Dreams of Olympic-size real estate sales in Whistler following 2010 announcement fail to come true 

But sales in Squamish and Pemberton continue to be strong

Dreams of an explosive real estate market in Whistler following the announcement that the resort had won the 2010 Winter Olympic Games have not been realized.

"It has been a really surprising thing because obviously we had a flow of calls and activity and there was the thought that everything was just going to go ‘whoosh’ but it didn’t happen," said Windermere Sea to Sky Real Estate agent Maggi Thornhill.

However, the markets are still hot in both Squamish and Pemberton though most people believe the Olympics is playing only a small role.

There are a number of factors why Whistler didn’t see a leap in sales and chief amongst them, believes Thornhill, was the sellers aggressive attitude after the Olympic announcement.

Many sellers wouldn’t negotiate so buyers have decided to just wait a little longer.

"We are seeing some price reductions now and I think people have to understand that we took our big rise pre the Olympic bid," said Thornhill.

"We saw a huge rise in our market and that was based on the Olympics, so people can’t expect to see that again.

"They have to understand that the price had been adjusted for the Olympics before the Olympic bid came in."

The market has also been affected by international and national events such as SARS, and mad cow disease, which have kept travellers at home.

It is a great time to buy in the resort with low interest rates still and some great properties on the market said Thornhill.

And she believes, as the ski season approaches sales will also increase.

"I think long-term, of course, we’ve got to see things changing," said Thornhill.

"It has got to get busier and I think we will see that as we get closer to the ski season.

"People are buying as long as it looks like a good deal.

"Hopefully the people who were thinking about purchasing a year ago when the market was just soaring and who stepped away will come back now as the market place has sort of settled down a bit and they have the confidence in it as we are getting the Olympics."

The markets in Squamish and Pemberton continue to do well.

In the last 18 months Squamish has seen a 25 to 28 per cent increase in prices thanks to people cashing in on their Pemberton homes and moving south, low real estate prices, a strong internal market, promises of the upgrade to Highway 99, and the dream of hosting the 2010 Games.


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