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House prices hit new high

The average price of a house in Whitehorse rose to $427,600 this summer - a record high. That's an increase of $58,800, or 15.9 per cent, compared with one year ago.

The average price of a house in Whitehorse rose to $427,600 this summer - a record high.

That’s an increase of $58,800, or 15.9 per cent, compared with one year ago.

The median, or midpoint in the range of prices, for a house in Whitehorse also set a new record, at $417,500. One year ago, that figure stood at $358,000.

Whitehorse’s housing shortage is driving prices upward, said the Yukon bureau of statistics’ Gary Brown. That helps explain why the number of houses that traded hands this summer sat at a record low.

Just 76 houses sold in the second period of 2011. That’s the lowest figure to be recorded by the Yukon’s bureau of statistics since it began tracking home sales in 1995.

One year ago, 107 houses were sold during the second period.

All these figures apply only to standalone homes, and exclude the sales of condos, duplexes and mobile homes.

The total value of summer real-estate transactions was a record-breaker too, at $73.9 million. That’s up by more than $5 million, or 7.3 per cent, from one year ago. (John Thompson)

New lots snapped up

As further evidence of Whitehorse’s lot shortage, look no further than the number of residents who entered their names in Tuesday’s lottery of 19 lots.

The lands department received 406 applications by its September 19 deadline. That’s “by far the highest” response the city’s received, said Mike Gau, manager of planning and development.

But, judging by the many entrants with identical last names, it looks as if this total figure has been inflated by potential buyers who have recruited relatives to bolster their, admittedly, still long odds of winning a lot.

Only about 40 residents attended the meeting on Tuesday afternoon to watch Councillor Florence Roberts pull yellow numbered balls out of a cardboard box.

Prices ranged from $96,200 for a 628-square-metre lot on Klukshu Avenue in Crestview to $179,182.50 for a 1,510-square-metre lot on Elm Street in Porter Creek.

All of the lots are infills, slotted within green spaces across five sites in Porter Creek and Crestview.

The Crestview lots are all on the corner of Rainbow Road and Klukshu Avenue.

There are four Porter Creek sites: on the corner of 12th Avenue and Centennial Street, 14th Avenue beside the Guild Hall, on the south side of Boxwood Crescent, and on the north end of Elm Street.

These lots likely won’t do much to ease Whitehorse’s housing shortage.

It’s hoped that the city’s next big new neighbourhood, Whistle Bend, will. But the first batch of lots there aren’t expected to be available for another year.

City planners are now aiming to get a jump on planning the later phases of Whistle Bend. Conceptual designs will be presented over the next few weeks, said Gau.

“Hopefully we can have a supply on hand and lots over the counter. That really helps the price increases from going up and up.”