Tag Archives: Salt Spring Island Real Estate

November 2015, Market Analysis

November 2015

Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island

Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island


We are now sliding into the Fall-into-Winter moment.

There is often a perception that Salt Spring, the Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island are seasonal markets…busier in late Spring and Summer…with less happening in the supposed “off season”. Not so.

It’s important to be presented to the marketplace at all times, in this post-Internet era. The Google search eye never sleeps. Someone, somewhere is searching.

In our secondary home/discretionary region, on this thin strip of the beautiful Pacific Northwest Coast, potential buyers now turn up, physically, between mid-summer and late fall…to view what had caught their attention earlier, on the net.

Many sales thus take place between August and end of the year. This catches many sellers off guard, if they have only a Spring/Summer mindset for a possible sale.

At this point, in a still busy sales time, we can point to continuing signs of an authentic market shift…in a strong upward direction:

  • Thinning inventory.
  • Rising price levels in the entry level residential priced category.
  • Sales of undeveloped land.
  • Stronger interest in higher end residential options…with more sales in this segment.
  • Buyer desire to buy a retirement or recreational or investment property.
  • Concerns over currencies making hard asset investments of interest.
  • Media reporting on all the above.

No matter the market trend in play at any time, there is always opportunity in a property purchase. Over time, a real estate investment is an important one. It is a wealth builder and a wealth preserver, although it is a “long tail” investment decision.

If you are considering a purchase of a Salt Spring Island, other Gulf Island, or Vancouver Island property, call me. My strong referral network will connect you to the best agents if your wish list lies in an area outside my circle of expertise. Benefit from my knowledge, of both inventory & of trends…let me help you to discover the right property for you.

The transition period between a buyers and a sellers market is rapidly closing, in our Gulf Islands area.

In the entry level priced residential properties (below $550,000, say?), we are already seeing sellers conditions. In undeveloped land sales, it’s still early days. Waterfront & superlative ocean view acreages always see earliest activity, in upper tier residential (over $900,000), and this pattern has just started (since August?)…waterfronts and equestrian friendly acreages are currently most in demand. The spread between list and sale price points is rapidly narrowing in all property types.

These are the key factors pointing to the close of the transition period: narrowing price spread, thinning inventory, sales volume increase.

Our coastal secondary home regions only began to see “soft” recovery in late 2014. Now, although still not even-handed, and many properties still not seeing “fast sales”, we are almost through the transition period…many people, locally, liken both our current real estate and our small business recovery to 2006/2007 patterns. Pre-economic collapse of 2008, then. All good news!

How may I help you to buy your special Salt Spring Island, Gulf Island, or Vancouver Island property? Call me! Look forward to working with you.

August 2015, Market Analysis

August 2015, Market Analysis

August on coastal B.C. is an alluring season…& this summer of sun & warmer than usual temperatures is calling forth visitor experiences throughout this beautiful region.

Salt Spring Inn

Salt Spring Inn


I’ve always thought that tourism leads to real estate sales in all secondary home/discretionary areas. During the 7 to 8 year “downturn”, tourist visits were also down.

Most businesses in discretionary regions are once again seeing good economic outcomes this season…many owners feel that things have returned to 2007 levels.

Real estate sales volume has doubled in most secondary home/by choice markets, in that entry level priced residential category.

Price Stabilization

Gulf Islands Hotel

Gulf Islands Hotel

Along with higher sales volume, there is thinning inventory in this same price segment. That usually leads to price stabilization & potential for price increases.

The upper tier priced residential market segment is seeing random sales again. Yes, prices are markedly lower than list, which may have seen several reductions if followed market down, but sales are slowly occurring.

Undeveloped land sales are also beginning to strengthen. Commercial opportunities are slowly catching attention. Both of these property categories are dependent on renewed buyer confidence.

While prices may not yet have stabilized to the point that definite patterns are in evidence, it is clear that the spread between list & sale pricing is rapidly narrowing, & in favour of the seller.

Late 2014 saw the beginning of consistent sales in that entry level residential category &, by late Spring 2015, this segment was seeing the transaction equation swinging to the seller side re sale pricings.

We seem to have become a summer/fall market now, in the Pacific Northwest coastal communities…whether the Gulf Islands, or Vancouver Island, or the Sunshine Coast. It’s important to be “out there“, if a seller, & year round (the buyer profile is mainly non-local in the discretionary areas), so that one is “discovered” & will bring the buyer to eventually choose…physicality, though, does seem to occur more frequently in summer & fall months.

