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!