Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Real Estate Review and Analysis - December 1, 2010

Review and analysis of the Chilliwack* real estate market from the armchair of Stephen Mullock a 30 year Chilliwack real estate agent and a professional member of the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia.
This 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 November 2010.  This post will be of interest to buyers and sellers in the Chilliwack real estate market, real estate professionals and the curious.

Quick Aside: We went into Vancouver this past weekend and took in the Vancouver Eastside Cultural Crawl ;I snapped off a few pictures of the wonderful architecture in the Strathcona area, the oldest residential section, of the city.  If you enjoy art and craftsmanship the Vancouver Eastside Cultural Crawl is an event you do not want to miss - I'll be going back next year. Hope you enjoy the pictures.


Strathcona Victorian

I have been trying for some time to develop a better measure of real estate market performance and believe at the moment that comparing the month under review against a 10 year average for that same month seems fair.  

So for example the statistics for November 2010 get compared to an average for the 10 Novembers previous (2000-2009).  This tells us if a month has over or under performed and by how much.

There were 83 sales of Chilliwack* single family houses in the month of November 2010 as compared to a 10 year November average of  110 sales for November (2000-2009).  To put it another way, this November was operating at about 3/4 speed.  November 2010 was the third worst November in the field with only the years 2000 and 2008 having lower single family detached Chilliwack* sale numbers. This under-performance in the Chilliwack real estate market is something we have been seeing in recent months.

If we look at 2010 we see, at the beginning of the year, a very game Chilliwack real estate market operating at about 85-98% efficiency and then a huge drop off starting in July when all of a sudden the market plummets, to a 60% efficiency rate. A number of concerns were raised by this column in March, which included, the then still to be implemented, federal initiatives designed to cool off the market: tougher new lending requirements, rising interest rates and the HST.  This blog thought that the Chilliwack real estate market was still too fragile and felt that these policies designed to cool off real estate markets in the major metropolitan areas would have an adverse local effect; sadly, this appears to have been the case.

Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Housing Sales Report - November 2010
MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
November 2010  83 $341,000 83 914
October 2010 106 $350,000 60 973
November 2009 113 $340,000 61 n/a

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Listings: December 1, 2010 - $375,000


Strathcona Row Housing
MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
Nov   2010  39 $201,000 77 524
Oct  2010  50 $214,000 74 531
Nov   2009  79 $236,000 70 n/a

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings: December 1, 2010 - $219,900

The Chilliwack real estate market for Strata Homes saw only 39 sales in November 2010 compared to a 10 year (2000 - 2009) November average of 54.  Three years had worst Novembers for Strata sales however 2000, 2001 and of course the year that began our woes 2008.

Summary Thoughts

The Chilliwack real estate market continues to struggle with less than buoyant times, there is at present, an 11 month supply of single family houses on the market and a 13 month supply of Strata homes.  As a result, the "Buyers market" we are in will continue until at least the spring of 2011.  Thinking of selling, be sure to, hire the talents of a full time real estate agent known and active in the local market.  If you are considering buying, this is a great opportunity, but, be sure to be represented properly by selecting a reputable local agent to work for you; they will give you better guidance.

*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.

Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 30 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; you’ll be happy you did.


  1. The federal initiatives to cool the housing market were welcome ones, but unfortunately did not go far enough to subdue consumer credit issues. A return to 25 year max amortizations would have helped significantly. If sales are to start improving, sellers will have to get realistic about their prices. We're not in 2007 anymore. Many houses are priced to list, not priced to sell. I've been keeping my eye on the Sardis area, and it seems alot of houses have been delisted/expired. If these delisted/expired houses plan on relisting in the spring it could cause the already high MOI to explode. This could get interesting for those with cash.

  2. I agree with the previous comment. We're seeing sellers refusing to price their homes for the current buyers market in the hope that things will pick up in the spring of 2011...but there is no reason to expect a sudden increase in buyers (other than warmer days!) and it sure looks like there will be a sudden increase in springtime listings. Homes listed above the 450 mark are getting pulled all over the place...the question is, are people serious about selling? Remember, a home is worth exactly what someone else is willing to pay for it, no more and no less.

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