Wednesday, January 30, 2013

BCREA - BC House Price Projections and My Thoughts


The British Columbia Real Estate Association released its BC House Price Projections based on Multiple Listing Service® residential sales today and it looks like the Chilliwack* real estate market will maintain strength and improve a little albeit at a slow pace in 2013.

As shown on page two of the the BCREA Housing Forecast Update full report  the Chilliwack* real estate market can expect 2,050 unit sales in the year 2013 up marginally from 2007 unit sales in the year 2012.  Prices are anticipated to remain relatively flat, BCREA calculations show an average MLS® Price in Chilliwack* for 2012 was $299,537 and offers a prediction of $300,000 for 2013.

What does this all mean?  This is how I look at the numbers.

 In 2012, according to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board there were 1994 sales, (slightly less than the BCREA number of 2007 perhaps reflecting sales that failed to complete and later collapsed) and 4,813 new MLS® listings created to which another 900 MLS® listings from the previous year should be added giving us a total residential inventory of about 5,700 MLS® units for sale.

The sale of 1994 units from a base of 5,700 units suggests that about 1 in 3 MLS® listings were sold in 2012.  

So 1 in 3, is that good?  It depends if you are one of the lucky ones life looks good but for every happy Seller there were two less than satisfied owners.  It looks like this ratio is not about to change in 2013.

What to do? 

Maximize your chances of a sale by hiring a local Realtor® and/or member of the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia and be receptive to adjustments in the Chilliwack real estate market.

Keep this in mind about predictions as Peter Drucker said:
Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.

 * CHILLIWACK - the Chilliwack* referred to in this article refers the a vast geographic area that includes communities such as Boston Bar, Yale, Hope, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Bridal Falls/Popkum and Chilliwack.



The following is "copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission."


BC Home Sales to Trend Higher in 2013/2014
BCREA 2013 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update


Vancouver, BC – January 30, 2013.The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2013 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 5.6 per cent to 71,450 units this year, before increasing a further 6.1 per cent to 75,830 units in 2014. The five-year average is 74,600 unit sales, while the ten-year average is 86,800 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.

"2013 is shaping up to be a transition year in the BC housing market,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The groundwork has already begun for stronger housing demand as a significant number of part-time jobs in BC were converted into full-time employment last year."  

"Residential values are expected to be on a more solid footing in 2013 as lower prices, both actual and inflation adjusted, have improved affordability. Many potential buyers that stayed on the sidelines in 2012 will likely enter the marketplace over the next year as the relatively strong financial condition of BC households precludes any deflationary spiral."

The average MLS® residential price in BC is forecast to edge down nearly 1 per cent to $510,400 this year and remain relatively unchanged in 2014, albeit up 0.6 per cent to $513,500.


To view the full BCREA Housing Forecast Update, click here.

BCREA represents 11 member real estate boards and their approximately 18,000 REALTORS® on all provincial issues, providing an extensive communications network, standard forms, economic research and analysis, government relations, applied practice courses and continuing professional education (cpe). 


Stephen Mullock RI
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Urban Trekking in Vancouver

Chilliwack* is a quick 1hour and 30 minutes away from the City of Vancouver now that the new Post Mann Bridge is in operation.  Chilliwack residents regularly frequent this beautiful city for its shopping, sports and scenery.   
Last picture of the day - Lion's Gate Bridge
 This Sunday past, my daughter and I took an urban trek of the place.  I would recommend this hike for anyone looking to enjoy some spectacular scenery on a budget.  All you ready need is a lunch, good walking shoes and a $3.25 each for the AquaBus.  We started at Granville Island and enjoyed a bit of shopping, a cup of coffee and a date square at the Loft - the dessert was delicious.  Catching an AquaBus at the west end of Johnson Street we headed across the water to the Aquatic centre and the Vancouver Seawall.    
AquaBus on False Creek
 The seawall has a total length of 22 km, but, we had plans to just walk right around Stanley Park and the end our day at the Waterfront Station to catch the seabus home - a distance of about 12 km.  Click here for a map of the Vancouver Seawall.  We planned for 3 hours and made it within that time period with lots of stops for photography. 
 
There are a great number of migratory birds along the walk but this Great Blue Heron below would be a Vancouver resident.
 

