Monday, September 28, 2009

Garrison Crossing Part 2 – Garrison Crossing takes a fitness test

This post is part 2 of a series that examines how Canada Land Corporation has transformed Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Chilliwack into one of Chilliwack’s most sought after real estate addresses. To find Part one  just a click away or scroll downward on the page. This post will appeal to area residents, those interested in urban development, people considering a real estate purchase in the residential portion of Garrison Crossing, Chilliwack and others like the Mullock family that lived on the Base.


Boulevard Houses September 2009

Garrison Crossing – Physical Fitness – 5BX



When I was a boy growing up on the Base the Royal Canadian 5BX Plan for Physical Fitness was the preeminent daily guide to wellbeing. So, just for fun, I hope to answer what 5 physical attributes of Garrison Crossing are keys to its fitness for habitation.

1-X Floodplain


The first is that it is situated above the 200 year floodplain. The last major flood in the Fraser Valley was in 1948, and while there was serious flooding in the lower parts of the Greendale area as recently as January 2009, the 1948 flood is the one seared into the memories of the old-timers here. Lucky for Chilliwack that the military base established in 1942 ,was on lands above the flooding, and available to give assistance in 48. Today, Chilliwack is better protected by dykes but who knows? New housing in Chilliwack has been required to meet the 200 year floodplain requirements for some time but in the case of Garrison Crossing the elevation is so high that even in-ground basements are allowed.

Fitness level: Excellent



2-X Fertile


The second, is that the rich fertile soil of the Fraser Valley provides a lush albeit seasonal growing environment. With ideas like the 100 mile diet floating around a small family garden is not such a bad idea. The land is relatively level providing a great walking environment or place to kick a ball around with a child.

Fitness Level: Very Good


3-X Climate


One of the most moderate climates in British Columbia and Canada (as defined by a deviation from a 15 degree Celsius day) is the third, it once provided a wonderful year round climate for military training, today, it offers a comfortable temperature for its inhabitants.  Having said that the hottest day ever recorded for Chilliwack occurred this July so maybe weather patterns are changing. Okay, I feel that I have to also mention rain. There I have said it – rain. Nothing is perfect but it keeps the trees beautifully green and does not need shovelling.

Fitness Level: Very Good, with an umbrella in winter


4-X General Movement






Transportation.  Tucked in the southern section of today’s City of Chilliwack adjacent to Vedder Crossing the Base must have been somewhat isolated when it opened in 1942. Vedder road, to the east, today, is the major thoroughfare to the Shopping areas in Sardis and the City of Chilliwack from Garrison Crossing and this is a very busy road. The result is congestion.
The good news is that the new Evans Road highway overpass, to the northwest, now under construction and nearing completion, will likely benefit Garrison Crossing more than almost any other area in Chilliwack moving its current "Fair" fitness level for vehicular traffic upward. A bus service is also available.
A short 25 minute drive takes you to the Abbotsford International Airport and commercial airlines like WestJet.  There is also a small Chilliwack Municipal Airport for smaller aircraft.
We will see in future posts that the Garrison Crossing development is a pedestrian friendly community where people can work live and play; to some degree limiting the need for a car.

Fitness Level: Fair Improving to Average within one year, Good within 5 years.

Cheam Centre Design

5-X Extra Play Availability



This area is rich in natural amenities to explore. The Chilliwack River /Vedder Canal offer white water rafting and fishing. The Blue Herron Reserve walking and biking trails right along the Vedder canal. Cultus Lake is 20 minutes away. There are 9 golf courses within 45 minutes. The Cheam fitness/pool centre is located within Garrison Crossing and is under renovation and expansion.

Fitness Level: Good Improving to Excellent within one year.


Summary


In conclusion, Garrison Crossing gets a passing grade quite easily on the physical side. The next post about Garrison Crossing, Chilliwack will explore the historical linkage.



If you are curious as to what residences are available for sale in Garrison Crossings as of this date click here.

Garrison Crossing Part 3: Historical or Hysterical


You can imagine that the thousands of soldiers and their offspring have an attachment to and are quite sensitive to how the Base might be developed. In part, this is due to a military life steep in tradition and always aware of the debt of those in the service before them. Even years after my father retired, frail and elderly, he would be invited to special Base openings, a chauffeur would be sent to pick him up and return him home. Now, if they do that for one man, imagine the collective sentiments for Base life. This was the time bomb that Canada Land Corporation inherited along with the site and the subject of the next post.





Coming Up Next: Chilliwack Real Estate Sale Statistics: The Month of September 2009 in Review






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Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.



Copyright September 28, 2009 by Stephen Mullock; especially those stick men drawings!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What makes "Garrison Crossing" the best residential development in BC


Garrison Crossing North Gate

Today’s post is part of a series that will take a look at the transformation for the former Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Chilliwack into the award winning “Garrison Crossing”. This series will be of interest to those thinking of buying in the Garrison Crossing area, urban planners curious about affordable housing options, how to successfully work a transition plan and for people like me that grew up or lived on the former base. If you have a memory to share please send it along to me.

It is my belief that “Garrison Crossing”, Chilliwack, BC is a community that should serve as a template in the creation and development of neighbourhood centres throughout the province and I hope that series of posts will explain why and encourage similar projects throughout our province.

Where is it?  A simple click will take to a Google Map of the Garrison Crossing area.


CFB Chilliwack Revisited

 
Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Chilliwack was the home of a military base from 1942 to 1997.  The Base was divided into two sectors the working Military sector south of Keith Wilson road and the Permanent Married Quarters PMQs or residential section north of Keith Wilson road.  Through the years thousands of families were stationed here including the Mullock family.  My father and mother were first sent to the Base in the late 1940's and quickly after that my brother was born.  This was the start of a family of five kids that would find a tight but comfortable squeeze into a 3 bedroom PMQ house and later a 4 bedroom 1/2 duplex. 
 
