Whitehorse Daily Star

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Average home price cracks $500,000-mark

The average price of a single-detached home in Whitehorse has officially reached the half-million-dollar mark.

By Stephanie Waddell on March 18, 2019

The average price of a single-detached home in Whitehorse has officially reached the half-million-dollar mark.

Figures released recently by the Yukon Bureau of Statistics from the fourth quarter of 2018 show a record-high average price of $506,200 for a single-detached home.

As it was highlighted in the statistics: “Comparing the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2015, the average price of single houses in Whitehorse increased 19 per cent, while the consumer price index increased 5.6 per cent during this period.

“This translates into a real increase of 13.4 per cent over the last three years.”

Duplexes also were at a record high, at $381,400.

That compares with average prices of $463,400 for single-detached homes and $330,100 for duplexes in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Though not listed as record highs, the average price for other residential properties was up over the previous year as well.

While the average price of a condo rose to $350,300 from $328,600 a year earlier, the average price of a mobile home came in at $278,900 compared to $266,500 in the same period a year before.

As well, the average residential lot went up to $159,400 from $129,000 a year earlier.

Marc Perreault is the president of the Yukon Real Estate Association.

Though average prices are up with single-detached homes and duplexes reaching record highs, given the lower number of homes being sold in the Yukon, he pointed out, a few sales of higher-priced homes can make a big difference in the average price.

Perreault went on to note there is an increased demand for larger, more expensive homes, and it’s those homes that are bringing more of a profit to developers.

That means there are fewer entry-level homes being built, with many first-time home buyers opting to enter the market by purchasing townhouses or condos.

With no new spaces for mobile homes in the city, that limits what was once an option for entry-level homes, Perreault pointed out.

It’s the responsibility of the government and community to address the need for entry level housing, he argued.

Perreault noted the increase in prices has been happening over the last 10 years.

“It’s a good, steady growth,” he said, adding the territory and economy are continuing to grow, which will impact real estate.

Despite the rise in the average price, more single-detached homes sold compared to a year earlier. Single-detached homes had the largest number of sales at 65 in the fourth quarter, compared to 61 a year earlier.

Meanwhile, there were fewer condos and duplexes sold.

A total of 49 condos sold in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 53 in the same period of 2017 and just four duplexes sold compared to seven in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The total number of mobile homes was the same – at eight – for both the fourth quarters of 2017 and 2018.

Sales of residential lots, though, doubled to 12 from six in the fourth quarter of 2017.

By neighbourhood, Copper Ridge and Whistle Bend proved the most popular places to buy a single-detached home, with 13 sold in each area.

Country residential areas were next with 12, then Riverdale with 10, Porter Creek with seven and then downtown and Granger with four each.

Comments (18)

Up 0 Down 0

Juniper Jackson on Mar 24, 2019 at 8:02 pm

I remember when housing prices became inflated last time, people bought high and when the market fell out had a 350K house worth 200K. People turned in their keys and walked away. The banks whined and the Feds bailed them out. Now, Trudeau has passed legislation that says the bank can take all of your money, savings, checking, (don't know about RRSPs) and give you bank shares in place of. Like we all want stock in a failing bank. People stand to lose it all if the market goes. What happens when the Liberals are forced to cut back the financial roller coaster they are on? This years tax revenue was gone by Oct. last year and government has delayed infrastructure to 2019 and 2020, if they can even do it then. I am saying.. have a care about accruing too much debt.

Up 3 Down 0

carbon tax will be major part of our next recession. on Mar 23, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Supply and demand plus government in land development game.

Up 14 Down 2

My Opinion on Mar 21, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Carbon Tax is coming guys. Baton down the hatches. It is going to be a Mighty Blow.

Up 13 Down 3

Sarah on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:58 pm

I have seen so many listings that are listed through realtors that are boosted up $30-50k when some comparable comes on the market. There's one now that was listed for awhile at $499k now sitting at $529k. I actually thought that first price was a fair assessment of what the home was worth, but the markup under a realtor was ridiculous because of another comparable house that came on the market..guess which one sold fast? Time to lower, not raise prices...

Up 15 Down 0

Johnson on Mar 21, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Hardly Joe and Jane - we were scammed on two separate accounts by one 'firm' of local realtors when seeking a new home. Lots of them are fine folks, some of them are only in it for the bucks.

You all can blame the government and regulations all you like, but how much has changed in the last 15 years while housing prices have doubled? Do you hear yourselves?
It wasn't that long ago you could buy a nice duplex in Takhini for under $100k...

Up 8 Down 26

joe and Jane on Mar 20, 2019 at 5:30 pm

@ home owner: actually it's the other way around. Realtors give accurate market information which includes the professional services and full disclosures. It's people like yourself who trick people into paying a higher price without the professional service or protection offered by a brokerage. If someone buys a private sale or through a marketing company like PP, beware as the price is likely way higher than it should be and there are likely problems with the home.

