September arrives with a sense of renewed purpose.
Although the calendar says Summer carries on until September 20-21, everyone accepts that Labour Day and “back to school” signal a new season.
On the great Pacific Northwest Coast, the days are slowly shortening…another seasonal sign.
September & October Can See a Strong Real Estate Picture
As we begin this new month, it’s good to remember that September and October can see a strong real estate sales picture. Perhaps potential buyers viewed earlier and perhaps they are just arriving now, but these two months can be very active.
Inventory, as soon as one fills in desired price point and property category, remains “thin”. Many owners do not want to be sellers. If one “has to” sell, for whatever reason, that may bring a few new listings onstream, but generally there is a small choice in properties right now for a prospective buyer.
The Buyer Profile
The main buyer profile is still someone from Vancouver/Lower Mainland…when they sell in the city, they become the buyers in the secondary home markets…and this includes on Salt Spring Island.
The main competing area to Salt Spring right now might be the Cowichan Valley. Sellers need to remember that Vancouver Island is also being looked at by that Lower Mainland potential buyer. This interviewing of destinations takes time, and is the main reason for time lags between viewing a property and deciding to offer on it.
Late Market Momentum
This 2019 year has been a shorter “season” than usual…the “once every fifty years” windstorm damage (end of December) is still being addressed in many areas…the unusual snow storms that refused to melt (February/March) added to the “pause”. The first three months of the year were effectively erased, and one could say that the Spring Market did not really get going until around April 5th.
The usual pause between end of May and beginning of June (a traditional hiatus between seasons) saw one local company dramatically reducing prices on all their company listings. These reductions did not lead to resulting strong sales.
The summer market is often a little haphazard…viewings but not always actions. The short pause towards end of August, as people with children return to home locations to organize “back to school”, saw the same company bring in another round of very dramatic reductions on all their company listings. It will be interesting to see if sales follow.
I do this market report at the beginning of a month and offer updates via my blog.
Geopolitics & Our New Media
Geopolitics (Hong Kong unrest, tariff wars), plus elections/media reporting, and continuing provincial government measures to suppress real estate values in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna…all these elements do affect buyer decisions re the timing of a purchase. Hmmm….
Price reductions may not be germane until the mainly non-local buyer physically turns up on Island…at that point, price spreads will matter.
At this beginning of September moment,
- There are 134 residential listings (not separating out townhomes or waterfronts). 34 of these are below one million.
- There are 96 land options (not separating out lots, acreages, or waterfronts).
- There are 14 commercial listings (not separating out business only from land and business).
As soon as one puts in a parameter (type of property and price point) the choices quickly shrink.
- There have been 105 sales to date (between 130,000 and 1,837,500). 39 of these sales are below one million.
September offers summer days, the Saturday Market and the Tuesday Farmers Market both continue, the annual Fall Fair is not to be missed…plus farm to plate dinners, Harvest delights at farmgate stands, gallery openings/receptions, wine tastings, cider tastings, craft brewery discovery. Hiking/walking trails beckon and kayaking/sailing invite. The month begins in Summer mode and closes with authentic Fall.
Salt Spring in September/October is a delight. Discover for yourself.