MATT WARNER

Cell 604-928-9107

Office 604-984-9711

Email: matt@mattwarner.ca

Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't.

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When the world says, 'Give up', Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.
 
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https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017FIN0002-000039

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Whistler Real Estate Update

 

Current USD exchange rate: 0.75604

 

Happy New Year!

December was a very busy month in Whistler - in addition to the usual holiday excitement, we saw an incredible amount of snow that kept skiers and snowboarders, both local and visiting, extremely happy. The holiday fanfare has somewhat died down, but the snow shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

In terms of real estate sales, the year ended on a relatively quiet note. December saw fewer sales than recorded in previous months, although this is a trend that we often see this time of year. Buyers and sellers would rather focus on spending time with their families, celebrating the holidays, and skiing - who can blame them?

Before we officially kick off the new year, I want to recap the major real estate happenings of 2016. Keep reading for the trends from the past year, the items that made the headlines, and the records that were set in 2016.


Trends of 2016

The biggest trend of 2016 was the relentlessly decreasing level of inventory. Every time we thought it couldn't dip any lower, it did. The number of active listings available for sale in 2016 was by far the lowest it has been in the past 10 years. The average total level of inventory in 2016 was 259 - down from the previous record low of 463 in 2015.

The past year also saw the near extinction of the million-dollar home. Only 17 Whistler chalets sold below the $1M point in 2016, 7 of which are technically not within the Whistler municipal boundaries. To contrast, 36 chalets sold under $1M in 2015, only 2 of which were outside the boundaries. The median sales price for a chalet in 2016 was $1.7M, the highest it's been in the past 10 years.

But it was actually town homes that saw the greatest value increase in 2016. The median sales price of town homes increased 30% over 2015 - compared to 22% for chalets and 16% for condos. Town homes remain a popular bet for buyers, thanks to their versatility in terms of use (many allow short-term nightly rentals) and relative affordability. Unofficially, I would declare 2016 the year of the town home.


Headlines of the Year

Several big announcements were made over the course of the past year. As voted by locals in the 
Pique Newsmagazine's annual year-end Best of Whistler story, here are the headlines that turned heads:
  • Vail buys Whistler Blackcomb - aside from the announcement of some key staff layoffs, we're still waiting to see what the effects of this takeover will be. We're also waiting until next year, where we can take part in Vail's Epic Pass program!
  • The resort is as busy as ever - as those who have tried to drive to Vancouver on a Sunday evening, or who have tried to find parking on a Saturday, can attest to!
  • Whistler Blackcomb announces the Renaissance project - this multi-year, multi-faceted development is sure to continue making headlines as it is built out over the next several years.
Notable Facts and Figures of 2016

A few facts to note from the past year:
  • The most expensive property sale was a $22.25M chalet in the exclusive Stonebridge area on the far side of Alta Lake. The next highest sale came in at $7.5M.
  • The least expensive sale was a phase 2 studio in Whistler Peak Lodge, which went for $45K.
  • Properties sold in an average of just 82 days in the past year. That's twice as fast as the average in 2012.
  • The total value of condos, chalets, and town homes that sold in Whistler in 2016 was $801,543,927 - a 10-year high!

And Now, for 2017

Below, you'll find active listings and recent sales from the month of December. See anything that piques your interest? Let's talk!

Listings
Sales
...


Know someone who may be interested in my newsletter? Please feel free to forward it to them. If they may want to be added to my distribution list, please have them send me an email to matt@mattwarner.ca.
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I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.

Margret Thatcher
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To Succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do to conclusions.
 
Benjamin Franklin
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Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
 
Napoleon Hill
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It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.
 
Babe Ruth
 
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No one ever drowned in sweat.
 
United States Marine Corps
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Life is the sum of all your choices.
 
Albert Camus
 
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Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
 
Joshua J. Marine
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Wow - to say Whistler's ski season is off to an epic start would be the understatement of the year! Opening Day took place on November 23, and it has to have been the snowiest Opening Day on record. The powder was knee deep - I hope all you skiers and snowboarders have been training hard in the off season, otherwise you might want to book yourself a massage after your first day on the slopes!

The Whistler real estate market has remained relatively steady over the past month. Inventory is still as low as ever (with only 37 active town home listings currently listed for sale - that's about a month and a half's worth of inventory!)

This month, I'm taking a closer look at chalets. Keep reading to find out what your dollar can get you in this market segment.


The Slow(er) Chalet Market

Last month, 26 town homes and 28 condos sold in Whistler - but only 7 Whistler chalets (or single family properties) sold.

That's not because inventory was lower for chalets than it was for town homes or condos. In fact, the number of chalets listed for sale on the market is similar to the number of condos for sale, and higher than the number of town homes listed for sale. So what gives?

