When is a good time to buy a property in Whistler?

April 26, 2019

One of the most common questions we get asked by prospective buyers in Whistler is “when is a good time to buy?”.

There is no easy answer to this and it often comes down to the motives of the individual buyer. Obviously the market does fluctuate and there will be more favourable times than others in terms of short term performance, however, in the long run it will depend on your goals.

Whistler does not follow the market trends of surrounding areas, and as such it can be hard to predict for those coming in without any prior knowledge. Our best advice is to work with a knowledgeable, local Realtor who can determine the best strategy for your situation.

As it is so much dependent on individuals we will take a look a some different scenarios to give you the best idea of when is a good time to buy:

Buying to live in Whistler

If you’re looking to make Whistler your permanent home you are most likely buying for the lifestyle. Your goals are finding a property to suit your needs and wants that you can call home.

In this scenario you can often afford to take a little more time to decide and explore a wider range of property options. In terms of finding the “best” time to buy, this can change depending on market conditions and is very much dependent on your requirements and your budget.

When the market is moving quickly, you may want to get in early if you find that perfect property. In slower markets you can take more time to find the right home for your needs. You are less likely to be worried about fluctuating prices as you will be living in your home and the reason for buying is simply to live in Whistler.

Buying a holiday/weekend property

Buying a weekend/holiday property you have similar motivations to those looking to buy to live. You love the lifestyle Whistler offers, but you live elsewhere and just want part time use of the property.

Unlike those who live in Whistler, you may not have the luxury of having as much time to look for a home. And your choices could potentially be narrower, especially if you’re looking to rent out your home when you’re not using it. In these cases you could be affected by zoning regulations on rental units.

Depending on the current market conditions you are probably most affected by time. You are limited when it comes to viewing listings as you do not live in Whistler, but you don’t want to be rushed into making a decision.

Having said that, as you are making a purchase for lifestyle, determining a “good” time to buy is less of an issue and can sometimes make minimal difference in terms of what you get for your money.

Buying as an investment

If you’re looking to invest in Whistler, you’re most likely looking to buy to rent. As we mentioned above, this is often tied to a lifestyle decision focused on weekend use. However, you may be looking to rent out the property to pay the mortgage, while hoping there will be a capital appreciation when it comes to selling. The latter is actually one of the last reasons that people cite for buying in Whistler.

Making this sort of investment decision is always tricky and nothing is guaranteed. As such you will probably be keeping a close eye on the Whistler marketplace and monitoring prices across all property types. 

Choosing when to enter the market is dependent on so many factors, and we recommend discussing your options with your Realtor. While history would suggest that Whistler is a good investment, buying for lifestyle is always the best motivator, opposed to looking for profit on appreciation.

Deciding when to buy

As with all major decisions it is important to carry out your own research and speak to experts in the area. Your unique situation plays a huge role in deciding when to buy.

At Whistler Real Estate we are all local experts who can help you with any purchase decision you are looking to make in Whistler, and advise on the best course of action for your personal needs.

For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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