Whitehorse Daily Star

Average house price rose by $38,600 in a year

It would seem the most recent real estate statistics have confirmed what many have been saying: housing prices are continuing to rise – and fast.

By Stephanie Waddell on July 6, 2018

It would seem the most recent real estate statistics have confirmed what many have been saying: housing prices are continuing to rise – and fast.

The Yukon Bureau of Statistics recently released the real estate statistics for the first quarter of 2018. They show the average price of most housing types in Whitehorse has soared considerably compared to a year earlier.

The average single-detached home, for example, sold for an average $461,900, compared to $423,300 in the first quarter of 2017.

In Whitehorse, the median price of single houses in the first quarter was $439,000. That means the prices of half the houses sold were above this figure, and the remaining half, below.

The average duplex price went up from $345,900 to $361,200, while the average condo increased from $328,900 to $332,800.

The price of an average residential lot climbed from $144,600 to $182,500.

The only housing type to see an increase in sales were single-detached homes, with 47 selling in the first quarter of this year compared to 41 in the same period of last year.

They remain the most popular purchase.

A total of six duplexes sold in the first quarter of this year, compared to 11 in the first quarter of 2017.

A total of 22 condos sold in the first quarter compared to 30 a year earlier. Five residential lots were sold compared to 10 in the first quarter of 2017.

Whistle Bend proved to be the most popular neighbourhood in the first quarter of 2018 to purchase a detached home, with 15 homes sold there.

That was followed by Copper Ridge and Porter Creek at eight, Riverdale at six and four in Granger.

Sales in other neighbourhoods were suppressed for confidentiality reasons, the bureau said.

Figures from the fourth quarter of 2017, however, show the average country residential home sold for $596,500, up from $570,400 in the first quarter of 2017.

The value of real estate transactions in the Yukon in the first quarter of 2018 was $42.7 million, consisting of $36.2 million in 
Whitehorse and $6.5 million for the rest of the territory.

The Yukon Real Estate Association did not respond to the Star’s request for comment on the latest trends.

Comments (18)

Up 9 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Jul 12, 2018 at 11:55 am

Housing as an investment commodity has eclipsed it being about shelter. More people are investing on the real estate market to make money for their future. Government taxation of forty-something percent in our lives is straining the ability for Canadians to get by. Good thing the Trudeau Liberals are working hard to help the middle class eh?

Up 2 Down 0

Josey Wales on Jul 12, 2018 at 7:38 am

Hey PSG, if I may? I respectfully disagree on the greed comment.
It is not solitary, as power and control often accompanies its friend greed.
But your point is taken....carry on please.

Up 3 Down 0

Josey Wales on Jul 12, 2018 at 7:34 am

Ahhh...governments “aiding” the people...wtfe.
More than ever they are about the lust for power...lordship over us mere peeons.
Long ago they left the center and with Mr. Dress Up’s, papa ...joined with the cultural Marxists.
The fools we have in our hall read from the same script, for that there is no argument that would endure.
It is more like the 15th century than ever before.
Keep all your subjects bickering and fighting for table scraps, far easier to break folks will that way.
I call things as I see them, freely express myself to the snowflakes, political windbags, ANY cultural superiority types...turtle islanders or 7th century sycophants matters not as I do not discriminate.
And yes, I reside in a target rich environment.
So so sooooo looking forward to the public component to our civic gravy train “election”
Folks please get out and vote every idiot in our hall thee hell OUT.
Imo...that would be the whole lot.
Too bad they cannot take some absolutely incompetent and over the top arrogant “managers”....there are many.

Up 7 Down 4

castlecreep on Jul 11, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Rising cost of housing, increased population, limited parking space, library too small, traffic congestion, Yukon is heading for a social crisis, all we need is a massive influx of asylum seekers, and illegal refugees.

