Property Assessments for Whistler and Pemberton are now available and should have already reached your mailbox. To the surprise of some, our area has bucked the trend of falling values seen throughout most of the province this year. This has occurred despite a significant reduction in sales activity similar to the rest of British Columbia.
So, how does activity fall but values rise?
Are Whistler and Pemberton insulated from the larger regional and provincial real estate trends or is it a bit more complicated?
The answer is, there are several storylines to consider:
In Whistler, the marketplace has multiple and very defined sectors, both value-wise and in character. Each sector behaves uniquely from the others due to supply and demand, and as they have unequal weights in the overall market, they impact overall statistical analysis differently. However, when combined into a single number they create a conclusion that often does not accurately describe what happened for individual properties during the assessment period.
For example; the condominium market was a top performer in terms of appreciation during the time period used for assessments (up until July 1 in the prior year). Value increases were fueled by high levels of interest in acquiring properties that could generate income, permitted short term rentals and were deemed attractive as a result of Whistler’s tourism and the ability to have occasional personal use. In fact, average sales value increased well in excess of 10% over the 12 months.
By comparison, townhouses saw a significant drop in sales value as a result of a limited number of listings, primarily in a very defined price range. When combined, these two opposing trends largely canceled each other out and due to the greater number of condominium transactions, we ended up with an overall increase of 5% in the assessed values of medium density properties. This, however, is not readily applicable to individual situations, particularly with townhouses.
In Pemberton, despite a significant drop in the number of transactions, average values increased in all categories. Why? Firstly, Pemberton continues to be the most affordable place to buy a home in the Sea to Sky corridor and has become increasingly well known for its outdoor lifestyle, scenery, and friendly nature. Demand for property in Pemberton has grown steadily over the last few years.
Secondly, Pemberton currently has very few opportunities to purchase in any category of the marketplace. Essentially, we have a high demand to supply framework that is supporting growing prices despite lower levels of activity.