Saturday, December 27, 2014

Swans - Honk If You Like Me - Chilliwack's Winter Visitors



If you hear a loud honking overhead this time of year in Chilliwack, Agassiz, and the eastern BC Fraser Valley it will most likely be a large flock or "bevy" of Trumpeter or Tundra Swans. These birds fly down from parts as far north as Alaska in an effort to escape the winter cold and find food in our fields and farms.  
A Wedge in Flight©Stephen Mullock

The Trumpeter Swan is the largest native bird in North America and can weigh over 33 pounds. They are distinguished by their white feathers and dark beaks. These birds mate for life - so long as eggs are produced, otherwise, "divorce" may occur. An adult male is called a "cob" and a female a "pen".  Their offspring are known as a "swanling" or a "cygnet".

Trumpeter Swans

At one point, this fine bird was almost hunted into extinction.  A big, white target in the sky. So it is reassuring to see their return in numbers each year to Chilliwack, Agassiz and the eastern Fraser Valley. Mahatma Gandhi once said "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Perhaps there is hope for us yet.

Still, they are the noisiest bird in the sky. Not at all like our sweet trilled song birds in the spring these swans, honk and hoot like a drunken choir moving onto the next bar. Their flying could be improved as well - although they were doing pretty well on the day I took the picture above.

There are a lot of great places to see these birds including almost any large farm field but two areas in particular are worth the visit.

"Sardis Park" is a 14 acre park nestled into a southern part of Chilliwack. Its' large pond provides "birders" a wonderful opportunity to view many different types of fowl  at close range. A great place to take a walk with the family.

The Cheam Wetlands is a much larger park some 265 acres in size with a sizeable lake. It is not groomed like the more urban Sardis Park and requires some long lens if you want to take pictures.  Birds in flight as the sun is setting are a pretty sight.

Chilliwack and eastern Fraser Valley communities such as Agassiz, Harrison or Hope offer a special closeness to the wild. The arrival of the Trumpeter and Tundra Swans in November signals that late fall has begun and the winter season approaches.


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.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Stocking Drive 2014 - BIG Success


A BIG thank you goes out to everyone that contributed to the success of our 5th Annual Christmas Stocking Drive!



Now all the stockings, 121 in all, are filled and capped with toques.  The Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty members and staff pose for just a moment with the goodies.  Soon these stockings will be on their way, with our hopes, that many Christmases will be a little brighter for the effort.

Love, peace and understanding are sewn right into the fabric of the stocking drive. Merry Christmas everyone and thanks again.

Helping you is what we do...

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.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Spirit / 2014 Rotary Chilliwack Santa Parade


Having a blue Christmas?  Lacking that certain Christmas Spirit?  You need to come out to one of the many holiday events being held in our area of Chilliwack, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs. Events like the Rotary Christmas Parade which was held in downtown Chilliwack this past Saturday. Despite a steady rain drizzle, the streets were lined 5 people deep with the kids at the front. What fun!

Watching the parade on Wellington Ave.
The parade began at 5:30 p.m. and the magic continued for an hour and a quarter. A start and finish just right for families with babies/children to meet bedtime schedules.

The crowd, despite the rain, was in a very good mood and those on the floats were evidently having a fine time as well.

Hey, we're having fun on a Christmas Float
I had been asked by a Rotary member, buddy of mine, fellow Realtor© Ian Meissner, to help out with the photography. He would shoot the floats and I would take pictures of the crowd's reaction.  What a great assignment as it gave me a chance to talk to people along the route.  I was struck, once again, no surprise here, at how nice the people of Chilliwack are.

A special thanks should go to the Rotary clubs of Chilliwack and the City of Chilliwack whose financial support helped bring the Christmas Parade back in 2013.  The Christmas spirit is still alive and well in these Rotary clubs and just a single look at the smiling faces of the parade crowd would tell them this - this was money well spent.

While most folk viewed the parade standing at street grade I spotted some other interesting spots to take in the parade as well. On balconies, on shoulders, on chairs, bleachers and our Royal LePage Star 98.3 Kindness Crew partners even had a tent set up right at Five Corners. Free hot chocolate was offered to me numerous times as I made my way up and down the streets.  Christmas cheer.

Shoulder View
The Royal Box

At the very end of the parade just as the last float was going by I noticed this small group of kids holding hands....on top, Santa Claus.

That, my friend, is a Christmas moment to remember.

May you always enjoy the Christmas spirit of peace, love and understanding.

Take my hand, here comes Santa Claus

Next must see event is the CP Holiday Train in Agassiz - December 17th, 2014.  Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo will be performing. Cash or food donations requested.  See you there.


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.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chilliwack* Real Estate Sales Review and Analysis November 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 114 sales of single family houses and 57 sales of strata homes such as town houses, and apartments in November 2014.  A total of 171 for all housing types; a 49 sales unit drop from the 230 sales in October.  Do not be alarmed - this is normal.  Generally, fewer sales take place in November when compared to October. Plus last October was an abnormally "hot" month for Chilliwack real estate sales so the drop seems larger.  The Chilliwack real estate market has simply returned to a more expected seasonal pattern. 

