by Denise Brown
on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 at 3:14pm.
Our American friends have for a long time had a love affair with Whistler. In recent years the favourable exchange rate has prompted increased numbers of Americans visiting and buying property in Whistler whether for investment, recreational use or both. Whistler Blackcomb being acquired by Vale Resorts will surely increase the demand of Whistler for US ski-bound travellers, and the 15 percent foreign buyer’s tax which effects Metro Vancouver will likely push buyers to surrounding areas such as Whistler. Many believe that the ‘Trump Effect’ could also increase the desirability of Canadian real estate to those looking for an exit strategy from the US. So just how significant is American investment in Whistler real estate, and is it expected to increase due to the current political environment in the USA?
In 2016, US buyers accounted for 10 percent of all property transactions in Whistler. This was an increase of two percent from 2015, largely fueled by the favourable US/ Canada exchange rate. There are many predicting that Donald Trump’s presidency could further spark demand for Canadian real estate and only a month into the presidency there are signs that this is beginning to occur. Senior economist at CIBC, Royce Mendes, predicts the Canadian dollar will fall 72 cents to the US dollar later this year making Canadian real estate that much more attractive to US buyers. Mendes goes on to predict that interest rates will likely stay on hold until 2018 due to the uncertain economic environment surrounding Trump’s presidency which will keep the cost of borrowing money in Canada low.
The Canadian Real Estate Association’s Chief economist believes that it’s too early to tell what the Canadian housing market will do in reaction to America’s new president. He does concede however that Canada is looking “more attractive” in the eyes of Americans due its tolerant and welcoming culture. Real estate brokerages throughout Canada have seen a surge in enquiries from US buyers with one brokerage reporting a 210 percent increase in search traffic year-on-year in the month of November.
Whistler is poised as an ideal location for US buyers post-election. Unaffected by Vancouver’s foreign buyer tax, within three hours of the US- Canada border, and featuring a world-class ski resort which has attracted American holiday-makers and investors for decades, Whistler offers a coveted lifestyle that many only dream about. If predictions are true about a further depreciation of the Canadian dollar, US buyers could get an even bigger boost in savings when buying Whistler real estate. Putting the Trump Effect aside, all conditions are pointing to an increase in US property investment in Whistler in 2017.
If you are a US buyer looking to purchase property in Whistler make sure to contact the Team at LEADING EDGE Real Estate Team RE/MAX. We can answer any questions you have about buying property in Canada as a foreign buyer, recommend you to professionals who can assist with the process, and can keep you up to date with the latest real estate market news and information. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your plans for buying in Whistler.