BCREA November Stats: Chilliwack Leads BC

Thursday, December 20th, 2012


The BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Chilliwack posted a province-leading 28.6 per cent increase in November sales compared to last November. BC as a whole saw a 17 per cent month-over-month decline. Chilliwack also reported the highest residential dollar volume increase in the province, with a 36.7 per cent spike from November 2011.

Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board president Cynthia Admiraal says the strong market is all about price. In Chilliwack, which is about 90 minutes east of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley, a typical home sells for around $350,000, less than half that of Greater Vancouver.

“Investors are attracted to markets that are stable and not prone to wild price fluctuations. Combined with the commuter factor, where home ownership is far more affordable than the metro areas, it paves the way for continued sales growth in the New Year,” Admiraal said.

Only three other BC communities posted higher November housing sales: unit sales in the Okanagan Mainline, anchored by Kelowna, increased by 4.1 per cent; Vancouver Island, north of Victoria, saw sales climb 3.8 per cent; and the Kootenays experienced a 19.4 per cent increase over November 2011.

The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board posted the worst month-over-month sales record, followed by Victoria, down 24.8 per cent, and the Fraser Valley, down 19.2 per cent. Powell River’s 47 per cent decline reflects a very small market where a few sales can cause a large swing.

BC Real Estate Overall

According to the BC Real Estate Association, the dollar volume of homes sold through the MLS® in BC declined 24.6 per cent to $2.3 billion in November compared to the same month last year. A total of 4,680 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded over the same period, down 17 per cent from November 2011. The average MLS® residential price was $480,861, down 9.1 per cent from a year ago.

“A slower pace of consumer demand in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley contributed to fewer home sales province-wide in November,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.

“While more stringent mortgage credit regulations for low equity borrowers have squeezed some buyers out of the market, the broader slowdown may be a pre-cursor to more elevated activity in 2013, resulting from pent-up demand.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume declined 18.7 per cent to $33.3 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales declined 11 per cent to 64,626 units, while the average MLS® residential price was 8.6 per cent lower at $515,611.

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