North

Yukon real estate prices, sales hit record highs

'We're no longer Canada's best kept secret ... people are moving here,' says the president of the Yukon Real Estate Association.

'We know that the Yukon economy is doing well, and there's more demand for housing'

A condo development underway in downtown Whitehorse. The average condo price in the city in the 3rd quarter of 2018 was $351,400 — up 11.8 per cent from the year before. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

Yukon's real estate market is showing no signs of cooling, despite a drop-off in home sales in many other parts of the country. The territory saw record-high sales reported in the third quarter of 2018.

"We know that the Yukon economy is doing well, and there's more demand for housing," said Marc Perreault, president of the Yukon Real Estate Association. 

"It's not surprising, it's continued growth."

The average price for a single detached house in Whitehorse was $475,000 in the third quarter of this year — up $25,100 (5.6 per cent) from a year earlier but still a little below the national average.

Meantime, the average price for a Whitehorse duplex was $367,200, and the condos were selling for an average of $351,400 — both record highs.

The total value of real estate transactions in Yukon also set a record in the third quarter of 2018, with $118.5 million in residential and commercial sales. That was up $26.3 million — or 28.5 per cent — from the same period in 2017. 

Perreault says there are a number of factors at work — including an increase in investment from outside Canada. ​

"Due to other provinces and territories maybe having added some investment taxes or disincentives for foreign ownership, we're seeing a lot of movement towards investments in the Yukon, from foreigners," he said.

Whistle Bend, Whitehorse's newest housing subdivision, seen here in 2016. Construction of new homes in the neighbourhood has been steady in recent years. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

The Yukon Bureau of Statistics collects real estate data for the territory, but does not currently calculate how much property is sold to foreign buyers. The bureau says it is working with Statistics Canada to compile that data.

Perreault says the market also shows other trends, such as more retired people staying in the territory instead of moving south. Younger people are also moving to the territory and deciding to stay rather than leave after a few years, as they might have in the past, he says.

Immigration is also a factor, according to Perreault. He says more immigrants are moving to Yukon, and they're buying homes. 

"The short version is, we're no longer Canada's best kept secret. People know about the Yukon — it's appealing, and people are moving here," he said.  

With files from Sandi Coleman

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