The evidence is growing day by day: People are coming to Chilliwack.
Last month’s home sales in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) area made for the hottest February since they started keeping records.
There were 283 home sales last month, a 42 per cent increase over last year. Those sales were worth $98 million, a 54 per cent increase over February 2015.
With a strong economy in B.C., consumer confidence high in the region and staggering house prices in Metro Vancouver, an increasing move east for some is inevitable, and CADREB expects the housing market to remain “brisk” in Chilliwack in the coming months.
Data from one truck rental company adds to the evidence, showing year-over-year in-migration trends on the rise locally.
U-Haul named Chilliwack the number two growth city in Canada for 2015, one spot ahead of Victoria and one behind Toronto.
That’s based on the net gain of incoming one-way U-Haul truck rentals versus outgoing rentals. Last year 55.7 per cent of truck rental customers came into the city, a 26 per cent increase over the same period last year.
“It’s no surprise that people from across B.C. and Canada are discovering what a great community Chilliwack is to live, work and play,” Mayor Sharon Gaetz said in a U-Haul press release. “With housing prices on the rise in the Lower Mainland, more people are starting to look outside the big city and are finding a hidden gem in Chilliwack.”
In February, CADREB reported strong sales in all categories of homes but particularly single family homes, at 163 sales.
And while all this activity will inevitably lead to some increase in home prices, it still pales in comparison to the unaffordability crisis in some communities in Metro Vancouver.
“Inventory, the number of local listings on the market, remains a challenging situation for buyers and their agents,” CADREB president Richard Admiraal said. “It’s good to see that sales are up and activity strong, and it is fair to say that with a robust market and limited inventory, prices are likely to continue to edge upward.”
Inventory of just over 1,000 listings is well below the 1,369 at the same time last year. Still, Admiraal suggested that with 38 per cent of all residential sales under the $300,000 mark, there is still plenty of affordable housing in the market.
Local realtor Ian Hornby said that over the past year, he’s seen a surge in homebuyers leaving Metro Vancouver to snatch up hobby farms in Ryder Lake, in particular.
“We’ve seen more and more people coming out from North Vancouver, selling $3-million homes and buying 10 acres (for $700,000 to $900,000),” Hornby said in an article in the Province.
“More people coming out from Cloverdale, a lot of people from New Westminster, Vancouver, selling old houses (and) moving out here, buying a small acreage with a bigger, newer, nicer house, a new car and putting money in the bank.”
Hornby estimates half those buying in the community come from Metro Vancouver.
– with files from the Province,
By PAUL J. HENDERSON
March 9, 2016 · 4:49 PM
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