Up 9 Down 2

Elf on a Cliff on Jul 10, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Thanks for sharing the Tofino townhouse story. Whitehorse could try similar initiatives as a part of our affordable housing stock. Another interesting idea would be establishing a trust that would help more people in the middle part of the range that could afford to carry a modest family home but struggle to meet mortgage terms and Yukon Housing's limitations. A trust can purchase a property and provide lease terms that provide a path to ownership and lease rates could work like rent control, but accrue credited value to the lessee over time. Eventually the lessee could buy out the mortgage from the trust.

Whitehorse's housing supply seems challenged to provide good options for singles as well as larger families (4-5 bedroom) affordably. We have good options for social and assisted housing, though more units would help.

Home ownership isn't for everyone but there's no compelling business case for developers to build apartments for rent. The extended municipal matching grant for income suite development (I’ve used this to build a legal suite in my house) and the new $50,000/unit subsidies for affordable housing may help, but still aren't enough bridge new multi-unit rental stock. That Tofino townhouse actually costs ~$285/sq. ft. and would need to rent for $1700/mth + utilities as a rental. For Whitehorse, developers would need to hit about $200/sq. ft. just to meet market rents where they are today. Reality: Whitehorse rents are low relative to the cost of development.

Housing affordability is a complicated problem. There is no grand conspiracy of developers and real estate agents manipulating the market. Material, land and labour dictate the fundamental math - the math is simple, addressing the variables is complex.

Up 14 Down 0

Market price vs development price on Jul 10, 2018 at 7:20 am

Once upon a time, lots were developed and sold at cost, plus a small markup. A previous City council decided that selling at market value was preferable, so that builders wouldn't buy property cheaply, then flip it (see recent discussion about Mary Lake lots). Well that hasn't really worked - builders are the only ones who can afford lots. The City is in a pickle - too many lots and the prices will go down, and people who have bought recently will see a decrease in property values. I'm sitting in Copper Ridge (no vinyl siding, not a castle) in a $500,000 house and no mortgage - but only because my 30-year-old $75,000 house in Porter Creek sold for $500,000 a few years ago. Great for me, not great for someone trying to get into the market

Up 12 Down 0

Annoyed on Jul 9, 2018 at 6:15 pm

that they actually said Whistle Bend was the most popular, perhaps more accurately Whistle Bend is the newest and THE ONLY new construction option in the City.
I'd like to know where the next neighbourhood is going? Or even what they're even contemplating as the next neighbourhood.
I also thought this was interesting .... https://globalnews.ca/news/4318910/tofino-townhouse/

Up 12 Down 5

E-G on Jul 9, 2018 at 11:42 am

@BNR Instead of being deliberately obtuse why don't you explain what you mean. Is NVD getting a break or not? Is half a million dollars really the breaking point for an organization that size selling million dollar condos? As a side note, a private developer who wasn't afforded the same break just shut down his 2nd Avenue project. Interesting.

At the end of the day no contractors are building entry level homes, in fact they are buying land designated for just that and whining to COW to have it rezoned to a more profitable zoning.

At the end of the day YG and COW are completely incapable of releasing land that a young family or someone new to the Yukon can start off in. You can't even find entry level rentals in Whitehorse yet you don't think that is an issue as you likely sit in your vinyl clad castle in Copper Ridge waiting to flip it and retire in some hick town in Saskatchewan.

Up 7 Down 4

Wilf Carter on Jul 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

Some very good points- thanks for commenting

Up 11 Down 3

Elf on a Cliff on Jul 9, 2018 at 10:38 am

A little perspective to add to the discussion. Housing prices in Whitehorse have been fairly stable over the past 10 years. The 10-year average home price increase is ~+3% and the 5-year average increase is ~+2%. The reality is that for the past decade housing prices have been treading water - adjusted for inflation, prices have been technically flat. The sky is not falling.

