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77 waitlisters offered Nita Lake housing

32 units sell out in five hours

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The last person to buy one of the 32 new price-controlled Nita Lake townhouses was number 77 on the Whistler Housing Authority waitlist.

That means 45 waitlisters turned down the opportunity to buy in Whistler when the units went up for sale last Thursday, March 30.

WHA General Manager Marla Zucht said that comes as no surprise to her and it does not call into question the validity of the 570 strong waitlist and whether or not the people on it can or even want to buy employee housing in Whistler.

"I think it’s a combination of things," said Zucht.

For some it’s timing, she added. They may not be ready to buy when the WHA or developers are ready to sell. For others they’re looking for a specific unit size, so if there are no duplexes or three-bedroom units left in a project, for example, they will pass on the chance to buy something smaller. And still others have an ideal notion of what they are looking for and are willing to be a little picky – they may be waiting for the chance to buy in future projects that are in the works, such as Rainbow.

"They’ll hold out for that," said Zucht.

She does not believe it’s a question of affordability and that waitlisters don’t have the money to buy in.

The Nita Lake employee housing is some of the cheapest housing in the WHA inventory at $192 per square foot for a brand new unit. Some of the other WHA projects, such as 19 Mile Creek and Bear Ridge, are selling at $230 per square foot even though they are price restricted. Those projects are tied to the Greater Vancouver Housing Price Index, which has seen significant gains in recent years.

Zucht also pointed out that the sale of the Nita Lake townhouses has freed up about six units in other employee housing projects.

The townhouses at Nita Lake should be ready for waitlisters to move in by Christmas.

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