Sunday, February 28, 2010

Picture of the Week - A Totem of Weeds

A Totem of Weeds


These weeds at the side of the road caught my attention this week so I decided to silhouette them against a winter sunset.  I like to think of them as totems of the year gone by. They must be pretty sturdy to still be standing, winter is nearly over and our Fraser Valley is once again starting to bud.

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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.


Friday, February 26, 2010

My Vancouver 2010 Olympic Experience - Two Worlds


On Tuesday, my wife, a group of our friends and I journeyed into Vancouver to take in some Olympic evening activities and to be able to, at least, say that we were there.  That was the night it rained.  Then rained some more. By the way, rain looks like a waterfall when caught in a search light.  The remarkable thing is that despite the "liquid sunshine" the crowds was upbeat and the celebration continued unabated.  This mood was contagious from the Olympic cauldron to the Livecity Yaletown where we caught Canadian rockers Wintersleep.  We, like so many, did not have tickets to any of the events but I am pleased that the Province and City decided to make it a real party in the downtown centre. The fireworks at the end of the evening were well worth the wait.



Not that everyone one was thrilled with the Olympics as evidenced by some of the things I saw in the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver.  The "Olympic Tent Village" was quite active and effective in getting their message across. I was struck by their statement that "housing is a right" and the "Riot 2010" message I saw painted on a number of metal utility boxes. 




We were there however to have a bit of fun, check out the art show (terrific) so our priority was not housing but rather to find a nice pub in which to watch the Canada - Russia men's hockey game.  I know pretty shallow.  This we found at the "On the Edge Pub", 303 Columbia Street Vancouver a beautifully renovated pub just on the edge of Gastown in the Downtown Eastside.  The stew I had was great, the hostess very friendly, prices reasonable and the crowd young and cheering for the right team. Go, Canada, Go.

One finally cheer should go out. With respect to the plight of the Downtown Eastside there are a lot of good people, organizations and governments working to help the people of this neighbourhood that deserve our appreciation- unfortunately their victories are not as tangible as a puck in the net but are perhaps more meaningful.  Go, Canada, Go!


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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.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Picture of the Week - Yer Bones are Showing

Yer bones are showing
Stephen Mullock 2010


There is something so grand about an old wood barn. Weathered and often sagging after a 100 winters they are slowly disappearing from the Chilliwack countryside. When I see one being dismantled it’s like a favourite Aunt is dying.

In this picture a tractor is positioned to the right on the bleached ground like an old friend slightly embarrassed by the skeletal condition of a pal, "yer bones are showing", while winter swans flee white against the hillside forest.

I took this photograph a year ago so this Prest Road, Chilliwack barn is now long gone with the boards no doubt salvaged and gracing some upscale bar.



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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.


Friday, February 19, 2010

New Neighbours Wanted!

1787 Caroline Drive, Agassiz

I have just listed this solidly built 3 level split just around the corner from where we live and it needs to find a family nearly half as wonderful as the senior couple that built it in 1990.  If you know of someone that would make a good neighbour and is interested in a quiet Agassiz address please send them my way. More details and pictures.

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.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Median Listing Prices in Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Area


Median Listing Prices - February 15,2010
Chilliwack Real Estate Median Prices


Month/DayHouse Inventory25th PercentileMedian75th Percentile
02/15/2010732$289,000$369,900$489,900
01/18/2010634$279,900$369,900$499,000

These prices are "asking prices" of course and the services of an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent can often negotiate to a more favourable acquisition price. Hey, that sounds like me.
What the numbers in the above table tell us is that the asking price of the property right in the middle of the 732 single family detached houses available on the multiple listing service of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board is $369,900 and that 50% of the properties have asking prices that fall between $289,000 and $489,900. These numbers give purchasers and sellers a little better idea about affordability and respective competitiveness in the Chilliwack real estate area.
How does the median price of real estate offerings in Abbotsford to Delta area compare to the Chilliwack real estate area? As in Chilliwack there has been a sizable increase in inventory since January swelling from 3413 to 4055 houses for sale as of this date. The median in the Fraser Valley area however has decreased somewhat but there still is an $180,000 advantage to living in the Chilliwack area compared to the Fraser Valley west of Chilliwack.
Fraser Valley (West of Chilliwack)Real Estate Median Prices

Month/DayHouse Inventory25th PercentileMedian75th Percentile
02/15/20104055$449,000$549,500$759,000
01/18/20103413$439,900$565,000$745,000


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.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Picture of the Week - Winter Twilight

Winter Twilight 
Stephen Mullock ©

"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you....In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quieter stretches when you savour belonging to yourself."   Ruth Stout   
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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.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Chilliwack Infrastructure Projects

The quality of community is to large degree based on the services and amenities it provides for its citizens. That is why I was so pleased to learn and get reacquainted to some degree with the many infrastructure projects underway in Chilliwack. During a speech given to the Commercial Division of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board by Mayor Sharon Gaetz of the City of Chilliwack she outlined several projects due to open in 2010. I thought you might like to see a picture or two of them.

