Whistler’s real estate market stayed mostly steady through the second quarter of 2021, while Pemberton’s hit historic levels in both the number of transactions and sales value.
In Whistler, the red-hot end of 2020 and first quarter of 2021—which saw some of the busiest months of the last five years—seems to have cooled, as the total number of sales fell closer to the monthly average.
Local realtors counted 68 sales in April and 73 in May—slightly above the eight-year monthly average of 60, but well below the 115 sales recorded in February and the 111 recorded in March.
The average sale price for a single-family home in Whistler also continues to climb, from $3,264,947 in 2020 to $3,495,481 in 2021.
“Single-family obviously were the hot item, if they were priced right, [but] we saw a flurry of multiple offers on many properties … All in all, our market is fairly strong and steady,” said Ann Chiasson of RE/MAX Sea to Sky.
“Some of the prices have gotten pushed a little high based on the fact that we had a frenzy and things were very active, and I don’t think our market is going to drop significantly at all, because there’s such a housing shortage and we don’t have a lot of listings.”
In Pemberton, realtors tallied $37 million in total sales volume on 40 transactions in April—well above the previous high of $21 million in September 2020, and the five-year monthly average of about $9 million.
“Pemberton is in a whole different league now,” Chiasson said.
“People woke up and realized that it’s 25 minutes from Whistler, and you can buy more house for less money, so the price points there are actually creeping up in the single-family home range.”
Since 2015, the average price of a single-family home in Pemberton has climbed from $641,579 to $1,248,141.
The overall average sales value in Pemberton as of June 30 was $886,000—a jump of about 25 per cent from the end of 2020, according to the Whistler Real Estate Company’s Pat Kelly.
“Pemberton is off the chain, really,” Kelly said, noting that you can buy a lot and build a house for under $2 million in Pemberton.
“You can’t do that in Whistler. So people are looking further abroad for opportunities.”
Developers are working with the Village of Pemberton to bring more product onto the market, which is not currently happening in Whistler except for on a much smaller scale, Kelly said, pointing to projects like the Empire Club development on Nita Lake or the enhanced rezoning process for the Northlands.
But with Whistler doing somewhere between 650 to 1,000 transactions per year on average, “adding 30 or 50 or 100 units to the overall mix isn’t going to really change anything,” Kelly said.
While Whistler’s activity levels fell about 35 per cent in Q2, the pace of business is still above the historical average, but indicative of the lack of active listings, Kelly said.
And demand for Whistler properties isn’t likely to drop off either, he added.
“I think we’re going back to [where we were] prior to COVID—2018, 2019, we had a very stable market,” he said.
“I think you’re going to see a lower activity level, but it’s still at some fairly rare air price-wise. [And] Pemberton will continue to be very popular for people. It’s still the lowest-priced place to buy property in the corridor, that I’m aware of.”