Whistler real estate sales up and down in 2005 

Condos down, single family homes ‘strongest segment,’ says local realtor

By Vivian Moreau

Although single-family home sales in Whistler almost doubled in 2005 and sales revenue increased by 70 per cent over 2004, decreased condominium sales contributed to a stable, but flat market, says one of the area’s leading realtors.

Condominium sales dropped to 350 from 546 in 2004 and Patrick Kelly, president of Whistler Real Estate, is careful to point out this was due to lack of units available for sale.

“Whistler is, for the most part, past its period of large-scale physical growth,” he said.

In 2005 there were 102 single-family home sales, up from 64 in 2004.

“There is an increasing interest in single-family homes and large townhomes, that a family of four or five can enjoy — and I would expect that trend to continue going forward,” Kelly said.

Total homes sales in Whistler were $177 million. The average house price was $1.7 million, pushed up by robust sales of the exclusive Four Seasons Hotel Residences. Discounting those units that sold for $3.2 million-$6.5 million in June, 2005, the median house price was $1.2 million.

“People have this idea that the average house price in Whistler is $3 million–$4 million and that’s just not true,” Kelly said.

Average price of a Whistler condo in 2005? An incremental increase from $585,000 in 2004 to $615,000.

“People want to look at those numbers and apply an improvement,” he said “but because of the small supply it doesn’t take much to make what appears to be a significant difference in numbers.”

Whistler Real Estate compiles data from the five major Whistler Pemberton real estate firms, but does not include sales made by Intrawest staff.

Kelly said he anticipates the Whistler market will remain stable in the coming year with continued interest in shared ownership properties.

“Short of something like last season (seven weeks with no snow) or global interest rates, and given the physical size of the market, prices will continue to be more of the same.”

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