Market activity in the Pemberton area continued to follow the trends established in 2017. Activity levels returned to historically typical levels from the peaks that were experienced at the top of the market cycle in 2016 and the beginning 2017.
The second half of 2018 demonstrated a noticeably slower market as interest rate hikes and new lending rules increased the cost of ownership. These changes, combined with new government policies designed to impact provincial and national real estate markets began to dampen buyer enthusiasm locally, regionally, and nationally.
Despite seeing fewer buyers, the Pemberton real estate market continued to attract recreational enthusiasts, first-time home buyers, investors and, to an increasing degree, those looking for family living and ownership at price points no longer available in Whistler. This demand for the limited opportunities available resulted in an overall 7.1 % increase in average transaction value through 2018 and all individual segments of the real estate market experienced significant average price increases.
In 2018, the average value for a single-family residence rose by 9.8% to $897,096 with a number of individual transactions exceeding $1,000,000. Average condo values rose by 13% to $378,459. Average townhouse values rose by 22.8% to $588,561.
Meanwhile, acreages and homes with acreages continued to be of interest to high net worth individuals, a new generation of agricultural enthusiasts, and families capitalizing on the real estate markets in Vancouver and Whistler.
In Pemberton, the strongest levels of buyer interest continued to be in affordable properties (condos and townhouses) that are rarely available in Whistler and Squamish and that appeal to young families and first-time home buyers.
As in 2017, new developments continued to attract strong interest throughout 2018. Given the sales activity for single-family building sites over the last 18 months, we expect that 2019 will be a very busy year for builders and other trades in Pemberton. Unlike Whistler, buyers will be able to consider newly built options with all the benefits that accompany the purchase of a new home, whether single family, condominium or townhome.
In terms of commercial opportunities and growth, the Pemberton Industrial Park continues to be a beehive of activity and construction. Many new businesses are seizing the opportunity to own their place of business rather than operate as a tenant. The potential of Pemberton is turning into a reality and we expect to see more new announcements on upcoming projects in the area.
As real estate sales activity levels return to a more balanced framework, the number of purchase opportunities available to consider for existing properties is slowly rising and, although there will be no lack of interest in the area, we expect further value appreciation of real estate to be subdued.
Interest rate changes and new mortgage financing rules will continue to impact future activity and the outcome of future affordable housing development in Whistler (as well as new developments in Squamish) will certainly be something to consider. Buyers are still very interested but will proceed cautiously to ensure that all features of their purchase are fully understood. As a result, sellers can expect their properties to be on the market longer than in the recent past.
Going forward, effective pricing will be the key to a successful sale outcome. Those interested in real estate in Pemberton are well advised to keep up-to-date on their specific interests by contacting one of our full-time local advisors.