As many have already stated, the first half of 2020 was an unpredictable time. The COVID-19 shutdown of day to day activities for over 60 days created unparalleled uncertainty both economically and socially. Although an essential service, real estate activity was severely impacted due to consumer uncertainty about the future, travel restrictions, and health and safety concerns. This uncertainty about the future will continue to play a part in market activities going forward, although a more predictable environment is developing as the new reality becomes clearer.
Like all marketplaces, Whistler saw a significant decrease in activity in the second quarter (April-June 2020) which led to a 42% drop in activity as compared to the previous 6 months (July to Dec 2019).
However, despite fewer sales, all other statistical market indicators were unaffected by the slow down. Both average and median sales values have remained unchanged or have increased for both the overall market and most sectors; the luxury market (properties over $3,000,000) remained strong and active. Average days on market (DOM) remained steady as did months of inventory; the average number of new listings also remained mostly unchanged, although as a result of the drop in the number of sales for 60 days, we did see an increase of approximately 10%. That being said, the number of properties listed for sale continues to be at historically low levels. Finally, the pace of transactions per week (sales every seven days), has improved steadily since April and has now returned to the levels we saw prior to March 1.
Overall, the average transaction value has risen by 16% to $1,458,000. Both single-family and condominiums have seen a similar increase in average transaction value currently reporting at $3,388,000 and $906,000, largely due to an upsurge in sales of more expensive properties. The average sales value of townhouses in Whistler remains unchanged as compared to the start of the year.
As we move into the second half of the year, Whistler will continue to be seen as an attractive investment and an appealing community to live in. Natural beauty, level of services, relative value compared to peers, access to Vancouver, stability, and safety will continue to appeal to buyers looking for an alternative to the larger urban areas for both lifestyle properties and primary residences. We expect further strengthening in buyer inquiries, leading to a reduction in the number of properties offered for sale and supporting price at their current or higher levels.
Whistler is a unique and specialized resort marketplace. Our full time, local advisors are here to help you navigate the purchase or sale process successfully and safely. Please feel free to call or drop by our office anytime to find out more.