It’s been a stellar year so far in Chilliwack real estate sales.
“It’s actually been very very good,” said Jake Siemens, president of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board.
There are still a few more weeks left of 2014, but already there are clear signs the local market is bouncing back.
“We’ve seen about a 20 per cent increase in sales roughly, month over month, from 2013,” Siemens said.
It’s not so much that individual house prices are going up, but rather that more Chilliwack properties have been selling.
“This is the first year that we’ve seen some recovery. It bodes well for 2015.”
Siemens has been in the business a long time, celebrating 28 years in January. The steady rise in 2014 real estate transactions in Chilliwack started to be seen in early spring, starting in February.
“So far we’re on track not necessarily for a record year but probably close,” he said.
The local real estate market was exceptionally strong back in 2006 and 2007, before succumbing to global financial crisis conditions in 2008, when markets were crashing everywhere.
“We saw record sales in 2006-07 and we’re hoping to beat those numbers.”
Chilliwack’s big advantage is still affordability and decent interest rates. A median price for a single family home in Chilliwack is about $350,000, compared to $450,000 up to $480,000 in Abbotsford.
“Prices are considerably lower here. And as prices go up, that gap seems to widen,” Siemens said.
One of the driving factors is that Chilliwack buyers tend to get a little more property with their real estate deals, and the fact that one-quarter of sales are coming from out of town realtors.
“That means agents are coming out here to show because it’s affordable for their clients and that makes it worth the drive,” he added.
Online listings and the technology that drives it are big factors as well.
“It’s made business a little easier and we’ve seen more new construction this year.”