Whistler condo prices skyrocket as retirees, investors drive demand

Median price is up 26.5 per cent from a year ago, nearly twice the increase of detached home prices

Strong demand for condos in popular winter resorts is driving massive price gains in Whistler at nearly double the rate of detached homes, according to a report released November 28 by Royal LePage.

Despite an overall slowdown in home sales, the brokerage reported that the median price for a condo in Whistler increased by 26.5 per cent to $610,000 this year, compared with a year ago. This compares with prices for detached homes in the resort municipality, which increased by 14.5 per cent to a median price of $2.4 million.

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The price increases in both categories are being driven by retirees and investors looking for a winter getaway, according to Royal LePage.

“More affordable properties are still seeing high demand, despite a slowing in overall activity,” said Pat Kelly, president and owner, Royal LePage Black Tusk. “The B.C. foreign buyer tax and speculation tax does not apply to Whistler, and as such there has been no drop in interest from international buyers. That being said, recreational properties in the area are primarily bought and sold by individuals who are local to the province, while international buyers only represent a small proportion of sales in Whistler.

Looking ahead, Kelly added, “In 2019, we expect further price appreciation, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years.”

Whistler’s condo price rise was among the steepest of all the Canadian ski resorts surveyed by Royal LePage, second only to the 30 per cent condo price jumps seen in Mont Tremblant, QC.

Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage, stated, “Canada boasts the world’s most spectacular winter experiences. The number of buyers shopping for a four-season recreational property, be they traveling a modest drive from the local metropolis or a jet-setting trip across the pond, is again on the rise, and recreational property values are rising as a result. This is particularly true in the mountainside condominium market as more and more investors seek the convenience of lock-and-leave living.”

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