Lagging sales of apartments in February 2020 compares to increases in townhomes and single family homes in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board area. (Realtor.ca)

Real estate market conditions point to a strong spring in Chilliwack and area

Boost in listings coupled with an easier mortgage ‘stress test’ could make for busy season

Factors in the Chilliwack and district real estate market are coming together to make for a positive spring, according to local Realtors.

Between changes to the mortgage stress test announced in February and coming in April, along with listings hitting a height not seen since last summer, the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) area is poised to handle increased demand.

“Both sales and inventory continued to rise last month, and we are seeing indicators that this trend will continue,” CADREB president Kim Parley said in a press release.

Following months of low inventory, there were 1,521 listings at the end of February 2020, up from 987 at the end of January, and 1,191 a year ago. There were just 696 listings at the end of December 2019.

In February, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced changes to the benchmark rate use to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages. Essentially, the new rules increase purchasing power for homebuyers, if not at the level before the stress test was first implemented.

• READ MORE: Ottawa to change stress test rate for insured mortgages next month

The changes are scheduled to come into effect April 6.

“The federal government and the federal banking regulator are planning to make adjustments to the mortgage stress test in time for the typically busy spring home-buying season,” Parley said. “By changing the current benchmark used to qualify, it will make it a bit easier for a number of potential home buyers to obtain a mortgage.”

There were a total of 190 homes sold in the CADREB area – which includes Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Boston Bar, Cultus Lake and the regional district areas in between – last month for an average price of $540,925.

That compares to 154 homes sold in February 2019 for an average price of $517,109.

The average single-family home sold for $623,874 last month, about the same as a year ago.

Townhouses sold for an average price of $437,861 up from $408,097 year over year, and the 23 apartments sold last month for an average price of $258,191, on par from a year ago.

Eight homes, including four houses with acreages, sold over the $1 million mark.

“While condo sales are lagging a bit, sales were strong in the townhome sector, as there are many affordable opportunities in this type of housing,” Parley said. “In fact, we even saw instances of multiple offers last month.”

• READ MORE: Chilliwack home sales continue sluggish pace in February 2019

• READ MORE: Year ends with solid real estate sales in Chilliwack region


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

@PeeJayAitch
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