Project One: Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Chilliwack Cultural Centre


Chilliwack enjoys a deep cultural history but a good performance centre has been overlooked for many years to the benefit of sport facilities.  To put it more bluntly "it's about time".  The Chilliwack Cultural Centre has an opening date scheduled for September 2010 it will provide a 500 seat theatre, 150 seat recital hall, Art Gallery and music rooms.  The funds for this 22 million dollar Centre were saved over many years so that no new debt will be added to the City.

Project Two: Cheam Centre Pool and Upgrade


Cheam Centre Pool Addition Feb. 2010

Located within the Garrison Crossing Development, of which I written previously, the new Cheam Centre Pool is scheduled to open in April 2010 and will provide a 6 lane 25m lap pool, outdoor water park, sauna, hot tub and will with time involve badly needed renovations to the aged original Cheam Centre.

Cheam Centre Broken and Boarded Windows

Project Three: Chilliwack General Hospital Emergency/Treatment Centre



The Chilliwack General Hospital expansion is to open in April 2010 and will triple the size of the current emergency room, enlarge outpatient services and bring laboratory and diagnostic services closer to the emergency room.  There is a good article at the Chilliwack Progress site for more information.

Project Four: Sewer expansion in Sardis

With 3.8 million dollars in shared federal, provincial and city funding an expansion of sewer services will come to 295 Sardis properties in the Tyson - Stevenson Road area. Many of these parcels were developed 30 years ago and consequently their septic fields have a risk of failure. Chilliwack is reputed to have the 5th best water in the entire world so it is fitting that we would want to protect it. Good news underground. Nice to see that federal and provincial funding - it's appreciated.

Project Five

The City has also received $450,000 from the Federal government to improve the sports field, tennis and racquet courts in Rosedale and Yarrow.

Summary

I was quite pleased to learn that there was so much underway and many projects due to open this year making Chilliwack, already one of the best places to live an even better one.

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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.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Picture of the Week - The Olympic Torch arrives in Fraser Cheam

Olympic Torch arrives in Agassiz
Shown here with torchbearer Laurens Van Vliet.


Here I am enjoying the moment and a very upbeat celebration that accompanied the Olympic Torch's trip through the Fraser Cheam area and into Agassiz this morning.  Holding an Olympic torch - how cool is that?  An epic 106 day journey across Canada with 12,000 Torchbearers will end in Vancouver this Friday, February 12. 2010!

Check out Laurens Van Vliet's torchbearer story.


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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.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Vote Chilliwack a Space on new Monopoly Board

We have all grown up playing monopoly and now a new board is being developed just for Canada that will feature the 20 best places to live in Canada. Chilliwack needs to be on the board so give it a vote by going to Monopoly Canada or vote for your favourite city.  The voting is close so your vote is important and can be done on a daily basis.


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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.


Monday, February 1, 2010

January 2009 Chilliwack Housing Report

The following report looks at the Multiple Listing sale results within the Fraser Valley, British Columbia for the month of January 2010. The Fraser Valley is divided into two sections along the lines of the two real estate boards that operate within the area - they are the Chilliwack Real Estate Board (east of the Vedder Canal, Chilliwack to Boston Bar) and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Boards (west of the Vedder Canal, Abbotsford to Delta).

SINGLE FAMILY DETACHED SALES - December 2009

                                                         Chilliwack                 Fraser Valley

Sales                                                        74                            506

Average Sale Price                                $33
334,000                  $556,000
Average List Price                                 $345,000                  $571,000
Price Sale to List                                    97%                         97%   

Days on Market                                    85 days                      60 days

Active Listings                                       676                            3670   

Ratio Sale to List                                   12%                           15%


STRATA ATTACHED (apartment, townhouses)

                                                        Chilliwack                   Fraser Valley

Sales                                                47                                394

Average Sale Price                           $216,000                     $277,000
Average List Price                            $220,000                     $283,000
Price Sale to List                              98%                             98%

Average Days on Market                 68                                54

Active Listings                                 405                              2283

Comments:

Single Family Housing

Sales of houses in the Chilliwack area fell off slightly from the 90 sales in December to 74 sales in January but not enough to worry about. The 74 sales look terrific compared to the 41 sales a year ago in January of 2009 but what a dreadful period that was. Sale numbers are still lower than in 2006 and 2007 though by about 25% meaning this market is still in recovery mode.

Sales of houses in the Fraser Valley area also fell from 636 sales the month before, December 2009, to a January 2010 total of 506 sales. This is quite a drop a first appearance but the Fraser Valley market has been red hot since August and this decrease just signifies a cooling to normal levels. Not to worry.

Prices of single family houses declined in both areas but more so in Chilliwack than in the Fraser Valley. Inventory levels are increasing for the spring market at present time which unless sales activity increasing could cause further downward pressure on prices.

My thoughts are that the market perhaps with the warm winter we are having will get active earlier this year and this weekend the number of "sold" signs and the properties viewed with "time clause" offers support this notion.

Strata Sales

This part of the market which includes the sale of apartments, townhouses and strata duplexes seems solid in terms of sales activity in comparison with the 2006-2009 periods. Sale prices remain steady in the Fraser Valley area but declined in Chilliwack by 5% between December and January. Averages however in the Chilliwack area are based on a relatively small sample and more erratic to swings and consequently more unreliable.

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.

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 February 1, 2010 by Stephen Mullock.