Let me begin with my heartfelt hope that this update finds you and your loved ones in good health. I wanted to reach out with some words of reassurance. In short…we are here. We are in uncharted territory, and we are available to answer any of your questions regarding the real estate markets in both Whistler and Pemberton.
Many of the questions at this time relate to what is happening in the real estate market? Is it a good time to sell? Is it a good time to buy? What is happening in Whistler specifically?
I recently attended (on-line) a Covid-19 Update presented by Tourism Whistler. The immediate outlook, for a revival in the tourism industry in Whistler, is a little bleaker than I expected. They outlined 3 scenarios:
Best Case: Travel resumes in July
Most Likely: Travel resumes in September
Worst Case: Travel resumes in December
At this point, summer bookings are down 53% but the bright light in their update, was that winter 2020/2021 bookings are currently up 28% (room nights).
If travel does resume in September as currently predicted, then Tourism Whistler’s marketing focus will be on the “drive” market and those visitors driving to the resort from other parts of BC and other parts of Canada. They will add the international market to their marketing efforts closer to the 2020/2021 ski season.
How does this affect the real estate market here in Whistler – the properties, where revenue plays a key part of the value, are going to be the ones hardest hit in the short-term ie Phase 2 properties (Westin, Four Seasons etc) as it sounds like there will not be much revenue until the start of the 2020/2021 ski season. With Phase 1 properties, such as the Aspens, Marquis, Marketplace Lodge, Town Plaza (to name just a few) – it will depend on how much they are being rented out short-term versus personal use. ‘Residentially zoned’ townhomes and single family homes – should weather the storm ok as many buyers are purchasing for lifestyle, and Whistler will continue to offer an amazing lifestyle. This is reflected in the $25+ million of real estate that was sold in Whistler in March – many of which were residentially zoned properties.
In regards to listings, we have seen a slight reduction in the number of properties currently being listed for sale. March saw 35 new listings come to market in Whistler specifically.
In general, Ashley Smith, President of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver commented that many of the sales recorded in the Lower Mainland, in March, were in process before the provincial government declared a state of emergency. “We’ll need more time to pass to fully understand the impact that the pandemic is having on the housing market,” Smith said. “In recent weeks, REALTORS® have been working to help and guide their clients through this uncertain period. Many people have understandably chosen to put their home buying or selling plans on hold for now.
- Sally & Jess