When compared to the 10-year average for November both the sale of single family detached homes and strata homes were pretty much on target.

Life on Harrison Lake - Click Picture


Prices, especially median LISTING prices, for "single family houses" have increased throughout in 2014 by about $10,000 to November's $370,000.  Interestedly, the median SALE price has not increased significantly it is only $3,500 higher than a year ago.

Price determination for "strata" homes are often more difficult as smaller overall numbers can be easily impacted by sales of newer higher or lower priced developments.  So while the average sale price is surprisedly low this month $196,000 - once again do not be alarmed.  I am fully anticipating this to recover very shortly.  In fact, if I look back 30 days from today Dec 8th  that average sale price would be $215,000 - a number in keeping with most of the chart.

Low mortgage rates and a recovery in the economy are the 2014 driving forces behind the strength in the market. 

Inventory levels are currently dropping due to an increase in demand and seasonal factors. 

Some of the best buys can be discovered in the Agassiz community a 20 minute drive from Chilliwack.

This report divides Chilliwack* residential properties into two classifications; single family detached and strata.  There is often a significant difference in market vigour between the two classifications and for this reason I like to view them separately.

 


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 114 sales of single family houses in November 2014. 

Not surprisingly the number of single family detached homes sales in November (114) was less than those in October(159). This is to be expected and follows a cyclic pattern. Plus, October 2014 was a "hot" sales market that has since cooled. 

Based on a 10-year average for November we should expect about 116 sales - so the 114 sales we had is normal.  This was the third best November for single family detached houses since 2007.
  
A list to sale ratio of 14.5% was down from the 18% of last month.

There is a balanced competitive market for Chilliwack*.

Median sale prices look pretty stable at this point hovering in a price range since the beginning of the year between $335,000 to $340,000.

Average sale prices look steady as well.

MONTHSales/Average Sale Price/Days on Market/Active Listings
Nov
2014
114$351,00071735
Oct 2014159$350,00067834
Nov
2013
89$364,00069n/a




As "average sale prices" can be impacted in a disproportionate manner by the sale of high-end properties the "median" is often considered a better measure of where values are, as follows:  


Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Single Family Detached Homes (SFD)
  • November 2014 - $337,500
  • October 2014 - $334,500
  • September 2014 - $338,500
  • August 2014 - $339,500
  • July 2014 - $346,000
  • June 2014 - $337,500
  • May 2014 - $349,000
  • April 2014 - $341,500
  • 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:
    • December 3, 2014 - $370,000
    • November 3, 2014 - $369,000
    • October 1, 2014 - $364,000
    • September 2, 2014 - $358,500
    • August 1, 2014 - $359,900
    • July 1, 2014 - $359,900
    • June 2, 2014 - $359,900
    • May 2, 2014 - $364,900
    • 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


      2014 - 2011 Market Strength for Chilliwack* Single Family Houses

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

      MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulyAugSeptOctNovDec
      2014 - %94%100829510011010411610512798
      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%

      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.





      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 57 sales of strata homes (apartments, townhouses) November 2014.

      Beach Front Strata Living in Harrison - Click Picture


      The 57, Chilliwack* real estate board strata November sales returned to an anticipated seasonal pattern.  Based on a 10-year average for October, we should expect about 57 sales, which as it turns out is exactly what was achieved.  There were 71 sales last month.
        
      A list to sale ratio of 13% was less than last month's 14.6% but still indicates that the market remains in balanced territory.

      
      MONTHSales/Average Sale Price/Days on Market/Active Listings
      Nov  2014 57$196,00067436
      Oct  2014 71$216,000100463
      Nov  2013 40$200,00096n/a




      October 2014 - $224,500

      Median SALE Price of Chilliwack* Strata Homes
      • November 2014 - $217,500
      • October 2014 - $216,000
      • September 2014 - $245,000
      • August 2014 - $234,500
      • July 2014 - $234,000
      • June 2014 - $219,500
      • May 2014 - $220,500
      • April 2014 - $220,500
      • 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



        Median LISTING Price of active Chilliwack* Strata Real Estate Listings:
        • December 1, 2014 - $199,900
        • November 3, 2014 - $232,500
        • October 1, 2014 - $210,000
        • September 2, 2014 - $216,900
        • Aug 1, 2014 - $214,900
        • July 1, 2014 - $219,000
        • June 2, 2014 - $219,900
        • May 2, 2014 - $214,900
        • 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


        2011 - 2014 Strata Market Strength

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

        MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulyAugSeptOctNovDec
        2014 - %90%6672106105134869710210492
        2013100%81%89%73%87%99%84%85%79%10868%90%
        201293%78%96%70%87%85%97%67%89%76%11482%
        2011100%10585%86%84%66%66%91%

        Once again, please remember to use the services of a Realtor© to maximize your chances for a successful purchase or sale. Let me have a call if you are looking for professional service in the Chilliwack, Agassiz, Kent or Harrison Hot Springs areas.

        The information reported 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 are not guaranteed.

        In providing such 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.