Great Blue Heron
 It was surprisingly foggy and not the best day for pictures but this city looks good even on a bad day.  The following are some of the sights we enjoyed this day. 
Double Crested Cormorant discuss the fog




Lion's Gate Bridge in thick fog
 
Inner Habour Vancouver



Residents of Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs can enjoy this fine city and others in the Fraser Valley and then be comfortably home that same day - a great lifestyle benefit to go along with Chilliwack's affordable housing prices.


 Imagine living here... then call Steve.   
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Snow and Waterfalls - Chilliwack Lake

Living in the eastern Fraser Valley of British Columbia comes with it a wonderful proximity to the wilderness and the comfort of city life.  What a combo!  This past week I enjoyed a hike into a partly frozen waterfall near Chilliwack Lake with the Hermann's Hikers.  What does this have to do with real estate?  I would suggest everything. Where you decide to live will have a huge impact on your enjoyment in life.  We live in an area of good water, air and beautiful scenery why not enjoy it.

Chilliwack Lake is 64 km southeast of Chilliwack and 40 km east from the Vedder Bridge turnoff.  The Hermann's Hiking group was heading here, on this day, because of the elevation, Chilliwack Lake is 2050 feet above sea level and this time of year that means snow.  I had to rent some snow shoes from a new small business in Vedder Crossing called Mount Waddington's where I found a knowledgeable and helpful staff - recommended.

Soon as we arrive we find that the snow is so hard packed that snow shoes will not be needed, oh well, so much for the rental.  Despite this disappointment I have to admit "it's all good" I am hiking with my friends some new and other old familiar trail buddies.  We are a happy group of hikers.


  

We head through a logging area the skies are blue and the forest inviting.  Strange lumpy shapes make the snow quite an alien environment and a blue light adds to the flavour.


  

We soon find a stream and I capture a few pictures of this wooded scenery of shadow, light, snow and ice.  I am drawn to the great variety of crystal ice forms nature offers and wish there was a bit better light....
 
Ice Crystal & Water
 
After about an hour we come to the upper waterfalls and it is encrusted with ice but the water keeps flowing making quite a din.  I pause momentarily and have my picture taken.

Stephen Mullock Waterfall
 
 
Then we hike out, once again, admiring the forest and rugged beauty of the place we call home.



   

Imagine living here...then call Steve.


Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Royal LePage 2013 Real Estate Market Predictions

Lots of news and views always at the start of the year and the best of course are those making predictions about the real estate market.  Unfortunately, the Chilliwack* real estate market is not usually included given its size but here a few comments I thought were spot on and some of my own thoughts on the year ahead.



  Royal LePage Canadian Housing Forecast (<click to see report) By the end of 2013, Royal LePage expects that Canadian Housing Prices will be up 1%.  Housing Prices in Vancouver are anticipated to decline 3% in 2013.

Key statements from the Royal LePage report are reprinted here with permission.


"Soper noted that in the absence of a serious economic event, many Canadians would adjust their short-term buying or selling timing according to prevailing market conditions, but that it was rare for engaged, qualified families to hold out for very long. Buyers are much more likely to make purchasing decisions based on trigger events such as marriages, growing families, salary or wage increases or the need to relocate for a new job. Royal LePage expects the trend towards slower sales volumes seen in the second half of 2012 to continue through the first half of 2013. Expectations are that year-over-year comparisons will begin to show improvement in the third quarter 2013, with sales volumes that are relatively flat versus 2012, and return to growth in the final quarter of the year." Soper concluded, “The silver lining in every real estate market correction is that there is a balance shift. After an extended period of frustrating bidding wars in key, supply-constrained regions, and spring-markets characterized by price increases that make financial planning difficult, Canadian home buyers will see momentum shift in their favour this spring. They should be met with more choice – and stable prices.”



Royal LePage expects that very modest home price appreciation will be the norm for the next two years, as North American economies gradually improve and family incomes climb slowly. Improving, but still tepid growth, in the United States should allow central banks in both countries to sustain the current low interest rate environment, which is very supportive of housing market activity.


 I agree the economy has a ways to go, the Chilliwack* real estate market has been adjusting to the new federal mortgage rules introduced in 2012, but, there seems to be more employment opportunities, some large real estate projects underway and I sense a cautious sense of optimism for the year ahead.

