Sunday, October 31, 2010

Real Estate Review and Analysis - Chilliwack November 1, 2010

My review and analysis looks at two areas of the Chilliwack* residential real estate market that of single family detached houses and strata homes (apartments, townhouses, duplexes) for the month of October 2010.  This post will be of interest to buyers and sellers in the real estate market, real estate professionals and the curious.

Window Message in Gastown
I found the above disclaimer in a Gastown window and thought it amusing. Perhaps it was written a little to harshly for the author as a sign post with the word "Someday" was placed in the adjoining window in an attempt to amend it.  With this message in mind let's delve into the entails of economics and statistics and try to conjure up some rational predictions for the Chilliwack* real estate market.


I decided a while back that comparing one month's Chilliwack* real estate activity to the previous month was somewhat suspect as there is a seasonal pattern to sales in both strong and weak markets. Usually we see home buying in Chilliwack* peak in the May to July months and then sales will wane a little to a low in December or January. To get a better measure of performance I elected instead to develop a 10 year average for that specific month. So for example the statistics for October 2010 get compared to an average for the 10 Octobers previous (2000-2009). I thought this would tell me if a month was over or under performing.

There were 106 sales of single family houses in the Chilliwack* October 2010 real estate market compared to a 10 year average of 134.  Therefore we have an under performing market.  No surprise but at least you can see that the market is operating at 79% strength. Another way I thought of thinking about this was to look and find how many of October months, during the last ten years, were worse than this past October and two were 2008 and 2000.  What can I say - poor company indeed.

In months with low sales we expect to see the "average" sale price bouncing up and down quite a bit. This October was no different when it shot up to $350,000 from the September 2010 average of $314,000.  Earlier in 2010 we had a 5 month period when the average sale price for a single family house was in the vicinity of $360,000.  This October's average sale price is pretty similar to that of a year ago when the average was $348,000.  My take is that the average of $350,000 this October is closer to where the market is actually reflecting a decline in price from the spring but not a collapse.  While encouraging it really suggests that valuation of any particular house or property requires the market analysis skills of a local real estate professional. 

The inventory level of single family houses for sale has dropped off only slightly down to 973 from 987 a month before and that is to be expected this time of year.

MONTHSalesAverage Sale PriceDays on MarketActive Listings
Oct  2010 106$350,00060973
Sept 2010 105$314,00066987
Oct  2009 131$348,00071n/a
Oct  2000  90$147,00080n/a

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Listings: November 1, 2010 - $369,900 (more or less the same as last month).

My impressions "gut feel" of the Chilliwack* real estate market this month was that it has started a recovery but will remain weak until the spring market begins. Good calibre well kept properties do not seem to be having any difficulty in attracting offers. (This could be coloured by the success I had this past month in securing the purchase and sale of a couple of properties - hey, I'm human.) Prices tend to be "sticky" on the downside of a market but expect to see some real bargains in the months ahead.


MONTHSalesAverage Sale PriceDays on MarketActive Listings
Oct   2010 50$214,00074531
Sept  2010 32$213,00075550
Oct   2009 78$207,00059n/a

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Listings: November 1, 2010 - $219,000

Townhouses and apartments make up the bulk of Chilliwack's* strata market and in October there were 50 sales up from 32 the month before.  A ten year average number of sales is 59 so while still under performing this market is operating at 85% strength.  Not good but not bad.  This decade has seen 4 poorer "October" strata sale performances in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2008 and as mentioned an average "October" strata market should see nearly 59 sales in the month. The average sale price rose from a dismal August average of $199,000 to a more respectable $213,000 in September and held steady in October at $214,000.

Strata owners thinking of selling in a market like this are wise to maximize their exposure through the expertise and resources that a professional real estate agent offers.  I am available. The good news for Buyers is that there are plenty of units for sale in fact there are on this date 531 strata properties one could chose from in this Buyer's market.  Mortgage rates are very attractive.

*The analysis above is based on my interpretation of information provided through the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board and does not include private sales. The term "Chilliwack" is used quite loosely to refer to an area serviced by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board which includes communities such as Chilliwack, Sardis, Cultus Lake, Yarrow, Rosedale, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Harrison Mills. Hope, Yale and Boston Bar. The Fraser Valley West embraces the entire Fraser Valley Real Estate Board area from Abbotsford west to Delta.

Steve Mullock RI,
is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 29 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) for experience, local knowledge, friendly service that is usually on time; you’ll be happy you did.

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