That said, last year's ~7% (give or take, depending on type of housing) increase is not insignificant. Housing affordability is an issue for a growing segment of our population and absolutely the government has a role to play in helping to meet the shelter demands of citizens. If we see another sustained run in housing prices like we saw in 2004-2007 (~10%, 15%, 9%, 18%) and spike in 2010-2011 (~13% each) we would have major challenges. While I wouldn't be surprised to see continued upward pressure on housing prices I don't expect to see sustained increases like we saw previously. Whitehorse is in a much better position to add housing supply than we were back in the 2004-2007 crunch. Prediction: Housing prices will rise this year - historically speaking the first quarter prices tend to set the low values and Q3-4 the highs for the year in Whitehorse.

Would I buy or sell in this market? Gosh, I'm a buyer!

Up 22 Down 2

ProScience Greenie on Jul 8, 2018 at 10:55 am

Half a million for an average home in a growing gig economy with wages stalled and other costs rising is just crazy. Great for those that bought cheap years ago but completely rude for young couples or those not fortunate enough to win the lotto and get a sweet govie or senior service industry job for life.

But nothing will change as all the players - real estate, gov, developers, NGOs - will never allow their artificially manufactured housing gravy to be shut down. Too much easy money for that to happen.

Meanwhile up in Dawson and other places outside of CoW you see things like the Dredge Pond Subdivision where people can grab an acre of land and build whatever they want as they can afford it, including putting up a wall tent for a season or two to get ahead.

It's all about greed, nothing else.

Up 21 Down 5

My Opinion on Jul 7, 2018 at 1:11 pm

@BnR
I completely agree with you however they are already up to their ears in buying houses for people. Over a thousand homes are owned by Yukon Housing, Grey Mountain Housing, and Whitehorse Housing. Now add to that, all the Single Mom housing, Senior Housing, FAS FAE Housing, Women safe housing. Now add to that all the Band Housing in all 14 Bands.

Please, I am tired of hearing about no access to subsidized housing. There is lots, it is just that apparently everyone thinks they deserve it.
I guess only a few of us own our own homes.

Up 26 Down 3

steve on Jul 7, 2018 at 8:08 am

Bring more land on line and drive the costs down. Regulate realtors and set limits on what realtors can charge for fees and see what happens.
Do those two things and see what happens to the market.

Up 10 Down 7

Wilf Carter on Jul 7, 2018 at 6:36 am

The government as developers is the problem. We need to keep up with the supply of housing and get government out of the business of housing.

Up 12 Down 3

Jeff Donaldson on Jul 7, 2018 at 5:24 am

I bet the real estate association did not comment. They are part of the problem as well as the sellers and the vacancy rate!
As a Federal employee you have 5 days to secure a home. Entering the WH housing market with bidding wars, no conditions and up pricing to apease the seller! I had to extend my HHT 4 days and was fortunate that our financing and preparedness was already secure prior to us arriving.
One house we looked at the real estate agent (they only work for the seller) said to offer 30 thousand over, no conditions and make a down payment of 40 thousand just to show the seller your serious!!! Are you kidding me! I am a soldier and this is my final posting and we are so fotunate to be moving to WH, however after being turned down by a dog musher for a rental that we stated we will commit to you for an entire year I was considering going East to GageTown.
I now know the real estate agents I would deal with next time and I now know your market and I feel bad for the couple that lost the house we now own because they were not as prepared as we were.
Anyway My wife and I were very lucky and the builder did not buy into the bidding war crap either!
Thanks Sam. We are Yukon bound!

Up 18 Down 3

north_of_60 on Jul 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm

BnR is correct "No way should government at ANY level get involved with funding entry level homes. "...
The government and real estate spouses of bureaucrats are complicit in jacking up house prices for their personal gain.

Up 14 Down 17

BnR on Jul 6, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Make it stop.
No way should government at ANY level get involved with funding entry level homes.
And where did you get the notion that government has funded NVD?? It was deferred taxes. If the difference escapes you, well, figure it out.
Funding entry level homes is a good way to throw good money after bad.

Up 30 Down 4

Make it stop. on Jul 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Completely unsustainable. YG and CoW need to start funding entry level home options for builders and buyers, it is getting ridiculous (yet they fund massive corporations like NVD to build luxury condos with taxpayers money). I own my own home but my kids never will be able to in this town.

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