As red hot as Chilliwack was during the real estate boom, it’s now becoming one of the coldest markets in the province.
Compared to 11 other real estate regions across B.C., the third quarter housing forecast from the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA) projects Chilliwack and District (Yarrow to Lytton) to experience the sharpest drop in average MLS price.
BCREA forecasts a five per cent drop from $789,200 to $750,000.
The Fraser Valley region to the west is predicted to fall 3.9 per cent, the next largest projected dip.
“The dramatic rise in Canadian mortgage rates has prompted an equally dramatic shift in the B.C. housing market,” a BCREA news release noted.
Numbers for January through August supplied by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) have shown the local market trending down since the end of February. The average price of a single family home peaked at $1,118,254 before starting to fall. Through the end of August, that number sat at $918,779.
The average price of a townhouse hit $763,252 at the end of February and now sits at $571,873.
The average price of a condominium reached $507,978 at the end of April and has since dropped to $403,745.
At the same time, local real estate inventory has been on a steady climb, from 371 end-of-month (EOM) listings in January to 1,220 EOM listings in August.
“Weak sales and an increase in inventory mean that some market segments, largely more expensive markets, have tipped into buyers’ market territory,” the BCREA news release said.
But not all is doom and gloom for sellers. The BCREA sees signs that fixed mortgage rates have peaked, and while the big-picture battle against inflation will keep them high for the foreseeable future, local real estate may be close to leveling off.
“While the housing market is currently feeling the weight of higher interest rates, the downturn is unlikely to be long-lived,” the BCREA release suggests. “B.C.’s strong population growth combined with extremely favourable demographics means there will be no shortage of demand for housing in the province.”
The BCREA is the professional association for more than 24,000 realtors in B.C.