Friday, October 16, 2009


You will likely soon read some celebratory nonsense about how the Chilliwack real estate market is 33% more active than it was in 2008. This will be a true statement, but then, October 2008 is not much of a benchmark. A year ago, the Chilliwack real estate market was a real stinker. Granted a 33% increase does sound good, but, the real story is quite the opposite, the Chilliwack real estate market seems to be an underachiever, especially, when it is compared with the real estate market in the Fraser Valley west of Chilliwack or Vancouver.

I know that the glass is half full and reasonable market conditions are at play, houses are selling, regularly, I was just hoping that, hey, the glass might become ¾’s full.

You could take some comfort in the fact that house sales in the Chilliwack Real Estate Board area are continuing to follow a seasonal pattern that is again, if it wasn’t for those rebounding sales happening next door in the western section of the Fraser Valley. Chilliwack house sales of 61 for the first two weeks of October are less than those in the first two weeks of September when we had 70 sales. In the western Fraser Valley (FV-west) sales have more than rebounded they are 25% higher than a month earlier! Things there are accelerating. OMG! They are looking at the highest number of sales in the past 5 years. My estimation is that close to 1 in 4 houses are selling each month in the FV-wast as compared to the Chilliwack average of 1 in 7.

Chilliwack real estate sales should be higher and so the advantage remains with the buyers. They continue to be in a great position to snap up a smart bargain.

The Statistics – October 1-15, 2009

Buyer’s market

Number of Houses Sold first 15 days October 2009: 61

Number of Houses Sold first 15 days of September 2009: 70

Average Sale Price Previous Month- September: $345,000

Average List to Average Sale Price ratio: 97 percent

Average Number of Days on Market: 65 days

Houses available for sale October 15th: 866

If you would like to read an article on the broader resale housing outlook, I quite enjoyed the TD Economic Report of October 7, 2009.

Real estate markets move too fast to rely upon a once a month analysis, this mid-month report will give real estate buyers and sellers a more immediate and better understanding of the market and the knowledge they need to hold a competitive advantage.

The best advantage for a buyer or seller is the expertise and knowledge of a real estate agent who is active and works the neighbourhood you are interested in.  Hire them do not take advantage of them.  Okay, that sounded bitter.

Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.

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