2020 YEAR IN REVIEW: CHILLIWACK NON-RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET.


The community in Chilliwack has certainly been tested in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, as have cities across the country, but we continue to stay strong despite the pandemic. Our usually stable education institutions may have faced physical closures, but online education continues. We remain thankful for our healthcare system and frontline workers, who tirelessly push forward and continue to support us.

Businesses in Chilliwack will remember the challenges that they faced in 2020 as well. Nobody could have planned for the year that we had. Yet, businesses adapt.

Changing conditions have forced businesses to adjust and adapt. Whether businesses change the way in which they operate or new businesses emerge to take advantage of promising opportunities, a number of innovative businesses are on the horizon.

Using data from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board, we see that the number of new non-residential listings have actually decreased this year. Comparing 2020 to 2019, the number of new non-residential listings in Chilliwack have fallen by 11%.

The average number of new non-residential listings was 69 in 2019 and increased to an average of 74 listings in the first quarter of 2020. However, the average number of new listings drops to only 59 from April 2020 until the end of the year. 

Even with the hardships that many businesses faced in the turbulent economy in 2020, the number of non-residential property listings across multi-family units, farms, vacant land and commercial units for sale and for lease was lower than 2019 in most months during the pandemic. Though these numbers do not reflect changes in ownership of businesses, it still indicates that business closures may not have been quite as high as many may imagine.

Sales of non-residential units in 2020 started out quite slow with approximately half the number and value of units sold in each of the first five months compared to 2019. COVID-19 had a pronounced impact in April 2020 with a 90% decrease in the value of units sold compared to the previous month and a 44% decrease in the number of units sold in the period.

However, the non-residential real estate market suddenly exploded in June 2020 with the number of units sold increasing 200% over the previous month and the value of units sold peaking for the year with an immense 490% increase over the previous month. From June until the end of 2020, the monthly numbers for the number and value of units sold was more than double the numbers in 2019 for most months.

In 2020, the number of non-residential units sold was 43% higher than in 2019 and the value of non-residential units sold was 114% higher over the same period in the previous year. The much higher increase in value of units sold compared to the number of units sold shows a considerable increase in the value of individual units sold driven by demand.

Compared to the 2020 residential real estate market, which also experienced significant growth in sales, the growth in the non-residential real estate market was considerably higher. The increase in the number of non-residential units sold in 2020 over 2019 was 66% higher than the increase in the number of residential units sold in the same period. The increase in the value of non-resident units sold in 2020 over 2019 was 192% higher than the increase in value of residential units sold in the same period. The remarkable increase in the value of non-residential units sold is made even more impressive considering the decrease in new listings in 2020 over the previous year.

The combined decrease in new listings and dramatic increase in sales demonstrates that many businesses are surviving and demand for non-residential real estate is actually increasing. Despite the undeniable hardships in the economy created by COVID-19, as seen from new entrants to entities that have adapted and are looking to expand, businesses are taking advantage of opportunities in a changing market.

With a few adjustments to your business, you can take advantage of the current business environment as well. Whether you would like to profit from the current real estate market that favours sellers or establish your business in light of new opportunities that have emerged, having insight into the Chilliwack real estate market is extremely valuable. With over 20 years of experience in the Chilliwack real estate market, contact the team at Bryan Van Hoepen to see how we can help you.