The trend of lower chalet sales (compared to condos and town homes) is something I've observed for the past 18 to 24 months. I speculate that it has something to do with price: while market values have been rising across all property types, the prices of chalets has been increasing quite substantially on an absolute basis.

Here's what I mean: let's say that property values increased 5% in 6 months. A $400,000 condo is now worth $420,000 (a $20,000 increase); a $750,000 town home is now worth $787,500 (a $37,500 increase); and a $1,000,000 chalet is now worth $1,050,000 (a $50,000 increase). Although each property's value has increased by the same percentage, the dollar increase is greatest for the chalet.

The increase in chalet prices overall may exceed the budget for many buyers. For awhile, chalets priced around the $1 million point were very popular, but it is increasingly rare to see a Whistler chalet at this price point. Buyers still do exist for the more expensive Whistler chalets, but the pool of potential purchasers is more limited. Meanwhile, lower priced condos and town homes are considered attractive alternatives - especially because these properties can often be rented on a nightly basis, whereas most Whistler chalets cannot be rented nightly due to zoning regulations. (Note: there are a few exceptions to this.)


Chalets Today

The most affordable chalets you'll find today - priced just above the $1 million mark - are located in neighbourhoods like Black Tusk and Pinecrest. These areas are actually located south of Whistler - about a 15 minute drive south of Function Junction, Whistler's southernmost neighbourhood. Chalets here have a quiet "cabin in the woods" feeling.

In the $1.35-$2 million range, you'll find older cabins with a more rustic feel. Some are in need of renovations, while others are perfectly functional and are a great bet for people who like the traditional ski chalet charm. These properties are often located in neighbourhoods like Alpine Meadows and Emerald Estates, which are north of town and are well loved by the local community. The chalets in this price point have good investment potential.

Above the $2.5 million price point is where you'll find the more modern luxury chalets. I mentioned in last month's newsletter that properties in this price range represent some of the best value in Whistler. That's because the buyer pool is relatively small. These properties have some pretty impressive bells and whistles and are perfectly suited for those who want a turnkey property to enjoy for the ski season and beyond.

Interested in a chalet or another property type? 
Contact me for details.

Where We're at Today

To help you navigate through the latest sales and listings, I've divided current listings and November sales up by property type:

Listings

Sales

...



Know someone who may be interested in my newsletter? Please feel free to forward it to them. If they may want to be added to my distribution list, please have them send me an email tomatt@mattwarner.ca.

Have a wonderful holiday season and wishing you the best for 2017!

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https://youtu.be/Z4iul3w0d3E

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The Million Dollar Townhome?

In last month's newsletter, I observed that there were no chalet listings under the $1M price point (a fact that holds true this month, too).

This month, I noticed that more than a third of the townhomes that sold in October exceeded the $1M mark. 


There's no doubt that townhomes are the most hotly demanded Whistler property type right now, and people are willing to pay to get their hands on one. Here are a few figures that stand out to me:
  • 29 townhomes sold in October (versus 11 in September)
  • There are 35 townhomes currently on the market (whereas there are 55 chalets and 66 condos)
  • 31% of townhomes sold last month sold OVER listing price, with another 34% selling at listing price. Worth noting: 0% of chalets sold over list, and 23% of condos sold over list.
So why townhomes?

First of all, convenience. Elements like outdoor maintenance (think roof repairs, snow shoveling, etc.) are all taken care of by the strata corporation, making them an easier ownership option for second homeowners or investors.

Of course, you have to pay a monthly strata fee (maintenance fee) for this benefit, but anecdotally, strata fees for townhomes in Whistler are often lower than they are for similarly sized condominiums.

Third, the townhomes that are selling are centrally located in the Village, the Benchlands (up along Blackcomb Mountain), and Creekside.

Finally, many of Whistler's finest townhomes are comparable to luxury chalets. For instance, the townhomes at Fitzsimmons Walk have 4 bedrooms and are nearly 2,500 SF in size. The Red Sky condos in Rainbow are 3.5 bed/3.5 bath over nearly 2,000 SF and have views to die for.

Interested in your own Whistler townhome? 
Contact me and we'll establish an aggressive buying strategy.


Value in Luxury Chalets

This might seem like an oxymoron, but if you're looking for value, you're most likely to find it in chalets priced in the $3M+ price point.

Overall, chalets are the least demanded property type right now (October saw 9 sales, and there are 55 chalets currently listed for sale - more than half of which exceed $3M).

People are keeping their eyes on chalets priced in the low $1M range, but the market for chalets in the $3M+ range is relatively small. Buyers are competing against fewer people for these properties, and are often able to negotiate a better deal than for other property types.

