Interest growing in Whistle Bend lots after long lag

The real estate market in the Whistle Bend subdivision is picking up steam after years of lukewarm interest from prospective homeowners.

The real estate market in the Whistle Bend subdivision is picking up steam after years of lukewarm interest from prospective homeowners.

According to a Yukon government news release this week, only 90 of the 322 residential lots developed in the neighbourhood remained unsold as of April 1.

In the past, the government has had a much bigger inventory of lots at its disposal. At least three separate lotteries in the past four years failed to attract a single buyer.

In September 2012, only 26 of the 90 single-family lots received bids, while 64 generated no interest at all.

A lottery was cancelled in September 2013 because no one was interested. And in June 2015, none of the 50 lots made available were sold.

But lots are selling more quickly these days, according to Ron Billingham, a spokesperson for Energy, Mines and Resources.

He gave the example of the Copper Ridge subdivision, where interest was also slow to pick up at the beginning.

“I think we had nine lotteries there, it starts off really slow,” he said.

“But people get momentum. No one wants to be the first in the field.

“Once you get to a certain point sales get a lot more active.”

By August 2010, more than 70 people had put their names in the government’s lottery for just four lots in the Copper Ridge and Whitehorse Copper subdivisions.

Darrell Hookey and his wife have lived in Whistle Bend for the past 18 months.

But when they first poked around the subdivision in search of a lot two years ago, they weren’t impressed by what they saw.

“It looked like a wasteland, we had no interest at all,” Hookey said.

“It was one big construction zone.”

They went back six months later and were blown away by the amount of development in the area, he said.

Hookey was recently named chair of the Whistle Bend Community Association. He said over 25 people showed up at the first meeting.

“We elected a board and there’s a good mix of young and old,” he said.

“We love our neighbours and there’s a real sense of pride here.”

The government announced this week it is investing more than $15 million in capital funding for the subdivision.

That includes the design and construction of phase three’s infrastructure, such as the drainage system and Eagle Bay lookout, as well as the overall planning of phases four through seven.

This fall, the government is planning on releasing 29 townhouse lots in Whistle Bend.

Next year, still as part of phase three, it will release 55 single family home lots, 20 townhouse lots and four multi-family lots.

According to the City of Whitehorse’s website, phases three to seven will house approximately 4,900 residents in a variety of housing types, and will include amenities such as commercial development, paved trails, parks, schools and landscaping.

When complete, Whistle Bend is envisioned as a neighbourhood for about 8,000 residents.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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