Market Highlights for September

Your Whistler and Squamish Real Estate Market Highlights for September 2018!

A buyer's market is a situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations. The opposite of a buyer's market is a seller's market, a situation in which demand exceeds supply and owners have an advantage over buyers in price negotiations. 

The three types of markets shown in the graphs below are measured by a sales-to-active-listings ratio, which essentially is the rate at which properties are selling.  Expressed as a percentage, you can calculate the ratio by taking the total number of sold homes in any month and dividing it by the total number of active listings at the end of the same month.

The sales-to-active listings ratio for:
  • seller's market, which means there are more buyers than properties available, is represented by a ratio of 20 % or higher
  • buyer's market, which means there are properties available than buyers, is represented by a ratio of 14 % or lower
  • balanced market, where supply and demand are pretty much the same, rests between 14-19 %. 


For all property types in September 2018, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the sales-to-listings ratio on for Squamish was 10.1% indicating that, on average, there are more properties available than buyers.

By property type, the ratio is:
  • 7.3 for detached homes (a buyer's market);
  • 5.6% for townhomes (a buyer's market), and
  • 17.4% for condominiums (a balanced market).

In Squamish, only 22 homes were sold from 251 active listings in the month of September. These are some of the lowest figures we have seen in years for Squamish, particularly with townhomes dropping to 5.6%, a ratio we haven’t seen this low since January 2013 and well into a buyer’s market. The Squamish graph shows a plunging trend for all three property types. Both townhomes and detached properties dipped into a buyer’s market with condos even dropping from a seller’s market into a balanced market for the first time since January 2017... meaning now is the time to buy! 

Benchmark Prices (below) for detached homes and condos decreased in the month of September, with the average price of detached homes falling under the one-million-dollar mark for the first time since February 2018. 


Residential property sales for September 2018 in Whistler totalled 43 from 194 active listings - a cooling off from what we've seen in the past. For all property types, the sales-to-active-listings ratio for September 2018 was 22.8 %, indicating that, on average, there are still more buyers than properties available. 

By property type, the ratio is: 
  • 11.4% for detached homes, (a buyer's market);
  • 30.2% for townhomes, (a seller's market), and
  • 26.8% for condominiums (a seller's market).

Yet, as you can see from the Whistler graph, detached properties still remain stagnant, steadily tracking in a buyer’s market. This typically indicates that buyers should have more choice when house-hunting along with increased negotiating power when it comes to a sale.  Condos and townhomes are both sitting in a seller’s market, after both recently dropping into a balanced market. 

Despite the year-to-date number of sales in Whistler totalling to 528, a 26% decrease from the 716 sales at this time last year, values appear to be holding up with Benchmark Prices steadying out (see graph below). As inventory is still really low, buyers are being cautious and spending more time looking for the right property.


Over in Metro Vancouver, the supply of homes for sale continued to increase across the housing market in September while home buyer demand remained below typical levels for this time of year. 

The REBGV reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 1,595 in September 2018, a 43.5 per cent decrease from the 2,821 sales recorded in September 2017, and a 17.3 per cent decrease compared to August 2018 when 1,929 homes sold. Last month’s sales were 36.1 per cent below the 10-year September sales average.“Fewer home sales are allowing listings to accumulate and prices to ease across the Metro Vancouver housing market,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president-elect said. “There’s more selection for home buyers to choose from today. Since spring, home listing totals have risen to levels we haven’t seen in our market in four years.”

For a more detailed market report for any Sea to Sky Corridor location or for the Metro Vancouver area, please get in touch.