News » Whistler

Record breaking $17.5 million home sale celebrated

More confidence in formerly flat real estate market



Confidence in Whistler’s real estate market has returned, as attested by a recent record-breaking offer of $17.5 million for a single-family estate home.

“I think it’s telling us two things — one, that Whistler is certainly of interest to people who can spend that kind of money, so from a resort perspective it’s a real sign of stability on a worldwide scale,” said Pat Kelly, owner of the Whistler Real Estate Company, which is representing the buyer in the ongoing sale.

“I think it also speaks on a more global basis to the fact that, although there’s some uncertainty in the North American economy, it doesn’t affect the higher end luxury market… That market is strong and, in fact, appears to be strengthening.”

The deal smashes the last highest home sale price in Whistler by more than $4 million. That record was set just over a year ago with a $13.3 million deal on a home in Sunridge.

Maggie Thornhill of Thornhill Real Estate Group, who represented the seller in the deal, said the home was first put on the market in August and listed for $22 million.

Since then there have been six qualified viewings of the home —buyers who are able to purchase in the $22 million range.

That’s not something you see in the high-end market very often, she said.

This month an unconditional offer was placed on the home and the deal will be closing in a couple of months.

“It’s hard to put of price on something that’s so special,” said Thornhill of the $17.5 million property.

One of the selling features is that it’s on five acres of flat land that is close the village and offers great views.

The home, originally intended for singer and songwriter Seal, is located on Crabapple Drive in Whistler Cay, nestled against a forest and with views of Blackcomb Mountain.

Tim Regan and Eric von Rosen are the owners of Vision Pacific, which designed and built the home. Regan called it a “phenomenal house on a phenomenal property.”

Vision Pacific also built the third-highest home sale in Whistler to date — Falcon Point on Blueberry Hill — which sold for $11.2 million in 2005.

When asked what it feels like to be behind two of the three most expensive homes in Whistler, Regan said how proud he was — not only of his dedicated crew of people who work on the homes, but all the sub-trades who have been involved too.

“These are labours of love,” said Regan.

In particular he highlighted the work of designer Mike Gottschalk, who brought a Tuscan influence with alpine and contemporary features to the home.

“I think he did a great job,” said Regan.

A Burnaby-based company Architerior did the interior design and Paul Sangha Landscape Architects was responsible for the exterior.

Among other things, the project was built using high efficiency heating systems, low CFC paint products and local materials when possible, said Vision Pacific president von Rosen.

Kelly would not reveal any details about the buyer other than to say he is an international businessman.

The sale, however, boosts a real estate market that appears to be rebounding after several flat years.

The bulk of the activity, however, is in the more moderate, for Whistler, price range.

“The high end hasn’t been getting as much attention,” said Thornhill, though the sales grab the headlines.

Those big sales naturally filter down throughout the entire market.

“Clearly the person who bought this home saw a lot of value in what he was getting relative to what else he could have bought that’s comparable,” said Kelly.

“If someone’s prepared to invest $17 million into your community or any amount of money into your community, who’s new to the community, it’s a sign of confidence in the future of Whistler.”