Chilliwack – The summer weather may have been hot, but housing sales in Chilliwack and surrounding areas cooled to levels last experienced five years ago, however prices remain steady at this point.
Mirroring sales levels of 2013-14, local home sales fell just short of 200, compared to 351 sales in August a year ago. Given a balanced market area and a robust number of houses on the market, the downturn weighs heavily on a recent variable – the home purchase stress test.
“New mortgage qualification rules were put into effect in the new year,” explained Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) President Lori Maier. “Not only do Canadians need to qualify for the mortgage amount they are currently seeking, but they need to be able to withstand any future rate hikes up to a level prescribed by the Bank of Canada”.
This has pushed many potential homebuyers out of the market, according to the CADREB President.
“Generally, housing markets across the country have faced a downturn, but that causes a more balanced market, so we are expecting to see recovery by the end of the year. In the meantime, it is definitely leaning towards a buyer’s market!”.
Of the 197 sales in August, the highest number (32) were in the $450,00 – $499,99 range, followed by 20 sales in the $550,00 – $599,999 range. There were 6 sales over the $1 million mark.
The dollar value of sales dropped accordingly, with dollar value of all categories of sales totalling just over $105 million, compared to $167.6 million in August of 2017.
What has increased noticeably is the number of active listings on the market. At the end of the last month, there were 1,404 listings on the market, compared to 894 at the same time last year.