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Whistler real estate 2012 Year in Review


Blog by Nick Swinburne | January 17th, 2013


2012 was a busy year in Whistler real estate.  The big trend we experienced in Whistler this past year has been the continued reduction in the amount of active inventory available to buy. We started 2012 with a total of 690 active Chalet, Condo, Duplex, Townhome and Vacant Land listings* compared to our current number of 552 Active listings for the same types.

2009 - 2012 Active listings 

We would need to go back to the Spring of 2007 to find a similar amount of inventory on a downward trend.  During that time, downward pressure on the the market continued until January of 2008, reaching a low of 474 active listings.  From January 2008 on, the number of active listings continued in an overall rising trend (likely the result the economic slowdown and reports of lower than expected profit from the Winter Olympic Games.  Direct after the Games, inventory continued to rise through to its peak in June 2010 at 845 active listings.   Since then, the trend has been an overall decline in inventory to our present point in time. While it is likely that additional inventory will come to market in the Spring, I feel it is unlikely that we will return to the large listing numbers seen just after the Olympic Games and in the summer of 2011. If this reduction does continue, we would likely see  the market move from a pure Buyer's market to a Buyers/Balanced market in some areas and types. 

 Continued Buyer Activity and favourable pricing

A driving force behind the reduction in inventory is increased Buyer activity for well valued Whistler property. The chart below shows sales for Whistler Chalet, Condos, Duplexes, Townhouses and vacant land 2009 - 2012 (Phase I, II & standard res. covenant separated):

 

Whistler Sales

2010

2011

2012

Chalet

Residential

82

101

89

Condo

Phase I

67

90

109

 

Phase II

47

62

51

 

Residential

7

15

14

 

Total

121

167

174

Duplex

Residential

15

8

16

Townhouse

Phase I

92

103

139

 

Residential

62

85

85

 

Total

154

188

224

Vacant land

Residential

33

19

19

   

 

Overall totals give us 405 sales for 2010, 483 sales for 2011 and 522 sales for 2012. While Single Family Home sales were down in 2012, Phase I (nightly rental) condo and townhome sales increased.  Phase II 'Hotel' units are still experiencing a tough pricing run as restrictive financing and lower revenue amounts hinder their performance.
  
The charts below shows the steady increase in sales year over year compared to the reduction in median sales price (2009 - 2012)*
 

 

 

 Moving forward

 

We are already experiencing a continued demand for property to purchase as the year begins. Our regional buyers from Vancouver are certainly enjoying a flip in fortunes from a similar position a decade ago and American owners of Whsitler reale estate who are opting to sell can benifit by the strong 1 to 1 exchange rate (especilly if the Whistler purchase was made in the late '90's or early 2000s).  It was recently reported that the effect of the improved highway would have an adverse effect on over-night stays as visitors may opt to visit just for the day.  While we will likely some prefering to drive abck and forth, the updgrades made to the highway now allow more access from areas further awy and therefore allows Whistler to tap into a larger demographic of visitor who would prefer to stay for the weekend.

Ultimately residents and visitors alike who enjoy coming to Whistler and see value in home ownership and quality of life here, continue to be our Buyers.  Time will tell how long it will take for prices here to move up, but with a strong BC economy and well valued properties we can expect the Buying trend to continue strong into 2013. 
Vancouver news stories on the opportunities available in Whistler as well as our exceptionally snowy start to the ski season, have assisted greatly in recent regional and global exposure.  With the improvement in infrastructure and travel times we can look forward to continued growth through the sea to sky corridor in the years to come.

  

As always, I would be pleased to discuss the current Whistler market with you and options if you are selling or buying.  Please contact me directly with any questions or to put me in touch with someone who would benefit from my expertise.   I look forward to helping.

  

Sincerely,

Nick

 

Nick Swinburne REALTOR®
 

Direct: 1-604-935-4848


Web: nickswinburne.com

Sutton Group WestCoast Realty - Canada's #1 Real Estate Broker

 

* All Statistics from the Whistler Listing System and do not include fraction, quarter share or timeshare.   They are deemed to be accurate.