My predictions for the Chilliwack* Real Estate Market is:
  • The softening of real estate markets in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley west of the Vedder Canal will ensure that the "Buyer's Market" purchasers in Chilliwack* have been enjoying since 2008 will continue.  There will be plenty of choice, low mortgage costs, and room to negotiate a good deal on a prize property.

  • The median listing price for a Chilliwack* single family detached home a year ago was $375,000 and this month it is $369,500 - I expect to see by the end of 2013 we will see a price of $359,900.   Average sale price in December 2012 was $364,888 this will also decline by a like amount. 

  • Sellers will need to recognize that the competition in 2013 will come from both the resale housing and the new house/ townhouse markets.  Price, show condition, marketing and promotion will need to be established by a local real estate professional and reviewed on a regular basis to achieve best sale results. 



Imagine living here....


Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Listing Agassiz! 7491 Maple Ave - Well Under $300,000

$289,900 - 7491 Maple Ave. Agassiz
 My first listing of 2013 is this attractive home shown above in a picture taken today. Located on a quiet avenue, in an area of good homes, this house is situated on a 60' x 125' lot. A fine house and property for $289,900.

Sometimes small things can make a big difference to living.  For example, the dwelling is placed to the right of the site so that a driveway could be installed on the left side of the garage - providing additional parking there and access to the backyard.  A smart idea - someone was thinking!

The house offers modern, affordable space that has seen a number of upgrades in recent years.  The kitchen has beautiful granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.  A microwave is built above the stove freeing up counter space!  This home has central air conditioning, more of a luxury in Agassiz than a requirement but, who knows, the world was warmer in 2012.  The roof has been redone and laminate floors installed on the main floor level. 
There is a living - dining room just off the kitchen with a bay window looking south into the sunshine.  Three bedrooms are also on the main floor, which is 1117 square feet in size, including a large master suite with walk-in closet and a 3 piece bathroom.  It is quite a luxury to have your own bathroom, especially if you have children; they can have the main 4 piece bathroom.

 The lower ground level floor, with another 867 square feet, has a 4th bedroom, a big family room (with a brick faced natural gas fireplace), 2 piece washroom, laundry and storage area.  Who doesn't need storage!

 For the handyman the garage has been set up as a work area and is well lit for any projects you might like to take on.



The backyard is fenced and a hot tub awaits under the main floor sundeck.  

If you would like more information about this or other properties in the Agassiz, Harrison or Chilliwack communities please contact me.

Price and availability may change with time so ask about the current situation when you get a hold of me.

 Imagine living here....


Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Canadian Real Estate Buyers & Sellers - Where to Start

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has created a very useful resource for both buyers and sellers of real estate that I would like to recommend.   The information found there is a great starting point for anyone interested in the purchase or sale of real property.   Just go to CREA resources to Buyers and Sellers to check it out.   
  Imagine living here.... 
Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chilliwack* Real Estate Market Conditions and Sales Analysis - December 2012

December edged downward in the sale of single family detached houses in the Chilliwack* real estate board area which includes the outlying communities of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and parts of the Regional District. With a market strength indicator clocking in at 80% this was still, comparatively to the rest of 2012 a decent month of activity.  However, poor real estate news from the Vancouver and nearby Fraser Valley Real Estate Boards is giving some cause for concern locally and the Chilliwack real estate market strength gains of recent months have waned somewhat.

Gated Community Rancher Now Listed
 There were 69 sales of single family detached houses in Chilliwack* in December down from the 100 in November.  This decline follows a seasonal pattern where sales usually drop off during the late fall and winter. The lowest sale price was $25,000 and the highest $878,750.

The average selling price of a Chilliwack* single family detached house in December 2012 was $365,000  up from the $354,000 in November but based on a smaller sample size.

The median sale price was $349,500 quite a bit higher than a month earlier but with a sample size of 69 not much reliance can be given to it.

The list to sale ratio of 9% is considerably weaker than the 13% of a month ago as well.

It is expected that the fall and winter Chilliwack* real estate markets will see a normal seasonal slowing. A competitive advantage for Buyers is present given a healthy inventory of 666 Chilliwack single family homes available on January 3, 2013. Inventory levels will start to increase in a couple of weeks as sellers start to look to an early spring market and real estate agents get busy.

