As we take a look at the third quarter of 2019, we are happy to report that the real estate market activity in Whistler stayed busy. After a slower than average second quarter, activity levels have returned to that which we have been experiencing for the last six quarters. We have seen that the total number of listings has increased from its historic low of two years ago, and time on the market for sellers has lengthened (, depending on the type of property it is). The current market conditions can be described as mostly balanced, with a slightly favorable framework for sellers in specific housing types.
Despite lower levels of sales activity as compared to several years ago, average sales transaction values have not been impacted. The overall transaction value for the market is currently $1,269,800, which shows a slight increase since the start of the year. We’re seeing that the buyer interest in Whistler remains strong with only the type, and the number of investment opportunities limiting activity.
Market Update in Numbers
Within the market sectors, the overall single-family market remains steady with an average sales value of $2,968,000. Due to the high demand for properties that generate short term rental income; think AirBnB, condominiums have been the top performer so far this year. The average transaction value has risen by 13% to $751,000 since the start of the year. The townhouse market has been slower largely due to a lack of opportunity (rather than a lack of buyer interest) and as such has seen a 10% drop in average sales value to $1,367,967 since the start of the year.
The luxury market (properties over 5 million) continues to remain active with strong interest from both international and domestic buyers. We have participated in four sales above $9 million this year; a first in some time for the market. This sector is highly specialized and will continue to follow its own direction in terms of activity.
That brings us to the age-old question:
What Can We Expect Moving Forward…
As we head into the 2019/2020 ski season we expect that trends experienced in the third quarter will continue to the end of the year, and into 2020. Buyers will continue to show a strong interest in the limited supply of Whistler properties, particularly those which are unique and/ or new, as well as those that can generate rental income from our strong tourism economy. Market conditions will continue to support values.
It is clear, however, that buyers are looking for value for money and that sellers need to be aware of the current market value of comparable properties when selling.
What Should We Take Away from this as a Buyer?
1) Buyers should be aware of the dynamics of supply in the Whistler marketplace
2) Avoid making comparisons to other geographical areas when determining value.