Sunday, December 20, 2009

May there be peace within


Mount Cheam Watercolour by Stephen Mullock copyright December 20, 2009

 
May there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
 
Derived from a prayer of St. Theresa
 
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 December 20, 2009 by Stephen Mullock.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chilliwack Real Estate 2009 "How Bad Was It"

When you ask a question like "how bad was Chilliwack Real Estate in 2009" the response should be in comparison to what? In this post I look at the sales performance of single family detached houses in Chilliwack from January to today and compare it to the real estate market in the rest of the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford to Delta).  I could have compared it with other years but today I thought a look at another active market might make for more interesting reading as it sort of answers the question "how well are you doing with the market you have got"?




The above chart demonstrates pretty successfully that housing sale prices in the Chilliwack market when compared to sale prices in the Fraser Valley West area (Abbotsford to Delta) tend to rise and fall at similar rates like “water in a bathtub” rising or dropping all prices at the same time.

However, I have expressed a belief in previous posts that it seemed that the Fraser Valley Real Estate market was running away from a slow but steady Chilliwack market. It certainly has in terms of the number of sales, in 2008 the Chilliwack market accounted for 15% of the combined Fraser Valley market in single family detached housing. In 2009, to date that figure has dropped to 13 percent.

The average price spread has also changed with a 1.9% price advantage going to the dwellings in the Fraser Valley west area. These are small but significant numbers they mean that during the course of 2009 single family housing in the western Fraser Valley as compared to Chilliwack increased in value on average by almost $10,000.  The answer in part is of course demand the Chilliwack market has remained in a Buyers market veras the Fraser Valley has been enjoying a Balanced to Sellers market for the latter part of the year.

Why is there such a differnce? Is commuting to Chilliwack becoming less desirable with fuel costs? Media stories that cast Chilliwack in a poor light. The difficult year for employment that Chilliwack has had. The lack of Olympic spinoffs deeper in the Valley? If you have an answer let me know.


RULE OF THUMB




The Chilliwack average single family detached houses as a rule thumb are 2/3 the value of the average Fraser Valley single family detached house. That buys a lot of RRSPs, flat screen televisions, cars and holidays.

The analysis above is based on my interpretation of information provided by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board and does not take into account private sales. The term "Chilliwack" is used here quite loosely to refer to an area serviced by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board which includes communities such as Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Yale and Boston Bar. The Fraser Valley West area embraces the entire Fraser Valley Real Estate Board area which extends from Abbotsford to Delta.








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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 December 16, 2009 by Stephen Mullock.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cheam and the Great Ice Giant


Mount Cheam and Lady Peak (Dog Face)

I am still very much on the hunt for stories and legends about Mount Cheam the most dominant landmark in the eastern Fraser Valley.  Yesterday, I took the picture above and also dropped into the Agassiz Museum to see if they could provide me with some information about the angel legend.  Unfortunately, the ladies there could not help me much with this legend but they were helpful with other stories.  By the way, the Agassiz Museum is a terrific little small town museum well worth your time and visit - call ahead in the winter as there are limited hours of operation.



Agassiz Museum and former railway station

I found out that the peak is also known by the Pilalts indigenous people from the village at Cheam as See-am (Chief) Mountain.  That Cheam "wild strawberry place" is the name of a nearby Indian Village. There was also this story of a Great Ice Giant.

To quote from a Vancouver Sun article published in Jan. 1952 by L.R. Linton
The Pilats Indians called it Che-ahm, the Chief.  On its wooded slopes the Pilats picked berries, and tribe made offerings to appease the Great Ice Giant that hovered over Cheam.  Avalanches and snow slides used to hurl down its slopes bringing death and destruction, and the Indians believed the displeasure of the Great Ice Giant had been incurred."

The First Nation people of the area had reason to fear the mountain a slide from Cheam estimated to be 3 times as big as the Hope Slide buried a native village some 5,000 years ago.  This is the largest known catastrophic landslide in western Canada with debris fields 30m in depth.

Now the story of the existence of a Great Ice Giant (glacier) was discounted in that article in 1952 as a myth.  I however found something that would tend to support the idea of a glacier behind and above Mount Cheam and the evidence is in Spoon Lake.  In the photograph that follows you can see a small circular lake with a steep embankment as if something with a great deal of force had struck the earth.  When I saw this lake I thought meteorite but it may in fact be a kettle lake.  This is caused when a big chunk of ice surrounded by sediment falls from a great height then melts away leaving a depression and a lot of water. Imagine a big ball of ice bouncing higher and higher as it falls or a one becoming airbourne from a natural glacier made "ski jump".  Could Spoon Lake be the result of such an event falling from a Glacier perched on Lady Peak (Dog Face)?  If it is how old is the story about the Great Ice Giant.









$264,900!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NOVEMBER 2009 CHILLIWACK HOUSE REPORT


Fall Twilight


Number of Chilliwack Houses Sold in November 2009 : 115

Number of Chilliwack Houses Sold Previous Month, October 2009:131



Average Chilliwack Sale Price- November 2009: $342,000

Average Chilliwack Sale Price - October 2009: $348,000

Average List to Average Sale Price ratio: 97 percent



Average Number of Days on Market: 61 days

Chilliwack Houses available for sale November 1, 2009: 740

Market: Buyer’s market



Graph: Chilliwack's Seasonal House Sale Activity



Comments



The strong market conditions in Vancouver and the western Fraser Valley (20% +) continue and the Chilliwack market is holding steady with a 15% sales to listing ratio. This means that the market is still in a Buyer market but is approaching a Balanced market. Mortgage monies are readily available at attractive rates. The graph above demonstrates a solid performance last month not far off the levels of 2007 and 2006. With respect to prices they dropped a little falling from an average of $348,000 in October to $342,000 in November.


The Abbotsford to Surrey area continues to post the best sales numbers in 4 years with 813 sales besting the 2006 sales numbers of 658 by quite a margin. There prices are edging upward and currently the average price of a single family detached home is $544,000 quite a difference over the Chilliwack average of $342,000. This variance of over $200,000 should make Chilliwack attractive for businesses considering a move as homes for staff are affordable.


Sellers: The market seems to be holding steady and prices are too. Lower priced homes are seeing a lot of activity; it is a good time to be a seller if you have a property priced under $300,000.



Buyers: The Buyer market conditions continue to favour your involvement there is plenty of inventory and attractive mortgage rates.


The analysis above is based on my interpretation of information provided by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board and does not take into account private sales. The term "Chilliwack" is used here quite loosely to refer to an area serviced by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board which includes communities such as Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Yale and Boston Bar.

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.  He would be happy to help you with your Chilliwack home selling or buying experience.

Copyright December 1, 2009 by Stephen Mullock.