I mentioned earlier than none of the chalets sold in the past month went for above asking price. In fact, only one sold at the listing price, and the other 8 sold below anywhere between $40K to $380K below list price.

They're not your traditional bargain-priced deals, but luxury chalets are good value nonetheless - particularly when you consider what similar properties would sell for at other ski resorts in North America. Interested in a high end chalet? 
Contact me for details.



Where We're at Today

To help you navigate through the latest sales and listings, I've divided current listings and October sales up by property type:

Listings
Sales
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Welcome to your Whistler market update and happy new year!

If you've been following the headlines, you already know that the numbers for 2015 are in, and it was a monumental year in the Whistler real estate market:

Below, I will provide additional analysis on what happened in the Whistler real estate market in 2015. Scroll down to see the usual new listings and recent sales. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

2015: A Glory Year for Whistler

The 2014/2015 snow season left much to be desired (luckily, the 2015/2016 season has more than made up for it) -- but despite the lackluster snow, Whistler had a booming year in 2015.

We had our busiest summer on record. Whistler Blackcomb's stock soared ($20.13 on January 2, 2015 and 
$24.95 on December 31, 2015 -- though down to $22.50 as of yesterday). Events and festivals saw record numbers of attendees. The weak Canadian dollar meant a revival of American visitors. The list goes on.

With the spotlight on Whistler, much attention was drawn to the local real estate market, causing increasing interest and increasing sales.

High Sales Activity, Low Inventory

The total number of sales in 2015 mimicked the 2014 market pretty closely throughout the entire year -- but the cumulative annual sales in dollars in 2015 exceeded 2014 figures by more than $100M. In other words, there's no denying that prices increased in 2015.

 

 


What didn't increase, however, was inventory. The number of active listings in 2015 was low, low, low -- and that's a trend I expect will continue into 2016. The low number of listings on the market will likely result in a decrease in activity, not for a lack of interest, but for a lack of product to buy.
 


Of note: of the sales that took place in December 2015 (see the link below), nearly 65% were of properties that had been on the market for more than 3 months. In fact, several were listings that had been sitting on the market for more than a year. This means that properties that may have previously been overlooked at now getting attention -- probably due to a lack of other options. Worth noting is that many of these "stale" properties experienced a listing price reduction, which likely also helped stimulate interest.

Squamish and Pemberton

Don't forget about our neighbours to the north (Pemberton) and to the south (Squamish). They're experiencing some serious action, too.

Squamish homeowners may have been in a little shock when they received their BC Assessment property assessments earlier this month. With an average increase of 17.33%, Squamish experienced the 
second largest increase in the province. Squamish is seeing phenomenal growth, with several developments in the works over the next few years.

Like Whistler, Pemberton's inventory of active listings is at an all time low. There's no doubt that the increasing prices in Whistler are driving some people to look in the more affordable -- yet still rising -- prices in Pemberton and Squamish.

 

 

For additional graphs summarizing market activity in 2015, click here.

Here's a snapshot of the market today:

  • 50 properties are presently listed for sale in Whistler and Pemberton. Of note: there are only 10 listings in Whistler under the $1M mark that offer un-restricted occupancy.
  • 50 properties sold in the month of December. I find it noteworthy that of these sales, 12% sold at the list price, 58% sold within 95% of the list price, and 30% sold at less than 95% of the list price. For those keeping track, none sold over ask.

With more snow in the forecast and Martin Luther King day just around the corner, this will surely be a busy weekend in Whistler. If you're around and are interesting in purchasing or selling a Whistler property -- or even if you just want to chat about the market -- please contact me!

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As you read this, hundreds of excited skiers and snowboarders are uploading the Whistler Village gondola to take in the first turns of the season. That's right -- Opening Day is upon us! Whistler Mountain is opening today, a week ahead of schedule, and Blackcomb Mountain is not far behind, with a scheduled opening date of November 26

Down in the valley, the Whistler real estate market continues to charge ahead at full speed. Inventory remains a challenge -- listings are selling at an incredibly fast pace. If you're thinking of listing your Whistler, Pemberton, or Squamish property for sale -- or know someone who is -- I'd love to chat!

Now, to get you up to speed: here's what's happened in the market over the past two weeks.

  • 34 new properties have been listed for sale, representing a huge range of property types. We've got everything from Phase II one-bedroom condos to a 5,000 SF home up in Kadenwood (pictured below), an exclusive neighbourhood with its own private gondola!
  • 44 properties sold, which is quite high for Whistler -- things are definitely NOT slowing down! 40% of these sales were listed for sale in October or November of this year, a sign that listings aren't sticking around for very long.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me about recent sales, new listings, or anything else pertaining to your Whistler real estate needs!

