Monday, March 1, 2010

Is Chilliwack Real Estate Going Super Nova?

The Chilliwack real estate housing market continues to strengthen along a seasonal pattern with 117 sales in February 2010 as compared to 74 sales the month before.  In contrast to the paltry 56 transaction in 2009 the recent 117 sales makes the Chilliwack real estate market look like it is going super nova!  Is it though? While the increase will be hyped in the media as much as it can by people with vested interests is it really such a significant increase.

I decided to have a look and this was approach I took.  All the sales of houses in the month of February during the past decade were added up this aggregate was then divided by 10. Pretty simple stuff, I found the decade (2001 -2010) average for the month of February is (drum roll please) 114. So, this past February pretty reflects an average selling market and not one about to go super nova.  I found this approach a useful way to evaluate market conditions let me know if you have a better suggestion.

Chilliwack Single Family Detached Housing - February 2010

Month/DaySalesAverage Sale PriceDays on the MarketActive Listings
February 2010117$360,00057753
February 200956$369,00096n/a

One good aspect of an improving market is that the number of "days on the market" for these sales of Chilliwack houses has decreased from 85 days in January to 57 days in February.  There is a 16.4% selling to listing ratio which has improved from the month before placing the market in BALANCED territory.  Prices of Chilliwack houses are up from the month before but still lower than a year ago. This is a great time to make a purchase as choice has been increasing with new listings, up 11% from 676 in January to 753, available as of today.

With respect to the Fraser Valley market (Abbotsford to Delta) the average sale price of a single family attached house for February 2010 was $550,000 a difference of $190,000 from the Chilliwack average. To put it into a mortgage equivalent, another $1,147 a month would be needed to purchase there at a 5.39% interest rate based on a 25 year amortized mortgage.  Advantage Chilliwack!  Thinking of relocating your business perhaps the Chilliwack - Agassiz area should be considered.

Chilliwack Strata Housing (apartments, townhouses) - February 2010

Month/DaySalesAverage Sale PriceDays on the MarketActive Listings
February 201060$226,00048474
February 200965$229,000119n/a

The Chilliwack Strata housing market also has seen an increase in activity and a firming of price going from the average of $216,000 in January 2010 to $226,000 in February 2010. This market remains in BUYER market territory with a sale to listing ratio of 13.6%. There remain a lot of good buys given general oversupply conditions.

 The analysis above is based on my interpretation of information provided by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board and does not take into account private sales. The term "Chilliwack" is used here quite loosely to refer to an area serviced by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board which includes communities such as Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Yale and Boston Bar. The Fraser Valley West area embraces the entire Fraser Valley Real Estate Board area which extends from Abbotsford to Delta.

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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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