‘Robust’ July seen in Chilliwack house sales

Thanks to a cool and rainy month, the Chilliwack area posted a robust July in a typically sluggish time for house sales, said Mark Andersen, president of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board.

Thanks to a cool and rainy month, the Chilliwack area posted a robust July in a typically sluggish time for house sales, said Mark Andersen, president of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board.

A total of 179 homes sold in July, he said, which is up considerably from the 144 sales recorded last year in July, but down slightly from a month earlier.

Sales were “particularly strong” in the middle- and upper-end market, according to statistics compiled by the board.

“The local market saw a lot of interest in homes in the mid-$300,000 levels and up,” Andersen said.

“Due to strong inventory and continued low interest rates,” he said, “potential homeowners are taking advantage of this optimum time to negotiate on a move-up house or to buy their first one,” he said.

The highest number of sales last month (30 of the 179) were in the $300,000 to $349,999 range, according to board statistics, followed by 23 homes in the $350,000 to $399,999 range, and 21 in the $400,000 to $499,999 level.

Fifteen sales were over the half-million dollar mark.

Housing inventory in the Chilliwack area remains high, with 1,904 houses on the market.

“The speculation remains that interest rates will inch up towards the end of the year,” Andersen said.

“Home sales typically slow down in August, which means sellers are hungry for a deal,” he said, so now is an “excellent time” for first-home buyers or those looking for a move-up home or an investment property.

The real estate industry contributes “significantly to the financial health of communities, Andersen said, noting that sales in July totalled just over $55 million.

“The various spin-offs from those sales – transaction and moving cost, furniture sales, etc – generate significant revenue for local businesses,” he said.