If we could use a few words to describe the Whistler real estate market in 2020 it would be that it was a roller coaster ride. Sales activity started slowly and then dropped to almost nothing in the second quarter, recovered and roared ahead to historical levels in the third and fourth quarters while slowing again in December.
Overall, for the year the total value of reported sales exceeded one billion dollars, and the total number of sales transactions increased by over 30 percent as compared to 2019.
The increase in demand can be attributed to a combination of historically low interest rates which improved purchasing power; significant wealth creation as a result of the K shaped economy; the attractiveness of small towns associated with health and safety around Covid concerns; and increased awareness of both the effectiveness and flexibility of remote working.
These factors led to a strong real estate market not just in Whistler and the Sea to Sky, but in smaller communities across North America. This strong demand in Whistler, however, resulted in a significant drop in the number of properties being offered for sale and values have increased in all categories of real estate in Whistler at year-end as compared to the end of 2019.
The strongest segments of the market were in the single-family market (highlighted by a record number of transactions above $4,000,000, including a sale of $19,000,000) and the family-orientated townhouse market. As such these two categories accounted for almost 65% of the value transacted for the year.
The condominium market was slightly slower than 2019 but this slight slowdown had no impact on valuations.
As of the end of December, the average transaction value for the Whistler marketplace was $1,533,451, approximately a 22% increase from 2019.
Currently the average transaction value of a single-family home is $3,445,238 (median of $2,450,000). Townhouses are averaging $1,433,905 (median of $1,240,000) and condominiums are averaging a sales value of $839,590 (median of $675,000).
Looking Ahead to 2021
Firstly, we’d like to hope for less uncertainty and unexpected events. Marketplaces do not like unpredictability, so we see the possibility of a workable vaccine, a relaxation of travel restrictions, less political turmoil south of the border, and continued very low interest rates as positives for the market.
As a result of the 2020 marketplace the number of properties currently available for sale are 25% below where it was a year ago at this time. This, combined with no new developments to be brought to the market in 2021, we would expect activity levels to be lower but prices to be supported and to continue to move higher in Whistler.
The fundamental framework of the Whistler Marketplace is very favorable to real estate investment and as one of the most beautiful places in the world to interact with the mountains, it will continue to attract buyers and investors.
It is important to stay up to date in the marketplace and remember that general statistics are not directly applicable to your specific property characteristics. Please reach out to us or give one of our knowledgeable full-time advisors a call.