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Sales heat up at Rainbow

Waitlisters all offered chance to buy, homes open to secondary purchasers

With 46 home sales in less than two weeks, developers of the Rainbow subdivision are gearing up for a busy year ahead.

"We've got what we need to move forward and start building," said Deborah Worth, marketing manager for Rainbow.

"That's not to say that there isn't more opportunity."

In fact, buyers are still dropping in to the presentation centre at Nesters and are helped through the decision-making process with the builders - Tim Regan from Vision Pacific and Don Coggins from Glacier Creek Contracting.

The recent flurry of sales activity was sparked by a push from the Rainbow team in which Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) waitlisters were given the opportunity to make their decision to buy a house within two days or risk losing their place on the list, and their chance at their first choice of building sites.

By end of day Thursday, April 9 Rainbow had been through the waitlist and had opened up the buying to all Whistler employees. Just three secondary qualified purchasers, those who have not qualified under the WHA waitlist guidelines, are among the 46 recent offers.

That's not to say waitlisters still can't buy.

"It's by no means finished for the list," said Worth.

After Rainbow's slow start last summer - only half of the duplexes offered sold - the recent sales rush spells good news.

Offers are now pending for 27 duplexes and 19 single-family homes.

"We're really happy with that," said Worth.

WHA general manager Marla Zucht is also pleased.

"We're happy to see the number of sales taking place," she said. "Hopefully it's going to continue."

She cautioned, however, that the project still has a lot of product left to sell.

Of the 150 homes, both single-family and duplexes, roughly half have now sold.

"It helps but there's still a lot of Rainbow product out there," said Zucht.

She said feedback in their office from waitlisters is that the product is still expensive. The larger homes cost around $640,000, plus GST, while the duplexes range from roughly $400,000 upwards.

And yet, most of the sales to date have been for the bigger, and therefore more expensive, units.

"You look at what's been bought - it's all the high-end," said Worth. "It's not been based on price at all."

Buyers, she said, are making their decisions based on location.

The project has come online at roughly the same time as the municipally-driven athletes' village.

Sales have been strong in that development, with 90 per cent of the units now sold.

"The sales have been extremely successful," said Zucht, adding that less than 20 units are still for sale.

Zucht points to the wide range of product at the athletes' village as reason for its success. In addition to larger duplexes, there were studio apartments, one-bedroom and smaller two-bedroom units.

Waitlisters are also holding out for the much-anticipated Fitzsimmons Walk development, opposite Nesters. There will be 36 units for sale in that project and it is expected to come on line imminently.

There are almost 900 applicants on the WHA waitlist. This includes those who have purchased at both the athletes' village and Rainbow. Every week more names are added to the list.