Paralleling the trends seen through BC, the real estate market in Whistler started 2019 at a slower pace; however recovering consumer confidence, high tourism numbers, and low interest rates saw the market rebound to historically normal levels through the second half of the year. So, although the number of transactions that occurred in 2019 was lower than 2018, the overall transaction value remained virtually unchanged, rounding out the year at $1,247,388.
With an almost 12% reduction in number of sales, the average sales value for a single-family home remained almost unchanged and finished 2019 at $2,881,000. The number of listings being offered for sale increased over the course of the year and days on market lengthened. This suggests that 2020 should see a balanced market for this property type.
By the end of 2019, the average sales value for a townhome in Whistler was $1,354,000 (an 11% decrease from 2018). There was also an 18% decrease in the number of sales. Both of these trends can largely be explained by a decrease in the number of higher-end sales (impacting average values) and a decrease in the number of properties available for sale (impacting the number of sales). The overall value per square foot ($1,150 at year-end) held steady, as did the average number of days on market. In 2019, buyers in this market segment focused increasingly on properties that offered short-term rental opportunities and we expect this to continue into 2020. As with single-family homes, we project that the townhouse market will remain balanced through 2020 with buyer interest favouring rental opportunities and lower price ranges. We anticipate values to remain in the $1,100 to $1,200 per square foot range.
As with the other market segments, condos experienced a drop (of 15%) in the number of sales that occurred in 2019; nevertheless, it was the most active market segment with over 200 sales. High demand fuelled a 9% increase in average sales value (to $733,000). As with townhomes, buyers showed high interest in properties that offered rental opportunities. The total number of listings available for sale fell slightly and the length of time listings spent on the market increased as well. Unlike the other market segments, we anticipate that condominiums will continue to experience a seller’s market.
Overall activity in Whistler luxury market (properties listed over $3 Million) fell significantly in 2019; however the average transaction value in this segment increased by 7% ($4,856,368). As we move into 2020, the expected time on the market will begin to lengthen as a result of the slowly increasing number of properties being offered for sale in this price range when compared to prior years. The luxury market going into 2020 can best be described as a buyer’s market.
Looking Ahead to 2020
Going ahead into 2020, it seems that the uncertainty and lack of confidence that impacted consumer decisions in the last half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 is behind us. Significant pent-up demand exists for all properties, with a strong focus on properties under $3,000,000, and properties that can generate short term rental income.
The real estate market in Whistler is highly nuanced. If you have been thinking of buying or selling, or if you just want to stay up-to-date, don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss your specific area(s) of interest and how the current conditions impact you.