After an abysmal January for real estate sales in a cooling market in the eastern Fraser Valley, last month sales picked up, if only slightly.
There were 154 homes sold in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board’s (CADREB) region last month – an area that includes Chilliwack, Cultus Lake, Agassiz, Hope and places in between – down from 260 in February 2018, but up from just 98 in January.
The 10-year average for February homes sales from 2010 to 2019 is 186, which includes a peak of 283 sales in 2016 and a low of 133 in 2012.
CADREB’s newly installed president Kyle Nason blames the federal government’s mortgage stress test for the sluggish pace of sales, which has continued for about a year now.
“There is no doubt that the federal government’s ‘stress test’ implemented a year ago has stalled the economy,” Nason said in a CADREB press release.
Of the homes sold last month, 82, or 53 per cent, were single family homes. There were 32 townhouses and 32 apartments sold, along with four mobile homes and four houses with acreages.
And despite several months in a row of lagging sales, prices don’t seem to be dropping. The average sale price of any home sold last month was $517,109, which is up from $508,261 one year ago, and $421,546 in February 2017.
Breaking that down, the average price of a single family home last month was $621,733, the average for townhouses was $408,097, and apartments $257,144.
Listings are back to normal levels at 1,191 at the end of February, up 72 per cent from just 693 one year ago.
The low sales mean the industry is tipping towards a buyers’ market but Nason says sellers need to be patient.
“Homes may be staying on the market longer, but patient sellers will still be OK,” he said. “More than ever, it’s important to work with your realtor who is aware of market comps (comparable homes and sale prices), and listen to advice about pricing your home competitively.”
Of the 154 sales last month, the highest number sold (16) were in the $450,000 to $499,999 range, followed by 15 sales in the $600,000 to $649,999 range. There were three sales over the $1 million mark.
CADREB’s new president, Kyle Nason, has spent a decade in the business and is currently with Remax Nyda Realty. He is also a proud volunteer firefighter with the City of Chilliwack, and former captain of the Chilliwack Chiefs.
“As president, I look forward to working with boards across the province and BCREA with all matters that affect our members and realtors in the province, as well as regulations that impact residents in our local communities.”