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The 2010 Year End Review – Whistler

With the world struggling to find balance financially and politically it is surprisingly lucky that Canada has managed for the most part to keep a positive story for its citizens. We probably owe most of this good news to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter games…As Canadians we remained unsure of our feelings towards the Olympics until they were right on our door step…. and then we showed the world how proud we were to be Canadian and how much we loved living in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Whistler Real Estate

When it comes to Real Estate on the west coast of BC we also have fared better than our neighbours to the south, and other parts of Canada..the real estate market in Whistler has remained stable – year over year 2009 – 2010. What does that really mean? Whistler is a unique market for real estate with the majority of homes owned by out-of-town residents who are primarily from the lower mainland. This tends to mean ownership is discretionary and holding power is stronger than in a residential market. It also means during a financial crisis a lot of these people’s portfolio’s are at risk. It becomes a balancing act that can quickly turn into a domino affect. Real estate has always been an economic ladder or investment – getting married, divorced, when a death occurs, the family grows or shrinks, you lose your job, or better yet get a raise…all these reasons will affect the real estate..

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDBc0tfCM14&feature=player_embedded]

Lifestyle

One thing we are promoting with real estate sales today more than ever is Lifestyle. The purchase of a home in Whistler is not just a financial investment, it is where your memories will be made. It is about healthy choices, exercise, fresh air, and peace from sirens and traffic. Of course we do have rush hour in Whistler especially when the mountain closes or it is a holiday time like Christmas. Owning a property in Whistler comes with pride, plans, and adventure in your future…. this picturesque village is a family place, a happy place, and a safe vacation place. Vancouver has the award-winning YVR (airport) and the Sea to Sky has a brand new highway that is one of the most scenic drives in the world… these little improvements help in the value of real estate.

2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

 When you speak about the Olympic impact on real estate it is wise to check earlier venues and take stock of how long it took their real estate to be consumed and then begin to appreciate in value. Supply and demand. I like to use Park City Utah and the 2002 winter games. If you looked at their market you would have seen the same build up of un-sold properties, which stayed around for over a year after the games. It was not until 2004 that Park City began to heat up….and with the exchange of properties came a boom in development…especially in detached housing. It should also be noted that this was a beginning in North America of the real estate frenzy.

Whistler never really went out of control like the lower mainland with homes doubling in value. We did see an escalation in pricing from 2001 -2005. In 2007 the market in Whistler was strong but by 2008 the economic crisis had set in… Which brings me to the 2009 -2010 numbers for year-end.

The number of sales in Whistler have pretty much equaled last year’s numbers which indicates a stable market year over year. A very important rule in Real Estate statistics is to note dollar volume… and in 2010 the consumer spent $25,000,000 (million) more than in 2009… Chalet sales were down along with quarter share properties, but the real winner in 2010 was the number of townhomes that changed ownership…

Sales 2009                                   Sales 2010

Chalet – 93                  –                            77

Duplex – 8                   –                            14

Condo – 131                 –                        117

1/4 share – 104           –                             48

Townhouse – 119         –                           149

Land – 10                                                33

Total Sales 2009 – 483               Total Sales 2010 – 458

When someone speaks to you about real estate it is important that they do not blanket the entire market with one statement, each segment of a market is individual. It is best to look at most recent sales and compare apples to apples, the numbers and volume are your true indicators. If you want the real story ask for a variety of different sales numbers. In the end as my good friend Francis just said… Ever since they started building Rome, real estate has become more expensive…

Cheers!

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