YEAR END 2018
After heightened and frenzied activity throughout 2015-2017, the Whistler real estate market has now entered a period of stabilization, with a cooling of market activity. Over the course of 2018, the volume of transactions dropped by 26% YOY and are at consistent levels seen prior to the peak of the Whistler market cycle in 2015-2017; the pace at which activity dropped was accelerated in the 3rd and 4th quarters by a rise in interest rates and new mortgage approval rules began to dampen buyer enthusiasm locally, regionally and nationally.
The total value of transactions reported to the Whistler Listing System for 2018 was approximately $828 million, down 18.2% YOY. However, despite a slowing in transactional activity, the average property value in Whistler has continued to increase to $1,250,168 – an increase of 7.5% from 2017.
Single Family Homes and Large Townhomes: Family oriented accommodation continued to attract strong interest; however, the scarcity of opportunities and higher average price points mitigated the amount of demand. As such, average values for single-family home transactions in 2018 only appreciated by approximately 2.5%.
Condominiums and Townhomes (with nightly rentals): Increased international awareness as a result of the Vail purchase as well as the success of the community in significantly increasing overnight guests to the resort created strong interest from both traditional real estate investors and leisure-buyers looking to offset their personal usage with rental income. Overall, the average transaction value for condominiums in Whistler increased by just over 11% to $664, 390 while the average townhouse transaction value increased by 33% to $1, 526,168 in 2018. Accounting for 67% of market activity and 56% of the total market value, the condominium and townhouse sectors represent the majority of the transactions in the Whistler real estate marketplace.
Luxury Market (properties in excess of $2million): This continues to be a strong part of the Whistler market and, with 119 total transactions, activity remained very consistent as compared to 2017. Overall these sales represent 18% of all transactions and approximately 48% of the total transaction value. The average transaction value for this segment was $3,363,000, down slightly from the previous year.
Many properties in Whistler are now valued and selling in excess of $1,000 a square foot, which places our real estate market on par with most of the elite ski resorts in North America – the Canadian below par dollar offers good value to international buyers compared to their domestic markets.
Going into 2019, we expect the Whistler real estate market to operate under more balanced conditions, with limited appreciation in price levels with the exception of some niche offerings experiencing pent up demand and limited historic inventory. As popularity in Whistler as a resort continues to grow, we expect to observe a continued supply of demand and buyers looking to benefit from their investments. As such, supply and demand will direct pricing in the year ahead.
We are dedicated to keeping abreast of our market to ensure we provide you with a well-informed, and current strategic view of investment potential and advice on your purchase or sale. If you have questions, or would just like to chat about the current market, please email us or call 604-932-7670 any time.
YEAR END 2017
The Whistler real estate market experienced another active year in 2017, resulting in significant price increases in most sectors and over one billion dollars of transactions. Despite the total reported sales falling below 2016, strong buyer interest continued to drive valuations.
Total transactions decreased by 16.2% compared to 2016, however this was more than offset by a 26% increase in the average transaction price (currently $1,163,392 compared to $901,451 at the end of 2016). The first half of 2017 was particularly strong due to a peak in buyer interest however as the number of properties offered for sale continued to decline market activity slowed.
Luxury Market: The luxury market (properties valued at over $2 million) continued to grow as a result of increased valuations. 122 properties changed hands in 2017 representing approximately 14% of the total transactions. With an average price of $3,634,000 this segment represents 40% of total market value.
Chalets & Townhouses: Larger, family orientated properties experienced the highest level of interest, resulting in double-digit rates of appreciation. Average single-family home values in Whistler rose by 26% to $2,835,000 and average townhouse values rose by 28% to $1,163,000. As a result of this high level of interest, the number of family-style properties being offered for sale has dropped significantly, which is driving an upward price movement.
Condos: The condominium market once again showed the highest level of activity with over 300 reported transactions (35% of the overall market share). Values in this market sector increased by 21% since the end of 2016.
Strong buyer interest continues to drive values upwards and reduce the number of opportunities available, with all segments of the market currently seeing the lowest number of properties offered for sale in modern memory. This will likely mean activity levels will continue to drop despite strong buyer interest, and prices will feel upward pressure. Continued double-digit rates of appreciation are unrealistic to expect to continue so anticipating a moderation of price increases in 2018.
YEAR END 2016
2016 marked one of the most active years on record with over $1 billion worth of sales driven by significant price appreciation across all major segments; overall transaction volume increased YOY by 22% and YOY value by 12.6% to $901,765.
Chalets & Townhomes: Buyer interest was particularly strong in the first two quarters, resulting from continued favourable exchange rates, low interest rates and record breaking resort visitation. Large family orientated properties (single family and townhomes) observed the highest rates of appreciation with YOY values for single family homes increasing by 32% to $2,252,000 and townhomes increasing by 24% to $947,000.
Condos: The highest level of transactions was seen in the condo market, with over 400 transactions reported year-end and a marked 11.7% YOY increase in volume.
Condominiums and townhomes currently represent 65% of the total market leading to almost 70% of all transactions in 2016 were under $1,000,000.
We anticipate a decline in transaction activity across all segments as listing inventory approaches a historic low, despite strong buyer interest resulting in continued upward pressure on property values. However, external market factors remain unpredictable in their influence of our market, including interest rates, government and financial regulation and the impact of a Trump presidency in the US.
YEAR END 2015
The Whistler real estate market has seen continued growth for the past 5 consecutive years in both sales activity and sales value; the most recent data indicates market conditions have returned to those prior to the financial collapse in 2008/2009.
The resort’s continued efforts in positioning Whistler as a diverse, year-round destination has resulted in ongoing growth in Whistler real estate demand; low interest rates, a favourable Canadian dollar, and an active real estate market in the Greater Vancouver area are all contributing factors to the upward pressure on prices across all market segments.
Overall, sales volume increased YOY by 14% and total sales value exceeded $673 million. Average sales transaction value was the highest seen since 2007, reaching $799,937 at the end of 2015 – a YOY increase of 10.5%.
The luxury real estate market ($2 million+) continues to strengthen with a 33% YOY increase in sales volume and a 55% YOY increase in total sales value.
Of the sixty luxury market transactions in 2015, our team represented 33 clients – accounting for nearly half of total sales value for this market ($139m+).
CONDOS & TOWNHOMES
Condo and townhomes had a 6% increase in transaction volumes and an average year-end sales price of $415,600 (YOY increase of 7.1%) and $756,142 (YOY increase of 8.4%) respectively.
SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
Activity in the single-family home market increased by about 22% with an average transaction value of $1,697,000 – a YOY increase of 5%.
Inventory remains low in Whistler (the lowest in over a decade) – resulting in well-priced listings selling quickly, often under multiple offer situations. As we enter 2016 prices are expected to remain strong as contributing market factors are likely to remain unchanged. Sales activity is expected to slow after our record year in 2015 due to an absence of new developments and new opportunities in the market place.