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Whistler real estate: a bargain?

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Whistler real estate: a bargain?

“Could it be that Whistler has become more than a ski and party destination, and is now a place to hang your hat year round?

While the drive time has shortened with the improved highway, the drop-off in property prices also makes Whistler a draw.

Years ago, Whistler was the playground for west-side skiers who kept a second home there for winter weekends. Now, the ski resort town’s realtors are hoping that with easier access and some additional draws – such as developer-philanthropist Michael Audain’s up-and-coming art museum – Lower Mainland residents will start to view Whistler as an extension of Vancouver.

People already commute between Vancouver and Squamish, either solo or in van pools. Whistler as a commuter town is the natural next step. Whistler real estate prices are better than prices in the Lower Mainland, which, despite doom-and-gloom forecasts, have held steady compared with the rest of the country. The benchmark price for all Vancouver properties last year was $590,800, according to a new report by the Real Estate Association of Greater Vancouver. Whistler, by comparison, had a benchmark of $457,500.

“Whistler is good value right now,” says Pat Kelly, president of Whistler Real Estate Co. Mr. Kelly has been a Whistler realtor for 30 years. “It’s the reverse of Vancouver. And in light of some of the new developments, it’s not only a good investment from a buyer’s point of view, but it’s also reasonable to live here full time. The new highway changed the drive.

“You can get pretty good housing for $1-million or less that’s only a relaxing one-hour, 20-minute drive away.”

If Whistler is a relatively good deal these days, it’s in large part because it’s been dependent on the U.S. economy. Many of the Americans who once fuelled the condo-hotel market in Whistler have pulled out, what with the financial crisis and the rise of the Canadian dollar. Now that the average American is in penny-pinching mode, the luxury of having an occasional vacation getaway that they own outright simply doesn’t make sense. As well, the American who purchased a decade ago will do well on the sale of their property now, even if the price has fallen 20 per cent.

“The Americans were a real driver of real estate transactions here in Whistler, but they have gone from being buyers to sellers, and in some cases, I don’t think they have tried to hold on for the top price,” says Mr. Kelly. “If they wanted to sell, they sold.

“There are almost 5,000 units in that condo-hotel style in the Whistler area, and there probably aren’t as many buyers for that today as there are for lifestyle product,” he says, referring to homes to be lived in, as opposed to investment properties.

“Our buyer now comes mostly from the Lower Mainland, and that unit was aimed at somebody, for instance, from Toronto, flying in for a week. You just don’t do as many transactions in that category. And combined with performance problems due to the financial crisis, lack of discretionary income, and lack of credit – you can’t borrow on those units as easily – it has all led to that market being hit.”

He estimates that more than 80 per cent of all homes in Whistler are less than $1-million. The market dropped around mid-2009, and mostly stayed down throughout 2011 and 2012.

Landcor Data Corp. data shows the current median price of a Whistler condo at around $358,500, at the same level as 2001 prices. Overall, volume of sales has plummeted in the last couple of years, with a minor spike in 2010, during the Olympics.

Landcor president Rudy Nielsen, the largest owner of recreational property in B.C., believes Whistler will hold its own in terms of desirable property. If he were to purchase in the next few months, he’d choose Whistler over the Lower Mainland, he says.

He thinks the improved highway and the faster commute may even be responsible for slowing the recreational property market in Whistler.

“I think that might have some of the effect on why houses haven’t been selling like in the past, because people know they don’t need a second house. They can drive there for the day.”


Gold, Kerry. "The Globe and Mail." The Globe and Mail. N.p., 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Jan. 2013.


几年前,惠斯勒是的操场西侧滑雪者谁保持的第二故乡,那里冬季的周末。现在,滑雪胜地的房地产经纪人都希望更容易的访问和一些额外的画 - 如开发人员慈善家迈克尔·奥丹的和未来的艺术博物馆 - 温哥华居民将开始查看惠斯勒温哥华的延伸。
人们已经往返温哥华和斯阔米什,无论是独奏或面包车池的。作为通勤小镇惠斯勒是很自然的一步。 ,尽管厄运和黑暗的预测保持稳定,与其他国家相比,在温哥华,惠斯勒的房地产价格比价格。基准价格为所有温哥华属性其去年590800美元,根据大温哥华房地产协会的一份新的报告。惠斯勒,通过比较,有基准的457500美元。
“惠斯勒是良好的价值,说:”帕特。凯利,凯利先生惠斯勒房地产有限公司总裁的30年一直是惠斯勒房地产经纪人。 “的反向温哥华。的一些新的发展,这是从买方的角度来看,不仅是一个很好的投资,但住在这里充分的时间,这也是合理的。新的高速公路改变的驱动器。
“美国人在惠斯勒的房地产交易是一个真正的驱动,但他们已经从买家和卖家,在某些情况下,我不认为他们试图保持的最高价,说:”先生凯利。 “如果他们想卖,他们卖了。”
“现在我们的买家大多来自低陆平原(Lower Mainland),该单位的目的是人,例如,多伦多,飞行一个星期。你只是不这样做,在该类别中的许多交易。并结合性能问题,由于金融危机的影响,缺乏可支配收入和信用缺失的 - 你不能借这些单位一样容易 - 这都导致该市场被击中。“
Landcor总裁鲁迪·尼尔森认为,在BC最大的业主的休闲物业,惠斯勒将追究其自己的理想性质。他说,如果他在未来数个月内购买,他会选择在低陆平原(Lower Mainland)的惠斯勒。

黄金,嘉里建设。 “环球邮报”。地球和邮件。 Conc.N.P.,2013年1月14号。网络。 2013年1月17日。