“Based on feedback, the revised proposals reduces the number of geographic areas affected by the proposed new tax, and introduces a new rate system that distinguishes between BC residents, out-of-province Canadians and foreign investors,” explained Maier.
VALLEY SPRAWL DRIVING SALES
Flat in previous years, apartment, condo market on the upswing
partments and condos led the market in sales last month in Chilliwack and area, as home buyers are being forced into lower price points due to new mortgage rules.
Although home sales last month at 361 lagged slightly behind last April’s total of 372, the dollar value illustrates that while sales are softening, prices are still on the increase.
“Last month, there were 71 sales of apartments, compared to 49 in the same month last year,” said Lori Maier, President of the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). “The dollar value of total sales however is up over $21 million year-over-year, showing that prices locally are still on the increase”.
The surge in apartment sales shows that buyers are looking towards affordability in the wake of new mortgage rules.
“The new rules incorporate a stress test, which means that anyone applying for a mortgage needs to not just qualify for the amount needed, but can withstand a hike in mortgage rates in the future”.
Of the 361 sales last month, the highest number (44) were in the $450,000-$499,999 range, followed by 40 sales in the $500,000-$549,999 range. There were 10 sales over the $1 million mark, including one over $2 million. Most noticeably however, were just over 100 sales in homes under the $400,000 mark.
In other real estate matters, CADREB continues to study the effects of changes to the “Speculation Tax”, announced in the February provincial budget.
“It’s not exactly clear yet how it will be implemented, as legislation has not yet passed, but we are keeping a close eye on it, as it may have implications for Cultus Lake”.
The local Board meanwhile was pleased to see more listings hit the market – at the end of last month, there were 989 active listings, up 80 from the same month last year. There is always room for more, as buyers from the metropolitan areas continue to look to the Eastern Fraser Valley for better home affordability.
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