We appear to be at a mid-point in a real estate recovery. Sales volume increases, stabilizing prices, renewed interest from buyers in holding second home/recreational property options…it all points the way to an authentic market recovery in all the secondary home markets.

Our low Canadian Dollar against the Pound & the U.S. Dollar may bring back that traditional buyer to our area. A “safe haven” seeking may be playing a part in showcasing our region as a viable destination choice. Our temperate climate does encourage self-sufficient outcomes.

How lucky we are to call this region “home”.

April 2015, Market Analysis

April 2015, Market Analysis – Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Back to The Seller Side

Yes, it’s true…the real estate market is turning back to the seller side of the sales equation in the secondary home marketplaces…good news indeed for Salt Spring Island & Gulf Islands & Vancouver Island owners.

On the Pacific Northwest Coast, which includes all Gulf Islands, including Salt Spring Island, plus Vancouver Island, plus Sunshine Coast, the secondary home/recreational/discretionary marketplaces are all definitely on the improve.

li-read-group-all

Inventory has “thinned” dramatically in the entry level priced residential segment. Slow sales in this price category, over the past 2 years, have quietly erased inventory backlog. Affordably priced undeveloped land is now beginning to sell as a result…buying land & building a cottage or choosing a manufactured home allows one to keep the budget at that entry level price point.

As inventory “thins”, prices stabilize. In some cases there are already small bidding wars.

Buyers who are able to increase their budget are starting to look at higher priced residential offerings, for more choice & potentially more motivated sellers.

For The Luxury Buyer In Salt Spring

For those able to consider a purchase in the luxury/upper tier priced property segment, there are still deals to happen, for a buyer. It may take until the Fall Market to see stability in pricings in the over one million category. Right now, this property segment is experiencing the uptick in interest & resulting lower offers that the entry level category experienced during the past two years.

I think when we arrive at late September/mid-October timeframe, we will see an even-handed recovery firmly underway.

I believe we are in the very last stages of a transition period, here, in our coastal region, between buyer & seller markets.

My definition of a buyers market: lots of listings & no buyers. And a sellers market? No inventory & lots of buyers. I think we are moving to that sellers market description.

It has been a long 7 years in all the secondary home/discretionary markets, & globally so. Some areas may even have experienced the “pause” 10 years ago. Within our overall coastal grid, places are never evenly busy.

British Columbia, An Undiscovered Coast

On this still relatively undiscovered Coast, we are always the tail of the dog. Now, however, we are seeing dramatic improvement…sales volume to date, for Salt Spring, has improved by close to 30% over previous year. Price stability has just begun…price increases may be on the horizon, but not just yet. This upward sales volume pattern is in evidence on the entire coastal rim.

Our discretionary area sales window runs from March Break through to Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend (mid-October). It remains a weekend business until mid-May, perhaps. Late June to late September remain the busiest sales months.

A seasonal marketplace once more on the move…plus, a lower Canadian Dollar against the U.S. currency…plus a general safe haven seeking in this turbulent global political & economic time of change…& the ability to live anywhere while working in the digital universe…it all adds to the general rhythm of uptick.

Salt Spring – The Allure of A “Caring Community”

The allure of a caring community is another attraction of the secondary home regions. An aging in place demographic, a strong community service volunteer group, a caring underpinning to the Island…this certainly describes exceptional Salt Spring Island.

Yes, it’s different than the flat conditions of the past 7 + years. However, there is always opportunity. The key? Recognizing it when it appears before you, and then acting on it.

An outcome of the global search is that it throws up a lot of surface information…& a lot of choice usually means slowness in action. The “have I seen it all yet?” syndrome. So important to listen for the “ping”. If a property lights up for you, then that’s the one to act on. It’s about listening to our inner voice.

I sometimes think searching property sites has become an entertainment feature…kind of like a 90s sitcom…look but not act. For an investment uptick, though (always better to buy on a rising market), now is the time for buyer involvement.

Continuing low interest rates are in favour of the buyer, for the time being.

Although inventory is thinning out in the affordable price segment, there are still creative ways to remain on budget.

Salt Spring Island Real Estate – An Appreciating Asset

An investment on a Gulf Island, including on Salt Spring Island, the largest & best serviced of this “southern” grouping, remains a good investment. Over time, a property purchase on Salt Spring Island & the Gulf Islands will build in value.

