November 2017, Salt Spring
There’s a total of 170 listed properties (November 2017, Salt Spring) at this moment (counting only residential of all types & undeveloped residentially zoned land of all types…not including commercial or industrial zoned listings).
In a “slow/downturn” market, there can be between 380 to 420 listings (residential and undeveloped lots/acreages).
The listing inventory, since mid-March 2016 to current date, has thinned out. Mid-March 2016 was the very first sign of a small recovery on Salt Spring, after the long 8 year downturn.
It was a very slow sales volume increase, however, between then & now, with several non-market driven “pauses”.
The 15% offshore tax in early August, 2016, for metro-Vancouver, for example, also completely stopped the secondary home regions recovery…those Vancouver sellers had become the buyers on Sunshine Coast, on Vancouver Island, and on Salt Spring Island. On Salt Spring, Aug/Sept/Oct, of 2016, were “lost”.
Then: “real winter” (between Dec 3 & May 15) struck: all over the Coast. Both tourism & real estate viewings on Salt Spring were dramatically slowed.
Almost a 9 month pause, then, between August 2016 & May 2017.
The Summer Market was 6 weeks late…it usually starts in last week of June, & did not kick in until July 15, 2017. There were pauses within the summer season, as well…due to smoke from both Interior & Washington State fires…again, affected the whole Coast, but also caused significant delays in Salt Spring activity.
That 6 weeks later scenario seemed to carry into the Fall Market, too. Perhaps October was really September!
August 2017 may also have seen a hesitation in activity due to the incorporation vote on Sept 9th…several people, on either side of the question, were waiting for the vote outcome. There was a lot of off island media coverage leading up to the vote. It may have caused a bit of a “digestion” pause throughout September. Difficult to track these kinds of hesitations.
All these fits and starts sales rhythms aside, the main sales on Salt Spring Island remain below 850,000.
November 2017, Salt Spring
To date, the sales are as follows, from January 1, 2017 to October 31, 2017:
- 21 sales between 95,000 & 199,500.
- 25 sales between 200,000 & 299,000.
- 31 sales between 305,000 & 396,000.
- 43 sales between 400,000 & 489,000.
- 30 sales between 500,000 & 599,000.
- 20 sales between 605,000 & 690,000.
- 16 sales between 700,000 & 795,000.
- 12 sales between 800,000 & 899,000.
- 6 sales between 900,000 & 950,000.
- 25 sales between Private Island Estate.
- 4 sales between 2.2 and 2.5.
The sales between one & two million were either waterfronts (both ocean & lake) houses, or very large farms (20 to 104 acres), or large ocean view acreages/houses. The majority of them were waterfronts.
The sales over two million were waterfronts (3 ocean & one lake), with houses.
These sale price ranges in November 2017, Salt Spring, do not include price reductions…they are the completed sale price points. In some cases, in the over a million category, there were substantial reductions at the point of a sale.
What is the main buyer profile around Salt Spring Island?
The main buyer profile is still out of Vancouver/Lower Mainland. Alberta & U.S. (used to be 50% of our buyers) are still not in evidence. A smattering appear from Ontario, U.K., Europe…but they do not always focus on Salt Spring as a final destination choice. Most Vancouver buyers are seeking to buy down, if they have achieved a good sale price at their end.
It takes time to sell any property in all the secondary home markets, and this is true of Salt Spring, too. The first step is to choose “for” the Island…and then to choose for a property. It usually takes 2 visits (often 3), before a buyer acts on a specific property.
A showings pattern is about the buyer…not about sellers, or properties, or realtors. It just takes the time it takes. Time is a very significant element in every secondary home market transaction.
Properties still remain on the market here for lengthy timeframes, before capturing a sale. Price can sometimes be an allure factor…though not always.
So…here we are…in the closing weeks of a calendar year. Low inventory in all property types and prices. Sellers often achieving list price or close to it. Back up offers in place, if not small bidding wars. A sense that 2018 will see the beginning of serious price escalation, based on that thin inventory/buyer demand scenario.
Hmmm…it does appear that in November 2017, Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands have returned to the buoyant times between 2002 and 2005. A nine year downturn now being followed by a nine year uptick? Stay tuned.