It was quite honestly a very sad day when they announced the Base closure and many have worried  how the City of Chilliwack would fare without this clean economic engine.  The truth is, 11 years later the City is still trying to recover and while terrific effort has been made by the City and Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO) there is still considerable work yet to be done.  The exciting residential redevelopment plans will take it part way there but future requires that the Military Section of the Base become more of an economic titian.  Pending development plans will form a part of an upcoming post.
 
If you are curious as to what residences are available in Garrison Crossings as of this date click here.
 

Next Posting: Transition Marketing Garrison Crossing: Respecting the Past - Building a Future

 
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Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.



Copyright September 22, 2009 by Stephen Mullock.


 
 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 2009 Mid-Month Chilliwack Real Estate Market Report

Morning on the Nicomen Slough
Copyright Stephen Mullock

Chilliwack House Sales Mid-Month - September 2009

Real estate markets move too fast to rely upon a once a month analysis, mid-month report will give real estate buyers and sellers the knowledge they need to hold a competitive advantage.

Number of Houses Sold first 15 days September 2009: 70

Number of Houses Sold first 15 days of August 2009: 68



Average Sale Price first 15 days: $345,000

Average Sale Price Previous Month: $357,000



Average List to Average Sale Price ratio: 97 percent

Average Number of Days on Market: 67 days

Houses available for sale September 15th: 890

Market: Buyer’s market

Comments: House sales in the Chilliwack Real Estate Board area continue to follow a seasonal pattern. It is expected that fewer sales will occur each month as compared to the month before until January when the late winter and spring market begins and this trend reverses.

Prices mid month are a little softer than the previous month’s average sale price, but, given a smaller sample of sales at the mid month mark this might be a bit misleading.

The Fraser Valley Board area (Abbotsford to Surrey) had a surge of multiple listing real estate sales activity in August, Chilliwack has not enjoyed this push.

Sellers: Now, would be a good time to review your pricing strategy as you will be competing for fewer buyers in coming months.

Buyers: The Buyer market conditions continue to favour your involvement as do attractive mortgage rates.


Chilliwack Townhouse and Apartment Sales Mid-Month - September 2009


Number of Units Sold first 15 days September 2009: 36
Number of Units Sold first 15 days of August 2009: 32



Average Sale Price: $211,000

Average Sale Price Previous Month: $211,000



Average List to Average Sale Price ratio: 97 percent
Townhouses/Apartments available for sale on September 15, 2009: 485


Market: Buyers market

Comments: Sales of strata townhouses and apartments are a little better than the first 15 days of the previous month August and that is good. This is still very much a buyers market especially in the apartment area of this subset. Twelve apartment sales achieving an average apartment sales price of $150,000. Twenty-three townhouse sales have an average price of $239,000. There has also been one ½ duplex purchase.

Sellers: Fewer buyers in the coming months suggest that a sharper pencil on your listing price might be needed.

Buyers: This Buyer market favours your purchase with an ample supply of properties to chose from, good mortgage rates and some flexibility on price.



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The next posting will starts a series on Chilliwack's most successful development Garrison Crossing.



Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.
The above analysis is based on multiple listing sources of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board
Copyright September 16, 2009 by Stephen Mullock.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chilliwack Real Estate Market Update August 2009



Chilliwack Single Family House Statistics



August 2009


Number of Houses Sold: 136
Number of Houses Sold Previous Month: 161

Average Sale Price: $357,000
Average Sale Price Previous Month: $345,000

Average List to Average Sale Price ratio: 97 percent

Average Number of Days on Market: 71 days

Houses available for sale at the month's end: 914

Market: Buyer’s market

Comments:  House sales in the Chilliwack Real Estate Board area as illustrated in the above graph are following true to a seasonal pattern.  This pattern shows a definite hump-back shape with the greatest number of sales in the spring/summer tapering downward in the fall/winter then building again as a new spring draws near.

Vancouver had a surge of real estate sales activity in July, setting a record, in August, the western sections of the Fraser Valley followed suit, but, Chilliwack has not yet enjoyed a similar increase. Is it to come in September? As activity seemed to wane somewhat in the western Fraser Valley as August worn on I am anticipating Chilliwack will, more likely, follow the traditional seasonal pattern with fewer sales in the next 3 months. 

Sellers:  Now, would be a good time to review your pricing strategy as you will be competing for fewer buyers in coming months.

Buyers: The Buyer market conditions continue to favour your involvement as do attractive mortgage rates.

Chilliwack Townhouse and Apartment Statistics


August 2009


Number of Units Sold: 67
Number of Units Sold Previous Month: 92

Average Sale Price: $211,000
Average Sale Price Previous Month: $226,000

Average List to Average Sale Price ratio: 97 percent

Townhouses/Apartments available for sale at the month's end: 506

Market: Buyers market

Comments: Sales of strata townhouses and apartments were considerably less than the month before and a couple of factors may be a work.  This type of accommodation tends to attract younger families that like to be established in their new addresses before the school year begins, and, some buyers are opting out of a strata purchase in favour of well priced houses with yards. 

New projects coming available for sale and selling out quickly affect the graph shape with spikes in activity.  The result is a more erratic shape even though a seasonal influence is still observed.

Sellers: Fewer buyers in the coming months suggest that a sharper pencil on your listing price might be needed.

Buyers:This Buyer market favours your purchase with an ample supply of properties to chose from, good mortgage rates and some flexibility on price.

If you enjoyed reading this article, why not Subscribe to be notified of the next one?
Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.


Copyright September 1, 2009 by Stephen Mullock.