The Islands Trust put a cap on growth back in 1974…through strict zoning/density bylaws controls. Supply & demand is a factor in a Gulf Islands market, due to the Trust’s non-growth policies.

Enjoyment of a property is also a valid marker of value for a discretionary region. That enjoyment may include the ability to be self-sustaining. The benign micro-climate in our coastal environment makes this possible.

Yes, all markets are like a wave…up, down, up, down…never static. In real estate, it seems that the down never falls as low as the previous down. Thus, over time, a steady increase is consistently shown. On the rise, the fix & flippers start to reappear. Savvy ones are acting now.

Between 2000 & 2001, sales volume rose 50%. Between 2002 & 2005, prices rose 60%. A slowing trend took place between 2006 & 2007. Then the economic collapses of late 2008…now, at the beginning of April, 2015, we seem to be emerging back into 2002 times. Possibly we will look back & decide that 2010/2011 were the true flat bottom years in our discretionary area.

In change lies opportunity.

March 2014, Market Analysis

A Market Recovery?

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March, 2014 – Salt Spring Island Real Estate Analysis
A recovery in the secondary home/recreational market seems to be underway…signs of slow sales volume momentum are globally visible. It has been a long five to six years of buyer inaction in all discretionary regions.

The second home/resort-based areas, globally, suffered hugely after the 2008 economic collapses. No one “has to” buy a vacation home or retire to a second home…it’s always a “by choice” decision.

Buyers decide outcomes in secondary home markets, & the decision to purchase a recreational or retirement property depends on consumer confidence.

Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands, & tourism driven communities on Vancouver Island all experienced a significant downturn between late 2008 & mid 2013. Some appraisers & realtors noted a slowdown in activity as early as 2006. The consistent loss in value was felt world-wide in such marketplaces over the past five years.

Values on the Gulf Islands & on Vancouver Island reportedly dropped between 29% & 45%, depending on location & type of property. In Spain & Portugal, it was reported that recreational properties dropped in value by as much as 70%.

Realty companies/realtors kept reducing prices, in a search for “the bottom”. This price cutting does not work in a recreational region…if a buyer does not want to buy, then nothing will happen.
All Listings
Fear has various faces. After little action in 2009 & 2010, there was a flurry of specific activity in 2011. Rental properties began to find buyers…these were not end-users. Family homes, older dwellings, excellent rentals, found investor-buyers. The action was only in the entry level residential category. Was this a move into real estate out of concern that the stock market was too volatile & interest rates too suppressed by banks? Investors were the main movers of sales action from early 2011 to mid 2012.

In 2012, it remained softly active in the same entry level residential segment, but end-users began to reappear. Also, as sales consistently occurred (without many properties coming onstream to replace the slow “solds”), the price ceiling of entry level began to rise.

In 2011, most sales were below 400,000. By 2013, the bulk of sales were below 800,000.

Each year, there were random & scant sales between one & two million…mainly residential oceanfront. In most cases, they had severely reduced in price before selling. Undeveloped land opportunities & commercial/business options remained flat throughout.

January & February usually continue the November/December pattern of the previous year…2014 has been no exception.
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Our market region has become ever more seasonal…the grid of sales activity now falls between March Break & the Canadian Thanksgiving (early October). The busiest months within this timeline might be May, July, August, September.

We are just beginning the 2014 rhythm, then, at this beginning of March moment. It’s still an optimum time to be a buyer…

Projections are calling for renewed interest in undeveloped land…either as a holding property or as a building opportunity. I have always seen land sales as a marker of a buoyant market. Sales of raw land are a strong signal of recovery.

It also is being projected that 2014 is the time of a resurgence in action in the upper tier priced residential properties. The affluent global investor is looking for special properties in special places…with a safe haven aspect to the region. Perhaps a concern over currency instability is driving this higher end property segment…a safe haven seeking, both personally and as a preservation of capital move, can be a strong motivator to real estate activity in the luxury property market. Inquiries on properties between two & five million are occurring.

Tourism, in the secondary home/recreational regions, does encourage real estate sales. People visit, fall in love with an area, buy a home or a lot, & suddenly all other businesses thrive…designers, contractors, restaurants, soft furnishing providers, etc etc etc…it’s like a train, & it starts with tourism & real estate sales.

Slowly, tourism is recovering on Salt Spring, on the Gulf Islands, & on Vancouver Island. All good news, then.

