Real estate sales in March 2020 were strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic but sale are likely to slow in April. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Open houses discouraged as Chilliwack realtors look for a way forward

March saw strong sales but April likely to see lower numbers

Home sales amid a global pandemic are sure to drop and the industry is joining others in the move to a virtual sales model.

As physical distancing is urged, touching of surfaces is discouraged, imagine how challenging it is to hold an open house as the COVID-19 virus moves across the community.

“While Realtors post photos of their listings, many are adding or enhancing virtual tours on their listings during this time of self-isolation,” Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) president Kim Parley said in a press release. “It’s a great way to view a property from the safety of your home, learn all the specifications and be poised to view it either now with the safety regulations in place, or at a later date.”

CADREB has “strongly recommended” that open houses are not put on at this time, and they will not be posted on realtor.ca to help discourage the practice.

When homes are viewed, real estate agents have been instructed to wear gloves and sanitize any touch points when they leave such as door handles and light switches.

As for local real estate sales, they were brisk in March with 267 completed sales, mostly in the first half of the month. That number compares to 209 sales in March 2019, but the 267 number is right around the 10-year average.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack real estates sales still slumping as prices stay steady

CADREB said listings are expected to drop as many sellers whose listing expires will opt to wait until the social distancing rules are changed. The board does not, however, expect prices to drop as the prediction is that when the market starts to rebound, there will be pent-up demand, particularly with such attractive mortgage rates currently being offered.

Of the 267 home sales in March, the most sold (29) were in the $450,000 to $499,999 range, followed by 27 sales in the $400,000 to $449,999 range. There were 14 sales over the $1 million mark, including one over $2 million.

Sales of single family homes remain the dominant choice in the CADREB area – which includes Chilliwack, Cultus Lake, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Boston Bar and the rural areas in between – with 145 sales compared to 69 townhouses and 26 apartments, the latter being the only segment down year over year from 34 in 2019.

The average sale price of a home in the CADREB area last month was $558,529, which compares to $525,401 a year ago. Single family homes continue to lead the way with 54 per cent of all homes sold for an average price of $602,382, which is down from $650,314 a year ago.

The average sale price of the 69 townhouses sold last month was $461,800 and the 26 apartments were sold for $273,560.

Listings are down to 944 at the end of the last month from 1,374 a year ago.

CADREB president Kim Parley suggested that since housing is a necessity, the market will rebound,

“Pent up demand, current low mortgage rates should create a busy market when social distancing rules are changed,” the board president said.

“Above all at this time, be safe, be healthy and make wise choices.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

3 new COVID-19 cases on peninsula

One resident and two workers employed by a seafood processor in the borough tested positive.

Ken Monkhouse, ‘Monkey’ on Highway Thru Hell TV show, passes away

Monkhouse passed away Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Council talks trash: New garbage bylaw in the works

Draft bylaw to be voted on at Monday, May 25 council meeting

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

Most Read