Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, draws lottery tickets at random during the latest Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

A record number of people vie for Whistle Bend lots

Another lottery is expected later this fall

Close to 200 wannabe landowners walked away empty-handed following the most recent lottery for Whistle Bend single detached and duplex lots on Sept. 9.

A total of 246 individuals had put their name in to purchase one of 52 single or duplex lots.

It marked the highest level of interest in a Whistle Bend lottery, Energy, Mines and Resources spokesperson Jesse Devost said.

As Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, told the 25 or so gathered inside a room in the Elijah Smith Building for the lottery, there were 42 single detached and 10 duplex lots up for grabs in this lottery for Whistle Bend.

Nearly two dozen people showed up for the most recent Whistle Bend single detached and duplex lots lottery at the Elijah Smith building on Sept. 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Another 13 townhouse lots over three sites were also doled out with seven of the nine multifamily lots spoken for through the lottery.

There were 32 applications from both individuals and companies for the townhouse and multifamily lots.

Before the draw, McDowell pointed out another 119 residential lots are anticipated to be released through a lottery later this fall with commercial properties along Keno Way available in 2020.

The lots released in this round were fairly small, which he suggested makes them more affordable than they would be otherwise. They ranged from 332 square metres to 462 square metres for single detached and between 660 square metres and 827 square metres for duplex lots.

Average prices for the properties were $58,000 for townhouse lots per unit to more than $90,000 for single detached units. The average price of a duplex lot was $81,000 per side.

Those who had their names drawn will have two weeks to sign an agreement for sale. There’s a three-year building commitment on the townhouse and multifamily lots with a two-year commitment on the single detached and duplex lots.

Officials began by drawing for the townhouse and multifamily lots with the three townhouse sites soon spoken for and two multifamily lots being the only lots to remain unclaimed. They are now available over the counter.

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, blindly draws tickets during the latest Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

An eligibility list is in place and will be used to determine the next potential buyer for each of the other multifamily and townhouse lots if the sales do not go through.

The lengthy process to draw names and determine an eligibility list for the single detached and duplex lots followed the multifamily/townhouse lot draw. Lot 561, a 456-square metre property at 94 Leota Street was the first choice of Brant Macdonald.

Officials continued to draw names for properties and an eligibility list to determine who might get first crack at purchasing a site should the initial sale not go ahead. No decision has been made on whether the list will actually be used if any of the sales do not go through.

“For single family/duplex lots, the Lands Branch retains discretion as to next steps if lots are not sold — it depends on market conditions and demand. In some cases, lots will be put over the counter; in others, they may be held for another lottery,”

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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