The 10-year trend of residential average house prices in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board area.

Chilliwack real estate cools yet prices remain red hot

Average price of a home sold in CADREB area in October topped $400,000, up 20 per cent over 2015 and 29.7 per cent over 2014

Chilliwack real estate sales have descended back to reality from the staggering heights in March through June of this year, yet prices remain higher than ever.

The average price of a residential home sold in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) in October 2016 was $401,306, up slightly over September and down from the peak of $414,653 in May of this year.

That October average price is up 31 per cent over the average home sold a decade ago of $307,459 in October 2007. That was right before the 2008 economic crash, during which time average house sale prices did not vary dramatically.

By October 2014 the average price was $309,490 meaning last month’s average is up 29.7 per cent over that. By October 2015 the average price was $333,784 so last month’s average home selling price is up 20 per cent over a year ago.

There were 277 homes sold last month in the CADREB region down from 288 in October 2015. But those sales brought in $115.6 million for sellers, considerably higher than the $96.1 million on 288 sales a year ago.

CADREB president Richard Admiraal said the stricter federal regulations imposed last month—the so-called “stress test” of the ability homebuyer has to withstand future mortgage increases—likely contributed to the lower sales.

“We anticipated that it would affect first-time buyers the hardest, as it has made it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage,” Admiraal said in a press release. “However, time will tell if this is the case, or if potential buyers were holding back on buying to learn more about the new qualifications.”

Fully 26 per cent (73 out of 277) of the homes sold last month in Chilliwack were over the half-million dollar mark.

At least part of the reason for the continued rise in prices has to be due to the continued plunge in the number of active listings. By Oct. 31 there were 995 homes on the market, down from 1,135 in 2015, 1,548 in 2014, 1,582 in 2013, 1,661 in 2012 and 1,782 in 2011.

As far as adding to that supply, the six-month moving average of housing starts in B.C. trended down in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data released Tuesday.

“This said, the trend measure of housing starts remains well above the five-year average level,” said Robyn Adamache, CMHC’s principal market analyst.

In Chilliwack, the focus continues to be on single family homes as multiples decline. There have been 605 starts so far in 2016 up from 566 in 2015 at this point. That’s an increase in single family homes from 264 in 2015 to 339 this year, and a decline from 302 multiples in 2015 to 266 this year.

CADREB BLANKET DRIVE

With the temperatures dipping colder, it’s time for the annual CADREB Blanket Drive.

During the week of Nov. 14 to 21, residents are asked to bring new or gently used clean winter clothing (sweaters. jackets, socks, hats) and blankets to their favourite real estate office anywhere in Chilliwack and area.

Each year, CADREB collects multitudes of items to distribute to community agencies in helping to keep residents warm over the fall and winter months.