“Real Estate is a local phenomenon”
Never has this statement been truer than it is currently. Media reports, and industry press releases cover wide geographical areas and try to aggregate data in order to present information that is easier to follow. However, they rarely recognize the unique issues that directly impact the supply and demand in individual communities or market segments. This is even truer where smaller, non-urban communities like Whistler and Pemberton are concerned.
Current thinking and headlines would suggest the real estate activity in southwestern BC are at an all-time low and that prices are declining monthly. Headlines suggest that sales are down as much as 40% as compared to the peak of the market and that prices are down by 10% in the last 12 months (and even more in the high end/luxury market). The pressure on prices to move downward is a direct correlation to sales activity but will also vary based on the type of inventory, the total amount of inventory available in any one segment of the market, and of course the needs and opinions of buyers and sellers in regard to the future.
That brings us to the age-old question:
Market activity has followed the regional trends being reported. Overall activity in Whistler has declined 37.5% as compared to the same six-month period a year ago.
All property types have seen a significant decline in the number of transactions with townhouses and condominiums being impacted the most. The current level of activity is equivalent to that experienced in 2009 (pre-Olympics). The primary difference today is that the number of properties of all types being offered for sale is less than half when compared to ten years ago.
The slowdown in activity has caused a steady overall increase in the numbers of properties offered for sale and lengthened the average time on the market for sellers. However, the interest in Whistler property is sufficient to offset those sales trends, and overall average prices have remained comparable to a year ago at this time and have slightly increased since the start of 2019.
Different segments of the market have responded differently (price wise) to the slowdown in activity. The townhouse market has seen a drop of 11% since the beginning of the year, while condominiums have increased 11% largely due to strong rental revenue opportunities. Single family values have risen by 7.2% since the beginning of the year despite being 5% below where they were a year ago at this time. Clearly the amount and type of property being offered for sale has significant impact on market performance.
1. Don’t assume that what is being reported in other areas or regions in B.C. or Canada, for that matter, is happening in Whistler
2. Sellers can expect that properties, on average, will be on the market longer than we’ve seen in the recent past. Properly priced; however, they will attract significant interest and may sell quickly.
3. There continues to be a historically low number of properties offered for sale. This will be the reality for the foreseeable future. Buyers should not hesitate when they find their dream property.
The best way you can ensure you are going to have a successful buying or selling experience is to use a local real estate agent who can give you the specific local expertise and detailed information specific to your unique situation.