Up 7 Down 2

comen sense on Mar 20, 2019 at 5:03 pm

David on mar you are the only one that doesn't like my comment I am basically talking about the same thing as your buddy Jim. Way more requirements - someone is trying to discourage or disqualify us to protect their job, we are just trying to save a buck.

Up 26 Down 8

Home Owner on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:47 pm

Don't forget about the realtors. Prices keep going up, yet their commission stays the same. Making more for doing less.
I listed my home privately, set the price based on a friends (realtors) appraisal. I had 3 separate realtors approach me trying to get the listing, all 3 said if I listed with them they would get me more money. Impossible as I already listed high.. but if they can drive the price up $20k to get more commission they will.

Up 17 Down 5

Land development and housing in Whitehorse is in a crises for last two years on Mar 20, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Very little has been done by City, Yukon and Federal Governments and the Federal does nothing to deal with the issues.
First politicians don't how to develop for the future. For example we should have 300 to 400 lots in inventory.
Governments should get out of the land development business and open up a market driven land and housing development program.
The issue is politicians are not seeing the economic needs of land development and housing.
Lots costs should be no more than $70,000 to $80,000 if government is doing it.
Right now people that pay $500,000 for a house should think twice because if the world goes into recession and Canada goes down housing prices in Whitehorse will drop like a rock like it has done before and people will lose their homes and then the market will fall.
What young person has $35,000 sitting in a RRSP. Less than 2%.
Make housing cost tax deductible to create balanced market.

Up 28 Down 1

Boyd Campbell on Mar 19, 2019 at 9:25 pm

I agree with your statement. However, there are more players than government in the land business game, each with a political opinion ( and easy access to a listening ear ) on how to get the best rate of return on the least amount of work. The combination of everything gets us to where we are today.
The largest part of the Yukon economy, besides government, is strapping people into a lifetime mortgage and if that can be raised to multi-generation mortgages then all the better. As long as people continue to live beyond their means it will just get worse. The Yukon has been good to lots of us because we could work hard and get ahead. When the getting ahead is replaced by spinning your wheels everything changes.

Up 14 Down 8

David on Mar 19, 2019 at 1:48 pm

@Jim - good comment, I agree. I also think that there has been quite a number of lot developments over the last number of years, and they keep selling out like hot cakes, I'm always amazed each season as the new phase of whistle bend lots sell out, how can there be that much demand? Is the population growing that fast? I feel that people will always complain about the lack of "desirable" lots for sale. I hear a lot of hate towards Whistle bend but when it's all said and done I'm sure it will be a nice place to live, everyone hated Copper Ridge too when that was development but now everyone seems happy enough. The big issue is that everyone wants a nice big lot in a developed neighborhood, but the reality is that everyone can't have that, it's just not realistic.

@comen sense - your comment made be laugh, the development and building permit requirements in Whitehorse are very basic. No it's not the free for all it used to be but it's quite reasonable. It's really just confirming you have proper drainage around your house, confirming it meets zoning in terms of size and location, and that it's construction meets the national building code standards. In my opinion if you're not able to meet those basic requirements then you should probably hire out the building of your house to someone who can.

Up 17 Down 3

Stephen on Mar 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Why are people not demanding all levels of government to open up more land to drive the costs down? Make it an election issue.

Up 66 Down 1

Jim on Mar 19, 2019 at 11:24 am

And this surprises us why? You have to remember that every home has a lot with a value of about $200,000. The City no longer sells lots for the cost of development. They stopped doing that about 10 years ago. Compare material prices from 10 years ago. Frugal building will still cost over $250 per square foot. Building codes have increased with HRV’s, extra insulation, triple glazed lowE windows as minimums. Paving and landscaping costs, development and permit fees. So where do you cut costs? We all want affordable housing, but the facts are what they are. For some reason, there seems to be push back against new mobile home parks. It’s going to be either this or condos. Just keep in mind that about 1/2 the price of the average home is the land. The people that have created the land shortage is our governments. All of them, not the liberals, Yukon party, NDP, minicipal. They all spew how they want to solve the problem, but they created it.

Up 16 Down 5

A seller's market on Mar 19, 2019 at 12:33 am

A seller's market....but what about everybody else?

Up 29 Down 3

My Opinion on Mar 18, 2019 at 11:16 pm

Must you say the same thing every quarter? Copper Ridge and Whistle Bend are not the most popular, they are just the only places that still have space. Good Lord. Everyone wants to be popular.

Up 39 Down 3

comen sense on Mar 18, 2019 at 6:23 pm

All that you have to do is start looking into getting a building permit and seeing the requirement compared to when I built my own home in the early 90s. I can see why.

Up 21 Down 24

Rickybiy on Mar 18, 2019 at 4:51 pm

Too many liberal government employees, not enough homes. Tax paying citizens suffer.

Up 34 Down 2

BnR on Mar 18, 2019 at 4:28 pm

This is getting ridiculous.
Sure, you can make a pile of cash if you’ve been here long enough, but then what? Land prices are crazy expensive too.
And for the young people, it’s getting that you can’t afford to live here.

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