Best regards,

Matt

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November has a reputation for being a quieter month in Whistler, but there's actually a lot going on this month. Cornucopia, Whistler's food and wine (and so much more) festival, kicks offtomorrow and continues through to next weekend. Whistler Blackcomb's Opening Day is scheduled for November 26, but who knows -- with all the snow we've been getting on the mountains, they could surprise us with an early opening. 

As our famous snow season approaches, a lot of people start contemplating a Whistler property purchase -- maybe in time to have a home base for the upcoming holidays. If you've got Whistler on the mind, let's talk. Meanwhile, here's what's happened in the market over the past two weeks.

  • 39 new properties have been listed for sale -- up considerably from the 27 we saw in my last newsletter. All but seven of these new listings clock in under $1 million, including a relatively inexpensive chalet in Emerald Estates, listed at only $789,000.
  • 39 properties sold, which is actually the exact same figure we saw two weeks ago. Two major trends continue: properties are selling faster and faster, and the gap between the list price and sales price is becoming increasingly narrow.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me about recent sales, new listings, or anything else pertaining to your Whistler real estate needs!

Best regards,

Matt

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Here's what else has taken place over the past 2 weeks:

  • 27 new properties have been listed for sale, including several 1 and 2 bedroom condominiums close to the slopes. These properties are always a popular bet, particularly those that allow for rental income.
  • 39 properties sold, and if there is one major trend that stands out, it's that properties are selling QUICKLY and for very close to the listing price. The bulk of the sold properties were listed in the last month or two, which represents quick turnover for the Whistler market.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me about recent sales, new listings, or anything else pertaining to your Whistler real estate needs!

Best regards,

Matt

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Whistler Real Estate Third Quarter in Review

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are all gearing up for a weekend full of turkey (and perhaps a visit to Whistler Blackcomb's big Turkey Sale -- this is the time to get any gear you might need for the upcoming season!)

It's hard to believe that we are already a few weeks into fall and just over a month away from skiing. Time flies! It was a very busy summer here in Whistler, both in terms of activities around the village and activity in the real estate market. Here's a review of what happened in the third quarter of 2015.

 

Inventory: The New Whistler Real Estate Buzzword

Inventory has been a hot topic in 2015. Inventory refers to the number of listings on the market -- in other words, the houses that are presently for sale.

Consider the following figures. They represent the average number of listings for sale at any given point throughout the indicated year.
  • In 2013, the average number of listings was 611
  • In 2014, it was 507
  • In 2015 (to date), it is 482
Notice a trend?

In Q3, we actually saw inventory rise just a bit -- July saw an average of 521 listings, up from the mid- to high- 400s we'd experienced earlier in the year. It ended up being just a blip: by September, we were back down to 477 listings.

Low inventory often means it's a seller's market. But is this the case in Whistler?


Sales Prices Are Up - Sometimes

While it's true that buyers need to move quickly if they see something they like, buyers are still looking for properties that represent good value. In other words, they aren't overpaying.

Average sale prices for single family homes (chalets) was $1,630,000 in Q3 -- not far off from the average sales price for 2014, which was $1,624,000.

Having said that, average sale prices for condos and town homes crept up in Q3. These properties are often in high demand, as they tend to be well located with options for renting them out when they aren't being used by the owners. Sellers, this could be a good time to cash in on your Whistler condo or town home.


Takeaways

To sum it all up, the Whistler real estate market is hot right now. With low inventory but lots of interest from buyers, properties are selling faster and faster.

Sellers -- particularly condo and town home owners -- you might be thinking about cashing in on your property while demand is high. Give me a call if you'd like to talk about your options.

Buyers, if you dream of owning a Whistler property, you need to get organized. Properties are in high demand and are moving quickly. I can help you work out an action plan to get you started.

 

Regular Updates

  • 50 new properties were listed for sale in Whistler and Pemberton over the past two weeks.
  • 50 properties sold in Whistler and Pemberton over the past few weeks. NONE sold over the listing price (though a few were close), indicating that buyers won't pay just anything to get their hands on a property.
If you have any questions about anything discussed above -- or anything else pertaining to Whistler -- please touch base. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Best regards,
Matt
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Official M arket Type DOW NTOW N: Sellers m arket at 27% Sales Ratio average (2.7 in 10 hom es selling)
Hom es are selling on average at 1% below list price
M ost Active Price Band* +/- $1 m il: $400,000 to $500,000 (37% Sales Ratio); $1.5 m il to $1.75 m il (28% Sales Ratio)
Buyers Best Bet* +/- $1 m il: Hom es between $700,000 to $800,000; $3 m il to $3.5 m il, Coal Harbour and m inim um 4 bedroom s
Sellers Best Bet*: Selling hom es in Yaletown and up to 1 bedroom properties

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