What happened in 2021?
We are sure you have heard a lot about the Whistler Real Estate market over the last year.
The inventory is low, the prices are breaking records, “it’s a good time to sell…” but what does that mean, and is it really a good time to sell?
The assessed value in Whistler for 2021 was up by 25% over the previous year. Of course, we can mostly contribute these market conditions to the ongoing pandemic. Low interest rates had a big impact, as well as a shift in peoples’ preference to move out of bigger cities and more opportunities to work remotely.
We have also seen a change in peoples’ desire to downsize. Many baby boomers chose to not downsize, but rather look for bigger homes to accommodate more family members. Alternatively, if they do move out of their single-family properties, they downsize to townhomes, rather than choosing retirement homes.
There has been a significant shift in buyer demographics, with around 95% of Buyers in Whistler were from Canada. Previous years had seen up to 25% international Buyers.
Inventory – The inventory is in fact very low and has been steadily decreasing since mid 2020. With few options for Buyers, we often see multiple offers on properties within days of being on the market. Also, Sellers might set a certain date when they accept offers. This leads to an auction type situation, where Buyers offer prices above asking. This leads to ever increasing property prices.
Buyer demands have not changed on the basics: location, quality, and well-run, family friendly places to live.
Changes that the last few years brought, like remote work and the accompanying frustration and stress of being in the home a lot continues to play a significant role in the purchase decision process.
Buyers that are seeking Chalets (single family properties) in the Whistler market are looking for more space in their home to accommodate office space.
They are moving out of cities and seeking communities with recreational lifestyle to balance the work-from-home situation.
The desire for unique living experiences brings a lot of new residents to Whistler.
Townhomes and Condos
While the prices for townhomes have not increase as drastically as the Chalet prices, the market pressure will be the highest in this segment due to the affordability, and a lot of baby boomers looking to downsize and age in home, rather than move to retirement accommodation.
We expect the hotel investment properties (Phase 2) to jump in pricing for the high-end quality brands. Possibly the lower tier properties may struggle with pricing due to the lack of returns. Whereas the investor that gets to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel has a different motivation than the investor that doesn’t want to check into his own investment. Whistler’s pricing has always had a lifestyle component and always will.
Thoughts on 2022
No selection for
Be strategic to be
Outside the box thinking
The biggest challenge will continue to be no selection for Buyers, and higher prices will cement into a long-term outlook and continue to increase.
As a Buyer, early engagement to select properties, whether they are listed or not, is key. Nowadays, waiting for something to actually come on the market possibly puts the Buyer in the disadvantageous position of being too late. That’s why we have implemented a five star creative strategy to help our clients. Buyers will need to be strategic to be competitive.
If Sellers are leaving Whistler, it’ll be smooth sailing with lots of equity in their pockets to pursue their next adventure. If coupled with considering high selling prices and the political climate, it is possibly the best timing ever. Our government has made several threats of the tax landscape changing for property owners.
If you are considering moving within Whistler, reach out to us as we will need to have strategies in place to negotiate the logistics and complications mostly due to cash flow and timing between acquiring and selling properties. Again, it is a time in the market when thinking “outside the box” is required for successfully moving hassle free.
We can expect the local community to change, however as many hard-working locals that have been here for decades get lured into cash out and focus on the retirement.