Summer on the great Pacific Northwest Coast is a superb season…and the micro-climate enjoyed by Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands is delectable.
It’s a short season…and here we are at a mid-point. Time to get out there and enjoy all of the amazing opportunities offered in our special Islands region.
A time for Inspiration
Lakefront swimming, ocean kayaking, sailing between alluring anchorages, savouring produce from farm gate stands, being inspired by artists and crafts artisans in galleries and on studio tours, enjoying live music venues, theatre productions, and a hiking/walking experience that re-introduces one to the natural world preserved on the Gulf Islands.
The real estate market has recovered on the Gulf Islands in what I call the residential entry-level property segment. On Salt Spring, that would be 350,000 to 750,000 price range.
It does appear that the Spring market in the Gulf Islands is about sales in that entry level residential category.
Between mid-July and end of November, upper tier priced residential properties begin to find their buyers.
Some years back (and who knows why), the Gulf Islands became a late summer/fall real estate marketplace.
This market analysis is always written at the beginning of a month. For market updates, reflecting the rest of the month’s outcomes, check out my blog. Also check back to my June and July “reports”…this is a very new recovery (just 10 weeks old? After an 8 year downturn.).
So, the first half of the year saw the following breakdown of sales (January first to July 18th):
- 19 sales up to 200,000.
- 26 sales between 200 and 300,000
- 40 sales between 300 and 400,000
- 43 sales between 400 and 500,000
- 37 sales between 500 and 600,000
- 24 sales between 600 and 700,000
- 9 sales between 700 and 800,000
- 5 sales between 800 and 900,000
- 5 sales between 900 and one million
- 12 sales between 1 and 2 million. (most below 1.7)
- 1 sale between 2 and 3 million
- 1 sale between 3 and 4 million
You can see, then, that the Spring market is about the beginning stirrings of the authentic recovery. From mid-July to end of November it’s the upper tier time.
An outcome of thinning inventory is price increase…for the moment, a buyer may have to meet the benchmark set by the seller, as listings diminish. Sales volume may have tripled, and prices may have stabilized…but price increases have not yet been strongly evident. As we ease into the Fall market, we may start to see prices escalate.
Why Should you Purchase on Salt Spring>
Why consider a purchase on Salt Spring Island or a Gulf Island? One thought: the Islands Trust (created in 1974) effectively capped growth on the Gulf Islands. A limited inventory, combined with a strong buyer demand, creates a higher price point for all purchases. It’s the economic axiom that low supply plus high demand equals price escalation. A property purchase on a Gulf Island is perhaps a protected investment.
Perhaps a more important reason for a Salt Spring Island or Gulf Islands purchase: to enjoy a softer, gentler lifestyle, with an emphasis on the natural world and the impact of an artists voice.
Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands are an easy commute to Vancouver, to Victoria, and to Seattle. Whether by ferry (3 different regular scheduled ferries service Salt Spring) or by floatplane (regular sked flights to downtown Vancouver, to Vancouver Airport, from Salt Spring), it’s very easy to come and to go…and yet these Island gems swim enticingly apart in the Salish Sea.
Proximity to major centres, yet serenely apart. All opportunities in the 21st Century available, yet an alluring yesteryear ambiance. A thoughtful and caring community, yet strong opinions. Definitely an interesting place to reside!