Month over month median sale price compared to unit sales from January 2020 to May 2020 in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board area. (Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board)

Chilliwack and district home sales down 38 per cent in May

Prices of homes that did sell increased to an average above $550,000

Chilliwack and area real estate sales were down 38 per cent last month, the lowest in 13 years, but the prices of homes that did sell were up.

There were just 170 sales in May 2020, which compares to a 10-year average of 307 for the month, and is down from 273 sales one year ago.

• READ MORE: April real estate sales in Chilliwack area lowest in well over a decade

• READ MORE: Chilliwack real estate selling prices unchanged year over year

But among a global pandemic, and predictions of catastrophic sales decreases and prices bottoming out, the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) is looking on the bright side calling the month’s sales a sign of “encouraging signs of real estate activity.”

“Various national and provincial agencies have predicted a continued downturn in housing sales and prices once COVID restrictions started to relax,” CADREB president Kim Parley said in a press release.

“We are finding this not to be the case in Chilliwack and area. In fact, as we see more listings come on to the market with people feeling more confident, the listings are actually averaging a three per cent price increase from last month.”

Single family home sales were down 48 per cent year over year, but the 88 houses that sold last month went for an average price of $647,772 up from $628,518 a year ago.

Of all housing type sold, the average sale price was $551,719 up from $534,364 in May 2019.

The 49 townshouses sold went for an average price of $453,997 up from $434,879, and the 18 apartments sold for an average price of $267,000, which was down from $291,168 a year ago.

Eleven homes sold for more than $950,000, including two over $1.5 million.

The sales drop of 38 per cent in the CADREB area in May 2020 compares to a 47 per cent drop in the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board area, and 44 per cent in the Greater Vancouver region.

Home sales have been a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic and Realtors have had to be creative, according to CADREB. Enhancements such as video virtual home tours have been used for potential buyers to preview homes prior to making appointments to view, and it’s a tool that will likely stay.

“As people become more comfortable with the re-opening rules, we are finding more listings coming on to the local market,” Parley said. “Historically, Chilliwack has not experienced any wild fluctuations in its real estate market like the metro areas encounter. The local forecast indicates that inventory and sales will continue to increase, and prices will hold steady or rise slightly.”

Realtors say that pent-up demand is great news for those who were considering selling prior to COVID, while recent slower sales can work to the advantage of those who are pre-approved for a mortgage.

“While the pandemic restrictions have been tough on many, there are others whose jobs are secure or have adapted creatively and are in a position to buy their first home or move up.”

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