Friday, April 25, 2014

Earthquake BC and the Fraser Valley



A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit about 40 km southeast of Port Alice on Vancouver Island shortly after 8 pm on April 22, 2014 reminding everyone that British Columbians live in a quake prone part of the world.  While few earthquakes are large enough to be felt by humans a BIG one could have a major destructive force. This article looks at monitoring, quake history, risk factors unique to the Fraser Valley and safeguarding your home.

Stephen Mullock© A Whole Lot of Shaking

Most of the monitoring done by Natural Resources Canada (NRC) stations in the province are situated on Vancouver Island and for good reason.  The real rub is west of Vancouver Island where the Juan de Fuca  and Explorer Plate are in a slow subduction wrestling match with the North American plate.  The concern is that one plate might suddenly "give" releasing energy in the form of an earthquake of a +9 magnitude and unleash a lethal tsunami.

The biggest Canadian "recorded" quake was the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii earthquake of August 22, 1949 of a 8.1 magnitude. However, on January 26, 1700 the Cascadia earthquake struck with a 8.7- 9.2m sending a tsunami wave all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Japan.  It extended a 1,000 km rupture from northern California to midway up Vancouver Island.  It would seem that major jolts like this come with a regularity of 400 to 500 years.  When the next is to come, no one can say with certainty.

What factors might be involved in the Fraser Valley?  Should we take some comfort that Vancouver Island is between us and the Juan de Fuca plate?  I would suggest getting prepared and if nothing happens - count that is being a good day.

I wrote recently that the Fraser Valley is unique in that it falls between the intersection of two mountain ranges, the Cascades to the south and the Coast Mountains to the north.  Tremendous plate activity has already occurred the evidence is visual just have a look around.  What I didn't know until I started to research this piece was that two fault lines run through the Fraser Valley known as the Vedder Mountain and Sumas faults. Perhaps this is the reason that an earthquake monitoring station is maintained by Natural Resources Canada on Vedder Mountain.  If you are wanting to have a look at the seismogram monitors in Canada go to the NRC  seismogram site.  It would appear that there is a greater vulnerability than I first thought.  Not to panic of course with a 400-500 years event horizon.

What can you do?

  • Purchase earthquake house insurance
  • Earthquake proof your home 
  • Develop an disaster plan and survival kit sufficient for 72 hours. 
  • Contact and become involved with your local government as they will lead the initial response to a disaster in the community.  Volunteer.

Here are some good sites to prepare for an earthquake:



Stephen Mullock
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, April 22, 2014

Earth Day and the Star FM Kindness Crew



It seemed appropriate that a part of my Earth Day would be spent picking up garbage from Chilliwack's Salish Park with my Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam buddies, Murray Honda and the Star 98.3 FM Kindness crew.  It started off in a nasty way with heavy rains and gusting winds. A nice day if you are a duck, and the ones in the pond do not seem to mind at all.

I was anticipating a real mess but except for a lot of cigarette butts it really wasn't too bad. This 1.58 ha park is in the heart of the City of Chilliwack adjacent to the Public Library.  It is a terrific place to see birds and turtles.  Pack a lunch, bring a book, or simply rest and enjoy the view.

Enjoy your Earth Day!

By the way, speaking of recycling, our 6th Annual Garage Sale for Shelter is Saturday May 10th 2014. We still need donations urgently. De-cluttering is always a good idea and you will be helping out the local Ann Davis Society.



Stephen Mullock
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, April 18, 2014

Agassiz Tulip Festival - Vibrant Blooms, Magnificent Views



The Agassiz Tulip Festival, Seabird Island is in full bloom and it is truly a remarkable sight. Fields of vibrant colours against a beautiful mountain backdrop. These flowers are cultivated for their bulbs which get sold across Western Canada each year in winter and early spring.  Cut flowers are also available at the site.  Weekends have special events for children. Do not forget to wear a good pair of shoes to tiptoe through the tulips.






This facebook link will give you directions, opening hours and an idea of what is happening in the fields.  You might also want to check out Ian Meissner's ebook Mt. Cheam 100 views as it has a great shot of the mountain and tulip fields.

Click here for link to ebook


Beauty abounds in the communities of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Chilliwack. Imagine living here...


Stephen Mullock
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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Garrison Crossing Makes Living Easy


My appraisal professor use to say, "You want to know the 3 most important things about real estate"?  His answer, location, location, location.

