Yale Road on April 21, 2021 following a fire there the night before. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack Fire Dept. reminds people again to have working smoke alarms following 2nd blaze in 2 days

All six halls responded to bedroom fire in apartment on Yale Road above restaurant in Chilliwack

Bert Brink Wildlife Management Area was the site of illegally dumped drywall reported on April 19, 2021. (Michael Hill photo)
Another cache of dumped drywall in Chilliwack prompts suggestion to block access

Pile of drywall likely asbestos containing discarded in wildlife management area

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Thousands have converged in Whonnock Lake Park to enjoy the nice weather. (Roxanne Hooper/The News)
Thousands enjoy B.C. park with warnings about social distancing

Portable toilets installed in anticipation of nice weather

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Most Read