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Whistler's real estate market getting 'back to normal'—but don't expect prices to drop – Pique Newsmagazine



After a fevered couple years in Whistler’s always-hot real estate market, things appear to have cooled down somewhat over the past few months—although don’t expect home prices to come down significantly anytime soon. 

“It’s kind of a more normal market,” said RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate co-owner Matt Chiasson. “There is still plenty of demand and plenty of sales happening, it’s just not as rushed or frenzied—but the prices are still very high. They drove up in 2021 and they’ve stayed there.” 

Even to seasoned realtors, the pandemic’s effect on the local market came as something of a shock. Many anticipated a major slowdown as COVID restrictions kept people indoors and foreign demand dwindled, but that wasn’t meant to be. In what will go down as the market’s second busiest year in a decade, by the end of 2021, inventory had dwindled and prices plateaued. 

“I don’t think anyone had the crystal ball that predicted a pandemic would have such a dynamic effect on buyers wanting to get out of urban or suburban areas and have secondary homes,” said Ron Mitchell, managing broker at Engel & Volkers Whistler. 

According to the Whistler Listing Service, active listings have continued to climb this year, hitting 220 last month, up from 126 in January and approaching the total listings in January of last year. (In a sign of the shifting market, Mitchell said Engel & Volkers has recently added a second whiteboard to their office where they track active listings.) 

Sales have cooled off, too, with 29 completed transactions last month, less than half of the sales in January and well below last year’s high of 113 sales, recorded in March 2021. Part of that is fuelled by the wider economic uncertainty that has already pushed property prices down in some of Canada’s bubbliest markets. 

“We’ve seen a very strong run the last number of years and I think a lot of things are influencing people: the fact that interest rates are up; gas prices going up; globally, there are issues with the war in Ukraine,” Mitchell said. “They may not directly affect us 100 per cent but the psychology of it I think has some impact on people.” 

It also means Whistler is inching back towards the buyer’s side of the market, giving them more options to choose from and a slight stabilization in cost as listers come down from their high pandemic price points. 

“We’re back to a bit more normal conditions where you can actually have some time to negotiate and you might have some options,” said David Higgins, managing broker for the Whistler Real Estate Company. “You’ve got to remember, even when you’re discussing prices coming down, in Whistler, we are fundamentally not building anything else … so it’s just going to be supply and demand—and we’re not supplying anything of great measure.” 

The resort’s long-standing cap on development is in many ways the true driver of Whistler’s real estate market—and it’s also a big part of the reason demand has stayed so consistently high. The right property at the right price, like, say, a one-bedroom in the Aspen complex or a renovated two-bedroom in the Benchlands, will still get snatched up in mere days, if not hours, Mitchell said. 

“Anything that is a well-priced, attractive property where there is a limited amount of it is still getting good interest. Others can sit and wait. Where there’s multiple properties in a complex and buyers can re-evaluate and there’s no sense of urgency, that’s the difference.” 

Domestic buyers, always a dominant force in the market, were even more prevalent through the pandemic. And although Canada’s borders have reopened, Higgins doesn’t expect a rebound in foreign buyers—a fraction of the market even before COVID—until international tourism to Whistler picks up. 

“The pandemic proved people have to be able to come to Whistler to buy property, whether it’s international or local,” he said. “Until the U.S. and foreign market comes back here in full force as far as visiting, I don’t think you’re going to see a huge increase.” 

A comprehensive, provincially mandated housing needs assessment completed by the Resort Municipality of Whistler this spring found that more than 90 per cent of Whistler residents can’t currently afford to buy an average market property here.

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Canadian Real Estate Correction Is Becoming The Deepest In Half A Century: RBC – Better Dwelling – Better Dwelling



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Canadian Real Estate Correction Is Becoming The Deepest In Half A Century: RBC – Better Dwelling  Better Dwelling

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Real estate prices continue to fall in Waterloo region – CTV News Kitchener



The average sale price for all residential property types in Waterloo region continues to fall. The newly formed Waterloo Region Association of Realtors (WRAR) says the average price across all property types in July was $752,301.

This represents a 4.9 per cent decrease compared to June 2022, and a 1.2 per cent decrease from prices seen in July 2021.

“In the wake of July’s interest rate hike, home sales in Waterloo region continued to slow,” says Megan Bell, president of WRAR, in a media release. “We’re seeing a clear shift in the market and what people can afford to purchase or are willing to pay. On the bright side for buyers, it’s not the extreme sellers’ market it was.”

This is the fifth straight month the average home sale price in Kitchener-Waterloo has fallen.

