Condo sales strong last year

Whitehorse housing prices continued their downward slide in the last quarter of 2012. The average price of a single-family home was $402,700, a decrease of $34,400, or 7.9 per cent from the third quarter.

Whitehorse housing prices continued their downward slide in the last quarter of 2012.

The average price of a single-family home was $402,700, a decrease of $34,400, or 7.9 per cent from the third quarter.

However, the decline is not as dramatic when all of 2012 is considered. At $428,100, the single-family home price is only down $6,600, or 1.5 per cent, from the record high of $434,700 set in 2011.

It’s a trend that Val Smith, the president of the Yukon Real Estate Association, chalks up to “market rebalancing.”

Thanks in part to an abundant supply of high-density housing over the last year, Whitehorse has moved from a seller’s to buyer’s market.

“I think it’s nothing drastic,” she said.  “We still have a pretty healthy, high-priced market.”

Indeed, according to the Yukon Bureau of Statistics the average price of a house in Whitehorse, adjusted for inflation, is still up 17.1 per cent from only three years ago.

The condo market also sailed to new heights in 2012, although sales and prices were also slightly down in the last quarter.

With only 38 condo sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, the average price dropped $31,400 from the record-high of $330,600, set in the third quarter.

But quarterly numbers can’t simply be taken at face value, said Smith.

Because condo sales all close at the same time, quarterly condo numbers often reflect several months of sales.

Overall, condos continue to be a bright spot in the real estate market, with a record yearly average price of $301,300. That’s an increase of 11.2 per cent from the previous record of $270,900 set in 2011.

Condos are also a much larger part of the Whitehorse real estate market today.

While the number of single-family home sales have steadily decreased since 2004, condo sales have been coming into their own. Last year there were 224 condos sold in Whitehorse, compared to only 39 in 2004.

And although prices may not be where they were in two years ago, there was still a lot of money in Yukon real estate.

Across the territory the total value of real estate transactions was $246.9 million last year, a record high and an 11.4 per cent jump from the previous record set in 2011.

This year already looks promising, said Smith.

“Last week there were 67 unconditional sales posted in our analysis already,” she said.

But there are even more – those with outstanding conditions and private sales – that have yet to be tallied, said Smith. 

“On the whole, looking good for the first quarter of this year.”

Contact Josh Kerr at joshk@yukon-news.com

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