May 2018, Salt Spring
It may be that the Islands Trust (created and put in place, in 1974, by the provincial government) will have done more than “preserve and protect” the environmental beauties of the Gulf Islands, for the benefit of all B.C. residents.
It may be that the Trust will also have preserved a way of life that is disappearing, globally.
The outcome of the technology era, with artificial intelligence, with robotics and virtual, meshed, augmented realities, is rapidly changing our culture.
These technological outcomes make all knowledge, as we understand it right now, outmoded within 18 months. Speed of change continues to ramp up.
It really is like Alice Through the Looking Glass: we have to run very fast just to stay still. It’s interesting that this supposed children’s book, from the early days of the last century, was written by a mathematician. Hmmm…..
All of our cultures, globally, are undergoing massive change. Marshall McLuhan, back in the 1960s/70s, noted that “the medium is the message”.
Meanwhile, there sit the Gulf Islands, firmly anchored in 1974. Hmmm…..
Preserve & Protect?
In severely curtailing growth, through strong zoning/bylaws, since 1974, the Trust maintained the “preserve and protect” mandate. On September 9, 2017, Salt Springers voted 63%, in a referendum, to retain the 1974 form of governance, without change.
Will the Islands rise in value, so that only the very wealthy will be able to afford the properties? Will they be seen as places to recharge, to experience “real reality” in its authentic form? Will they be seen as Shangri-La opportunities…restorative withdrawal niches? Hmmm…
Change is with us. In change lies opportunity.
How do you envision these time tunnels known as the Gulf Islands, in two years? Five years? Ten?
Demographics, globalization, technology impacts, population movements, cultural shifts, economic changes…we are all in a moment of substantial shift, similar to what was unleashed onto the Middle Ages by Gutenberg’s life altering printing press in the 14th Century…similar to the impact on the agrarian world with the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th Century. These are big picture shifts. Ways of living vanished and were replaced with new options, in these earlier eras.
Will Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands remain as they are? Hmmmm…..
Meantime, several local groups are meeting and creating information bases, to address the outstanding issues still facing Salt Spring, after the vote to remain “as is”. In October, at the civic election time, two trustees and a CRD director will be elected, for a four year term. Stay tuned.
The Real Estate Market?
And, what about the real estate market as we enter May? Thin inventory below 900,000, plus strong buyer demand in entry level, keeps a strong sales picture in place. Many buyers are from Vancouver and plan to live on Salt Spring. The market, up to a certain price point, could be described as a seller’s market. Perhaps half of the listings currently available, in residential offerings, are above one million Canadian dollars.
Please pop into my office for my weekly “driveby” lists…they show all available listings, regardless of realtor, company, or board affiliation.
The realtor.ca site is geographic and also shows all current listings.
The Southern Gulf Islands are a “gray area”…meaning that 3 boards are represented on them (Vancouver, Victoria, & Vancouver Island). Boards are a portal for a realtor to get their listing onto the geographic MLS.
In a “gray area”, if you go onto a realtor’s private client service, you will only see the listings on that realtor’s board…you would miss, perhaps, 50% of the actual listings. Very important, then, to take the time to view realtor.ca (for full information on “what is”).
So, low inventory, the lowest I’ve seen since 2003, few new listings, price stability, some small price increases as the few new listings do come onstream, and we are just now entering our main grid of activity (May to September)…we may see dramatic price rises by August.