Saturday February 5, 2011


New Mortgage Rules Looming For March

Changes will make it harder to qualify

Submitted by Steve Lerigny, CADREB


ome sales in Chilliwack and area are continuing to inch up to last year's levels. Following one of the worst autumns in local history, sales in the New Year are beginning to return to normal levels, indicating that the economy is recovering.

"We're still waiting for the U.S. market to fire on all cylinders again before we can recover completely," said Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB) President Kyle Hislop. "However, the normalizing of the market is welcome".

A total of 111 homes sold in January, compared to 122 sales in January of 2010. Increased sales are expected this month however, as changes to the mortgage rules take effect in March.

"The Board lobbied against changes, as any tightening in eligibility such as a reduction of the maximum length in amortization, hits the important first-time buyer the hardest. Home ownership infuses many spinoff benefits to the local economy, and we didn't want to see any further obstacles".

Under the changes, if a potential buyer earlier qualified for $300,000, after March, he or she will then qualify for only $275,000.

"That squeezes a number of people out of the market, and we want home ownership to be more affordable, not less'" added Mr. Hislop.

A good inventory of homes on the local market and normalized prices bode well for the typically busier spring months ahead. Interest rates are expected to rise in the summer, so if you are considering a first home, move-up, or an investment property, the time is now.

Of the 111 homes sold last month, the highest number of sales (18) were in the $250,000 - $274,999 range, followed by 17 sales in the $300,000 - $349,999 category. There were five sales over the half-million dollar mark. As of the end of January, there were 1.309 active listings on the local market.


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