Please remember to use the services of a REIBC real estate professional or a Realtor© to maximize your chances for a successful purchase or sale. Give me a call if you are looking for professional service in the Chilliwack, Agassiz, Kent or Harrison Hot Springs areas.




Sales
Average Sale Price / Days on Market / Active Listings
Dec 2012 69 $364,888 112 666
Nov 2012 100 $354,000 74 877
Dec 2011 79 $315,000 82 n/a






Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • December 2012 - $349,500
  • November 2012 - $317,000
  • October 2012 - $329,500
  • September 2012 - $326,500
  • August 2012 - $309,500
  • July 2012 - $344,000
  • June 2012 - $343,500
  • May 2012 - $328,500
  • April 2012 - $327,500
  • March 2012 - $340,500
  • February 2012 - $332,500


Median LISTING Price of active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Homes :
  • January 3, 2013 $369,500
  • December 1, 2012 $363,500
  • November 1, 2012 $369,500
  • October 2, 2012 $369,900
  • September 3, 2012 $369,900
  • August 8, 2012 - $369,900
  • July 1, 2012 - $369,900
  • June 1, 2012 - $374,900
  • May 1, 2012 - $368,500
  • April 2, 2012 - $365,000
  • March 2, 2012 - $369,900

2012 - 2011 Market Strength

Single Family House Monthly Unit Sales as % of a 10-Year Monthly Sales Average

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2012 81% 67% 77% 77% 83% 70% 88% 54% 70% 88% 91% 80%
2011 85% 91% 75% 70% 68% 93% 74% 86% 86% 70% 86% 92%


Chilliwack* STRATA HOMES for December 2012

The sale of Chilliwack* Strata Homes, apartments, townhouses had a much weaker month in December with 37 sales.   November 2012 had shown a marked improvement in the sale of Chilliwack* strata homes with 65 sales; it was hoped this forward momentum would continue - unfortunately it has not. Market strength which measures sales against a 10-year average dropped down to 82% for December.

The lowest sale was $40,000 and the highest $291,000.

Hazelwood Grove - see my new listing


The average selling price of a Chilliwack* Strata Homes in November 2012 was $189,000 consistent with November's $188,000 average sale price. 

The median sale price was $200,000 up from the $188,500 amount in November.

The list to sale ratio of 8.4 % is a weak number giving a sale's advantage of townhouses and apartments in the Chilliwack* real estate market to the Buyers. Sellers should pay attention to their Realtor® recommendations and ask for market comparison updates on a bi-monthly basis.

Please remember to use the services of a REIBC real estate professional or a Realtor© to maximize your chances for a successful sale. Give me a call if you are looking for professional service in the Chilliwack, Agassiz, Kent or Harrison Hot Springs areas.



MONTH Sales Average Sale Price Days on Market Active Listings
Dec 2012 37 $189,000 97 396
Nov 2012 65 $188,000 101 484
Dec 2011 39 $215,000 100 n/a

Median Sale Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes:


  • December 2012 - $200,000
  • November 2012 - $188,500
  • October 2012 - $239,500
  • September 2012 - $199,000
  • August 2012 - $232,500
  • July 2012 - $219,000
  • June 2012 - $224,500
  • May 2012 - $230,000
  • April - $230,500
  • March - $210,500
  • February - $204,000

Median Price of Active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings:


  • January 3, 2012 - $198,000
  • December 1, 2012 - $212,000
  • November 1, 2012 - $209,900
  • October 2, 2012 - $189,900
  • September 3, 2012 - $209,900
  • August 8, 2012 - $209,900
  • July 1, 2012 - $214,900
  • June 1, 2012 - $220,000
  • May 1, 2012 - $220,000
  • April 2, 2012 - $218,900
  • March 2, 2012 - $216,000


2012 - 2011 Strata Market Strength

Strata Home Monthly Unit Sales as % of a 10-Year Monthly Sales Average

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2012 93% 78% 96% 70% 87% 85% 97% 67% 89% 76% 114% 82%
2011 100% 105% 85% 86% 84% 66% 66% 91%


Imagine living here ....then call Steve. 


The analysis is based on my sole interpretation of multiple listing information gleaned from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board and does not take into account private sales. It is up to you to decide on the validity of these results and if necessary seek further information.


Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.