Local Realtors are seeing encouraging signs with home sales heading towards a more stable market.
There were 247 sales worth $127.2 million in August for an average selling price of $515,056 in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) area, which includes Chilliwack, Cultus Lake, Agassiz, Hope, Boston Bar and the rural areas in between.
That’s up from just 197 sales a year ago when the average selling price was $533,611.
Sales in August are typically slow.
Single family homes continue to dominate the market at 57 per cent of those sold last month, right around the same as the 58 per cent in August 2018.
Following a noticeable decline in home sales over the past months since the introduction of the so-called mortgage “stress test,” CADREB says both locally and provincially, that the housing market is reaching stability.
“Since the stress test, enacted by the federal government in the beginning of 2018, until mid-2019, home sales have decreased across the country, in some cases significantly,” CADREB president Kyle Nason said in a press release.
“Chilliwack was not immune to this, but sales and home prices at this end of the Fraser Valley do not tend to fluctuate as wildly as the more metropolitan areas of Canada.”
CADREB suggests recent sales numbers point to a shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market.
Of the 247 sales last month, the highest number (32) were those in the $400,000-to-$449,999 range, followed by 29 sales of homes in the $450,000-to-$499,999 range.
The average sale price of a single family home last month was $606,135. The average sale price of the 56 townhomes sold was $403,333, and of the 28 apartments was $271,714.
CADREB suggested that Chilliwack and area first-time buyers will benefit from the federal government’s September launch of the First-Time Home Buyer incentive, an interest-free loan that doesn’t require monthly payments.
“This incentive is intended to help reduce monthly mortgage payments without increasing the amount needed to save for a down payment,” Nason said. Prospective buyers can obtain more information from their lending institution.
At the end of August, there were 1,552 active listings in the CADREB area.