November 20, 2017 12:59 am

Whistler employees being squeezed by real estate boom: Report

A new report shows the average price of a home in Whistler has now climbed over $1 million.

Tourism Whistler

Metro Vancouver isn’t the only region in the Lower Mainland seeing skyrocketing real estate prices.

A new report from a luxury real estate company shows the nearby resort municipality of Whistler is also facing a spike in home prices.

The report, authored by Sotheby’s International, analyzes real estate prices in ski communities like Whistler, Sun Peaks and Canmore.

It found the average price of a home in Whistler has jumped to about $1.01 million this year, up from about $880,000 in 2016.

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The price hike is being driven by a lack of inventory, which has created an environment where bidding wars and multiple offer situations are normal on most sales, according to the report.

Two-bedroom townhomes within the Whistler village, which can generate nightly rental income, are the most popular properties, it found.

READ MORE: Baby boomers are pricing young families out of cottage country

That hot competition is having a serious effect on people who work in Whistler, according to Sotheby International sales representative Nick Harriss.

“Employers are having a hard time keeping staff because they have nowhere to live. So that’s the biggest issue that I see that needs to be dealt with in the next three years,” he said.

READ MORE: Low dollar fuels Whistler’s rising economy

Harriss added that the tight market is also squeezing out people who want to buy in the community.

“We’re at a point in the market where realistically we need about 450 to 500 properties for sale to have a balanced market. Right now we’re sitting at 163.”

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The real estate squeeze comes as no surprise to Whistler’s mayor, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

“Whistler has been feeling the pressures on housing prices stemming from what’s going on in the Lower Mainland. I’m not surprised by the increase in value,” she said.

READ MORE: One area of the economy that’s booming? B.C. ski slopes

Whistler isn’t the only resort community feeling the heat, according to the report.

In Sun Peaks, the average price has climbed from about $360,000 last year to $416,000 in 2017 and in Canmore, the average price has climbed from about $655,000 to $732,000.

READ MORE: Alberta cottages priciest in Canada, at over $800K: Royal LePage

Further east, Ontario’s Blue Mountain resort has seen prices climb from about $497,000 to $611,000, while Quebec’s Mont-Tremblant has actually seen prices dip.

The average price there was about $320,000 in 2016, which has dropped in 2017 to $303,000.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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