Whistler Real Estate Market: 2016 Year-In-Review

In 2016, the real estate market in Whistler experienced one of the most active years to-date and showed a 22% increase in number of transactions over 2015. This activity, paired with low inventory levels, resulted in significant increases in prices in almost all segments of the market. The overall average price of a transaction reached $901,765 (a 12% increase over the $801,894 average of 2015). This, in turn caused the value of all transactions completed in 2016 to reach over $1 Billion.

Buyer interest in Whistler real estate reached a peak in the first 6 months of the year as a result of low interest rates, strong regional economies, favorable exchange rates, and a record breaking number of people visiting the community. As a result, the first half of 2016 was stronger than the second half of the year.

A Closer Look At The Numbers:

Larger, family-oriented properties (single family homes and townhomes) experienced the highest level of interest and therefore saw the greatest rates of appreciation. Meanwhile, the condominium market experienced the highest number of sales through the course of 2016.

  • Single-Family Homes: Average values rose by 32% from $1,697,000 in 2015 to $2,252,000 in 2016.
  • Townhomes: Average values rose by 24% from $764,000 in 2015 to $947,000 in 2016.
  • Condominiums: With almost 400 reported sales, average values rose by 11.7% over 2015.
  • Shared Ownership: Also showed double digit improvements in both average values and number of transactions.
  • Luxury Properties (over $2 Million): With a total of 83 properties changing hands, average values increased to $3,524,000 (a 13% increase over 2015).

The sale of condominiums and townhomes made up 65% of the transactions that occurred in the Whistler marketplace in 2016 and as a result, 70% of all Whistler transactions occurred below the $1 Million price point.

Although Whistler is often thought of as a ‘luxury market’ these sales represent only 8% of the total transactions that occurred in 2016. That said, their high average transaction values means that this relatively small percentage of sales make up over 28% of the total market value.

Looking Forward to 2017

As 2017 gets underway, the current real estate market in Whistler is comprised of a historically low level of inventory (properties being offered for sale) in almost all market segments. As a result, we expect activity levels (number of sales) to drop despite continued buyer demand. This, in turn, will pressure prices upward.

That said, there are a number of factors which could temper local market factors including the unpredictable influence of a number of expected changes in external circumstances such as:

  • Interest rates
  • Government and financing regulation
  • An expected retreat in Vancouver real estate values
  • Uncertainty about the impact of a Trump presidency
  • Upcoming provincial elections

The bottom line is that through 2017 we expect supply to be limited and this, in hand with buyer demand, will direct pricing. Buyers will continue to buy and sellers will continue to sell.

The real estate market in Whistler is a unique and nuanced marketplace. If you have any questions about how the state of the market may impact your decision to buyer or sell, or if you have any other questions about real estate in Whistler contact me. Staying up-to-date in our highly dynamic market is key to making the best real estate decisions, whether you are buying, selling, or contemplating.

 *All stats deemed to be accurate and taken from the Whistler Listing System, January 2017

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