While there are plenty of nice sections in this beautiful corner of the Fraser Valley one of the most family friendly is "Garrison Crossing".  I took a walk through Garrison Crossing a week ago and took the following pictures.  (Map & How to get to Garrison Crossing)

Once the home of CFB Chilliwack and their families Garrison Crossing is an award-winning example of "new urbanism"and a great example of planning and design by the Canada Lands Company. Offering a number of different styles of homes to suit a variety of income levels and lifestyles; when you purchase in Garrison Crossing you place yourself within walking to a hub of activity, amenities and services.

If location, location, location refers to a location that supports a person's social, physical and mental wellbeing, then I believe my professor would approve of this planned community.  In a sense, Crossing residents get more than just a home they get a community infrastructure that will strengthen their lifestyle.

For families and grandparents - there are beautiful parks for play and lovely wooded areas to stroll.



For shopping, services, meals and a convenient place to meet and share a coffee with a friend, there is "Garrison Village".




For fitness, there is the Cheam Leisure Centre offering a 25m swimming pool with leisure pool, lazy river, hot tub, sauna, squash courts, weight training room, fitness equipment and a double gymnasium. Close by is the Twin Rinks area for skating, hockey and lacrosse.  Tennis courts are behind the 2 NHL size rinks.



For the mind, there is Canada's Education Centre which includes an ever expanding University of the Fraser Valley.  Garrison Crossing is also within a short walk of Watson Elementary and the Mt. Sleese Middle schools.  The new (May 2013) "Sardis Library" is situated across the street from the Mt. Sleese Middle school.


Truly, this is an area for all ages and all seasons.  Check out Garrison Crossing today, if I can help, please give me a call.

At present time I do have one fine property for sale at present in Garrison Crossing. Click on the picture for details.





Stephen Mullock
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, April 8, 2014

Chilliwack* Real Estate Review and Analysis March 2014


The Chilliwack* real estate board area (CADREB) which includes the outlying communities of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and parts of the Fraser Cascade Regional District recorded 123 sales of single family houses and 58 sales of strata homes such as townhouses, and apartments in March 2014. A total of 177 residential properties representing a 15% increase in sales volume over February.

This report divides Chilliwack* residential properties into two classifications; single family detached and strata.  There is often quite a difference in market vigor between the two classifications as we shall see. There is good strength in the single family detached market when compared to a 10 year average for March.  The strata market however continues to flag recording the lowest number of sales for March in the last decade.


Some recent listings:

NEW LISTING Agassiz $329,900





Sales of Single Family Detached Houses

The Chilliwack* real estate board area (CADREB) which includes the outlying communities of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and parts of the Fraser Cascade Regional District recorded a total of 123 sales of single family houses in March 2014.

The 123, Chilliwack* real estate board single family detached, sales were more than the February 2014 total of 104 - but traditionally, we expect fewer sales in February. 
  
A list to sale ratio of 15 % is up from 14% a month earlier indicating a competitive balanced market Chilliwack* single family detached homes.

Please remember to use the services of 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.

MONTHSales/Average Sale Price/Days on Market/Active Listings
Mar  2014123$339,00080855
Feb 2014104$333,00074768
Mar 201394$376,000069n/a




Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • March 2014 - $347,500
  • February 2014 - $339,000
  • January 2014 - $348,000
  • December 2013 - $334,500
  • November  2013 - $334,000
  • October 2013 - $321,000
  • September 2013 - $336,000
  • August 2013 - $309,500
  • July 2013 - $347,500
  • June 2013 - $349,500
  • May 2013 - $339,500
  • April 2013 - $338,000
  • March 2013 - $364,000
  • February 2013 - $315,000

       
    Median LISTING Price of active Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Real Estate Homes:
    • April 8, 2014 - $359,900
    • March 3, 2014 - $354,900
    • February 1, 2014 - $349,900
    • December 3, 2013 - $359,900
    • November 1, 2013 - $359,000
    • October 1, 2013 - $364,900
    • September 3, 2014 - $358,000
    • August 1, 2013 - $349,900
    • July 2, 2013 $359,900
    • June 4, 2013 $365,000
    • May 2, 2013 $369,900
    • April 1, 2013 $359,900
    • March 1, 2013 $369,900


      2013 - 2011 Market Strength for Chilliwack* Single Family Houses

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

      MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulyAugSeptOctNovDec
      201494%100%82%








      201397%68%60%75%82%83%82%87%105%79%83%80%
      201281%67%77%77%83%70%88%54%70%88%91%80%
      201185%91%75%70%68%93%74%86%86%70%86%92%



      Sales of Strata Homes (Apartments, Townhouses etc.)

