The Chilliwack real estate market is back on solid ground with sales in September up 73 per cent year over year while prices remain steady.
The 281 homes sold last month far surpasses the 162 sold in September 2018 and is close to the 309 for that month in 2017 and 287 in 2016 when the market was red hot.
Septembers sales follow a similarly solid August buoying optimism for local Realtors.
That while the B.C. economy saw a slight slowdown of two per cent, according to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB), which oversees sales in Chilliwack, Cultus Lake, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Boston Bar and the rural areas in between.
The total dollar value of sales last month reached almost $147.6 million, compared to just over $84 million in September of last year.
“Seasonally adjusted, that’s a 25 per cent increase,” said CADREB president Kyle Nason.
The average price of all homes sold last month was $525,257 a number that has remained relatively steady for a year. The average price of a home sold in September 2018 was $519,013.
That while the demand for single family homes has increased. Of the 281 homes sold last month, 57 per cent (159) were single family homes, that’s up from 49 per cent of the homes a year ago. The average price of a single family home last month was $628,508, on par with the $627,776 in September 2018.
Nason suggested buyers shouldn’t look for rising prices anytime soon that supply and demand sometimes creates.
“Home prices remain flat, with competitively priced homes moving the fastest,” Nason said.
The highest number of home sales last month (58) were in the $500,000-to-$599,999 range, followed by 50 sales in the $400,000-to-$499,999 range, and 45 sales priced between $600,000-to-$699,999. The number of active listings at the end of the month stood at 1.476 compared to just three fewer in September of 2018.
A CADREB press release expressed the opinion that the new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) could be a particular benefit to Chilliwack given the lower home prices here compared to virtually anywhere else in the Lower Mainland.
The incentive is intended to help reduce monthly mortgage payments without increasing the amount needed to save for a down payment.
The FTHBI program can help with lowering mortgage payments for first-time buyers on homes under $500,000. At that rate, critics point out in markets such as Vancouver or Toronto, that eliminates all single-family homes, townhouses, even luxury condos. In Chilliwack, however, it could prove helpful except for the fact that it gives some of the equity in the home to CMHC.
“While any relief for first-time buyers is welcome, some people are reluctant to take part in this program as they don’t want the government to have a share in their home equity,” Nason said.