For purchase employee housing demand high 

If the fast-paced sales of the apartments at Nordic Court are anything to go by, there’s a strong demand for "affordable" purchase housing in the resort.

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Within weeks of going on sale, 20 units out of 21 have been snapped off the market.

The apartments, which were previously owned and rented by the Whistler Housing Authority, were released for sale to the general public on Saturday, July 24. Leading up to the weekend, 16 units had already been sold to either the current renters or employees on the WHA wait list.

"It demonstrates that we really do have a demand for purchase out there and it also demonstrates that a surprising number of purchasers are able to pay more than our restricted rate for our units and are willing to pay more," said WHA General Manager Tim Wake.

The one-bedroom units in the complex sold for $217,000 and the two bedrooms started at $305,000.

Each purchaser was given a $10,000 rebate for renovations.

The building will still be an employee restricted building, meaning an employee of Whistler must live in the unit. But there are no restrictions on the resale price.

This was a motivating factor for some buyers, said Wake.

"For (some) people I think they’re excited about the fact that it can still appreciate and that’s driving their purchase as much as anything else," he said.

Then again, there were others who seized this opportunity even though they would have preferred to get a less expensive price-restricted unit.

"Some of those buyers would prefer to buy restricted at a lower price but they don’t know when they’re going to get the opportunity," said Wake.

"This opportunity came up and they think it’s a reasonably good investment and it’s a home and they can renovate it and make it a great home."

The sale will inject roughly $5 million into the WHA housing fund, bringing it close to $6 million.

The last time there was $6 million in the fund the WHA built 140 units of employee housing.

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