      The Chilliwack* real estate board area (CADREB) which includes the outlying communities of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and parts of the Fraser Cascade Regional District recorded a total of 58 sales of strata homes (apartments, townhouses) in March 2014.


      NEW LISTING Adult 55+ Ranch $269,900


      The 58, Chilliwack* real estate board strata sales were an improvement to the February 2014 total of 46 but, was less than the 81 sales that would usually be expected.
        
      A list to sale ratio of 12% indicates a Buyer's Market for Chilliwack* strata homes. 

      Once again, please remember to use the services of 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.


      
      MONTHSales/Average Sale Price/Days on Market/Active Listings
      Mar  2014 58$240,00077512
      Feb  2014 46$230,00078442
      Mar  2013 71$205,00067n/a


      Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes:
      • March 2014 - $243,000
      • February 2014 - $239,000
      • January 2014 - $216,000
      • December 2013 - $232,500
      • November 2013 - $202,000
      • October 2013 - $199,500
      • September 2013 - $212,500
      • August 2013 - $209,900
      • July 2013 - $231,500
      • June 2013 - $211,000
      • May 2013 - $211,000
      • April 2013 - $204,000
      • March 2013 - $229,000
      • February 2013 - $208,000
      • January 2013 - $198,500
      • December 2012 - $200,000
      • November 2012 - $188,500



        Median LISTING Price of active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings:
        • April 8, 2014 - $219,000
        • March 3, 2014 - $219,900
        • February 1, 2014 - $219,900
        • January 2, 2014 - $212,500
        • December 3, 2013 - $214,900
        • November 1, 2013 - $214,900
        • October 1, 2013 - $214,900
        • September 3, 2013 - $194,500
        • August 1, 2013 - $212,000
        • July 2, 2013 - $213,900
        • June 4, 2013 - $214,900
        • May 2, 2013 - $210,000
        • April 1, 2013 - $212,500
        • March 1, 2013 - $209,900
        • February 1, 2013 - $217,500
        • January 3, 2012 - $198,000
        • December 1, 2012 - $212,000


        2011 - 2013 Strata Market Strength

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

        MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulyAugSeptOctNovDec
        201490%66%72%








        2013100%81%89%73%87%99%84%85%79%108%68%90%
        201293%78%96%70%87%85%97%67%89%76%114%82%
        2011100%105%85%86%84%66%66%91%


        The information contained in this post has been prepared by the author Stephen Mullock, using information from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board.  The information has been drawn from sources deemed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed.

        In providing this information, neither Stephen Mullock nor the Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board assumes any responsibility or liability.

        Copyright © 2014 Stephen Mullock. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission.


        Imagine living here...




        Stephen Mullock
        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.

        Sunday, April 6, 2014

        BCREA Housing Market Update and other Good News (March 2014)







        Other good news affecting the Chilliwack* real estate market from these sources: the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) and the Globe and Mail can be found in employment gains and mortgage interest rates.

        1.  Employment Gains


        BCREA ECONOMICS NOW
        Canadian and US Employment - April 4, 2014



        Total employment in the Canadian economy increased by 43,000 jobs in March, and has grown by 190,000 jobs over the past 12 months.  The Canadian unemployment rate ticked 0.1 points lower to 6.9 per cent.

        The BC labour market gained an impressive 18,300 jobs in March, the highest monthly job gains in over two years. The majority of the gains were in full-time employment. The provincial unemployment rate fell 0.6 points to 5.8 per cent, the lowest monthly unemployment rate since December 2008.

        In the United States, payrolls grew by 192,000 jobs, February and January employment was revised higher by a combined 37,000 jobs. The US unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 per cent.  Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 178,000 in the United States.



        2.  Mortgage Rates


        Globe and Mail - March 31, 2014
        ROB CARRICK

        Five mortgage market truths, like you can do better than 2.99%


        Mortgage Rates in 2014 may become more competitive with Bank of Montreal recently offering a 2.99% 5 year term mortgages.  As always it is important to read the fine print, and as this article at the Globe and Mail details there are pretty to recognize in this new offering by the Bank of Montreal.


        Stephen Mullock

        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, April 4, 2014

        Delayed Monthly Stats


        Sorry some family business will keep me away from writing the real estate market analysis and report for Chilliwack until next week.


        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.