Interest-free loans offered for first-time buyers to lower down payments








ollowing a noticeable decline in home sales over the past months since the introduction of the “Stress Test”, there are encouraging signs both locally and provincially that the housing market is heading towards a more stable one.


In the heat of August, when typically home sales lag, sales in Chilliwack and area showed markedly higher sales over the same time last year. In August, figures compiled by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB), show 247 home sales were completed, compared to 197 in August of last year.


“Since the stress test, enacted by the federal government in the beginning of 2018, until mid-2019, home sales have decreased across the country, in some cases significantly,” said Kyle Nason, President of CADREB. “Chilliwack was not immune to this, but sales and home prices at this end of the Fraser Valley do not tend to fluctuate as wildly as the more metropolitan areas of Canada”.


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With sales picking up and forcing prices to level off, it has shifted locally from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market.


“With this shift happening, more than ever, it’s important for anyone listing to heed the advice of his or her experienced REALTOR®”, added Nason. “It’s getting more competitive, and listings need to be priced in keeping with the local market conditions”.


Of the 247 sales last month, the highest number (32) were those in the $400,000 - $449,999 range, followed by 29 sales of homes in the $450,000 - $499,999 range. Sales of single family homes were strong, making up 142 of the total sales. There were 6 sales over the $1 million mark, including one over $2 million.


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With the median house price below $500,000, Chilliwack and area first-time buyers will benefit from the federal government’s September launch of the First-Time Home Buyer incentive, an interest-free loan that doesn’t require monthly payments. 


“This incentive is intended to help reduce monthly mortgage payments without increasing the amount needed to save for a down payment,” explained Nason. Prospective buyers can obtain more information from their lending institution.


At the end of August, there were 1,552 active listings in Chilliwack and area. More are needed to provide a wide array of choices to those looking for a new home, in what is typically a busy fall season for real estate.







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