Let’s talk about what happened in the Whistler and Pemberton real estate markets in January
Whistler Market Recap:
The Whistler market saw its first monthly increase in sales volume since October with 33* sales in January, up from 24* in December and 30* in November. On a year-over-year basis, sales activity was up 65%, but remained about 44% below the 5-year average for the month of January. Inventory remained essentially on par with December with 253* units, but sits 15% below the 10-year inventory average. Based on the sales to-listings ratio, Whistler market conditions are currently balanced but leaning in favour of buyers. The median sales price was up year-over-year for single-family and townhouses, and down slightly for condos due to fewer Phase 1 condos versus January of last year.
Pemberton Market Recap:
In Pemberton, there were 5 sales in January – 3 of which were single-family homes with acreage. Median sales prices were up year-over-year for both single-family and townhomes, which is likely a function of the increased buying power that comes with slightly lower mortgage rates in anticipation of interest rate decreases in mid-2024. Inventory in Pemberton has been declining since September and currently sits at 61* units, 20 of which are vacant land. Overall, the inventory level is 5% above the 5-year average.
From an economic perspective, a strong US economy may be helping to heat up the Canadian economy and preventing inflation from declining closer to the 2% target, which could delay the Bank of Canada’s predicted interest rate cuts. Interest rates have held steady since July at 5%, and even if they continue to just hold steady, it will lead to buyers starting to take more action. Inflation remains above the 2% target, but shelter cost fueled by high interest rates, is one of the key drivers. On the flip side, Canada’s unemployment rate for January 2024 is expected to hit its highest level in two years, and there are indicators that hiring demand is beginning to slow.
We have seen the return of some competition in the market, and with inventory still a market constraint, it would be prudent to make sure your clients are ready to put their best foot forward when something of interest hits the market. With the announcement of the extension of Canada’s Foreign Buyer Ban through 2027, continue to remind your clients that Whistler and Pemberton are exempt. For any US clients, you can also emphasize and provide examples of their added buying power right now with the USD to CAD conversion rate.