Monthly sales by property types. (WRAR)
  • In July, the average sale price for all residential properties in Waterloo Region was $752,301. This represents a 1.2 per cent decrease compared to July 2021 and a 4.9 per cent decrease compared to June 2022, according to WRAR.
  • The average price of a detached home was $842,241, representing a decrease of 7.0 per cent compared to June 2022 and a 6.0 per cent decrease from July 2021.
  • A townhouse’s average price is $642,750, representing a decrease of 3.3 per cent compared to June 2022, but a 3.6 per cent increase from July 2021.
  • The average sale price for an apartment-style condominium was $521,731. This represents an increase of 4.1 per cent compared to June 2022 and an increase of 20.4 per cent from July 2021.
  • The average sale price for a semi was $661,087. A decrease of 5.4 per cent compared to June 2022, but an increase of 1 per cent compared to July 2021.
Average sale price in July across Waterloo Region. (WRAR)

Real estate sales in Waterloo region also saw a major decline in some property types.

Leading the way was semi-detached homes with a drop of 41 per cent in sales and only 36 sold, followed by a 39.3 per cent drop in condominium units with 65 sold. Townhouse sales dropped 32.9 per cent with 112 sold. Detached home sales dropped 30.4 per cent with 337 sales.

In total, 550 residential homes were sold through the Multiple Listing Service System of the WRAW.


WRAR is an amalgamation of the Cambridge Association of Realtors (CAOR) and the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR). The groups announced their amalgamation on Wednesday.

The amalgamation of the two means housing prices from Cambridge will now be included in the average monthly sales and prices of properties. Prior, KWAR only included the sales and prices of homes in Kitchener and Waterloo.

Bill Duce, who has served as KWAR’s Executive Officer since 2008, is the Chief Executive Officer of the new regional association.

“Bringing these two associations together just makes sense,” says Duce in a media release. “As one board, we can better serve the needs of our Realtor members and stakeholders and give a voice to the region’s real estate market.”

The board of directors of WRAR appointed Megan Bell as president, Christal Moura as president-elect, and Val Brooks as immediate past president as officers of the new entity.

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GTA home sales tumble nearly 50% from last year, real estate board says –



The moderation of the Greater Toronto Area’s housing market intensified last month as the region’s real estate board found July sales fell 47 per cent from the same time last year and 24 per cent from this past June.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board revealed Thursday that last month’s 4,912 sales were almost half of the 9,339 homes that changed hands the July before and are an indication that the market is easing from the frenzied pace seen in the first half of the year and at the end of 2021.

The board and real estate agents have attributed much of the moderation to the increased cost of carrying a mortgage after Canada’s key interest rate was increased by one percentage point in mid-July, making it the largest hike the country has seen in 24 years.

The hike has encouraged people to rethink their housing intentions. Prospective buyers are holding out for further drops they and brokers anticipate could materialize in the fall, while sellers are debating making what they can from their home now or waiting for the market to turn in their favour again.

Some sellers are even terminating their listings to take advantage of the hot rental market, where vacancies are dropping and prices are up.

While January’s hot market saw 380 terminated condo listings in the GTA, real estate company Strata said June brought 2,822 — a 643 per cent increase.

The moderation taking shape within sales is taking longer to appear in home prices.

TRREB found the average home price was $1,074,754 last month, a one per cent hike from $1,061,724 in July 2021, but a six per cent drop from $1,145,994 in June 2022.

The composite benchmark price was more than $1.1 million, up by 12.9 per cent year-over-year.

Detached home prices were down three per cent on a year-over-year basis to $1,362,598 last month, while their sales dropped by 46 per cent to 2,203.

Prices of semi-detached homes were up by nearly five per cent from last July to $1,077,750, while sales fell 45 per cent to 474.

Townhouse prices crept up by six per cent to $903,899 as their sales fell by 52 per cent to 816, and condo apartment prices saw a seven per cent leap to $719,273 and a 48 per cent fall in sales to 1,365.

The market also saw a drop in new listings, which amounted to 12,046 last month, down four per cent from a year ago.

TRREB felt the numbers necessitate government intervention, including boosting housing supply and reviewing mortgage policies.

Data firm Urbanation Inc. said Tuesday that it expects almost 10,000 GTA condo units to be delayed this year as increasing mortgage rates weigh on home sales.

“Many GTA households intend on purchasing a home in the future, but there is currently uncertainty about where the market is headed,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele, in a release.

“Policymakers could help allay some of this uncertainty.”

He recommended the government review the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ stress test. The mandatory test set the qualifying rate on uninsured mortgages at either two percentage points above the contract rate, or 5.25 per cent, whichever is greater.

Kevin Crigger, TRREB’s president, echoed DiMichele’s plea, saying longer mortgage amortization periods of up to 40 years on renewals and switches should be explored.

“With significant increases to lending rates in a short period, there has been a shift in consumer sentiment, not market fundamentals,” he said, in a release.

“The federal government has a responsibility to not only maintain confidence in the financial system, but to instill confidence in homeowners that they will be able to stay in their homes despite rising mortgage costs.”

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