A concern over B.C. Ferries, & its decision to cut costs by cutting service/raising fares on smaller coastal routes, is being fought by affected communities. These route cuts/fare hikes might hamper tourism. If you’re an islander, get in touch with your Chamber of Commerce, & be involved in this important matter.

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So, with the spyglass of projection up to the eye, at the beginning of March, it does appear that sales will be consistent in the secondary home markets. It may be that sales volume will rise, but prices remain stable. Inventory in all property segments will have to clear out before prices rise. The close of 2014 should show strong signs of a recovered discretionary marketplace.

Looking for specific sales information for Salt Spring & the Gulf Islands? Vancouver Island recreational communities? Call me! In a transition period, it’s important to keep up to date. No rear view mirror thinking!

Looking for a Salt Spring Island or Gulf Island property? Call me! I look forward to bringing my knowledge (of inventory & of trends) to your benefit. My motivation is your successful outcome.

Call me for full information on all listed properties & all “solds” statistics…regardless of real estate board involved. Salt Spring & the Gulf Islands are in a “grey area”, which means three boards overlap…I offer full information regardless of which board a particular realtor chooses to affiliate with. I have access to all boards. Don’t miss out…call me! You will discover the entire listing inventory with me.

Residential, farms, vineyards, building lots/acreages, estates, private islands, commercial/investment, oceanfront, lakefront, recreational…it’s all here, in all price ranges, & I look forward to introducing the island & all its fine properties to you.

September 2013, Market Analysis

September, 2013, Market Analysis

Ganges Harbour, July 2013

Salt Spring Island, July, 2013


For those who own a Salt Spring Island or a Gulf Island property, & who listed back in 2006/2007, it’s been a disturbing ride. The same can be said about Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, & the B.C. Interior communities…all secondary home markets, in other words. The economic downturn afflicted all secondary home regions, globally, and the downturn in recreational areas began long before the obvious collapses in October, 2008.

After a dramatic five year run-up in sales volume & pricings, in the range of 60%, (2001 to 2005), there was a distinct pause in activity in 2006/2007. Prices softened around 12%, according to appraisers, between early 2006 & mid-2007. Sales volume was also visibly lower.

The economic meltdowns of late 2008 had global implications, and all secondary home/discretionary/resort-based/recreational regions were hard hit. No one “has to” buy a second home or make a recreational investment.

Througout 2009, 2010, 2011, there were few sales & those that did take place saw substantial price reductions en route to a further reduction at the point of an offer. The sales were mainly in entry-level residential options. Appraisers say we reduced in pricing, between mid-2007 & late 2012, by around 35%.

2012 saw a sales volume uptick of around 30%, but mainly in that entry-level residential category. Prices remained very unstable. It appeared that these were investor-buyers, looking for 3 bed/2 bath homes, easy to rent…a passive income investment, perhaps. In the main, they were not the end users of their purchases. Most sales were below 500,000.

2013 has seen a similar activity to 2012, but more end-user buyers are around, and residential sales are taking place up to 900,000. A definite improving trend appears to be in play.

A very few upper tier priced residential properties sell every year…so far, this year, the highest sale price was 1.75, and was an oceanview home on a large acreage. It had seen severe price reductions on the way to that sale.

Cottages, higher priced residential offerings, undeveloped land, residential needing significant renovations, & commercial/business options are not easily finding buyers. The bulk of the sales to date are residential options below 700,000.

For those who listed in 2006/2007, at much higher price points, which would have been market value at the time of the listing, it’s been an uncomfortable “search for the bottom”. Sellers & realtors do not create a market…buyers do that. If a buyer chooses the path of inaction, in a discretionary market, then constant price reductions don’t easily work. Buyer confidence is a huge part of the equation!

Those constant & severe reductions in 2011 & 2012 had buyers asking two questions: “how low will the seller go?” (plus: “Let’s wait & find out”) OR “what was wrong with the property?”…in a secondary home marketplace the decision to buy is rarely price driven. It’s about desire & confidence to act, on the part of a buyer.

Companies need income to remain in business. Company inspired price reductions try to create a market. Rare that this works in a recreational/discretionary area. Nevertheless, reductions make all sellers react, so as to be seen as competitive in pricing, once that company driven reduction dance begins. This kind of local market manipulation does create a local price point.

So here we are, poised at the moment of possibly authentic market recovery. Our Pacific Northwest Coast region is the tail of the dog: last down & last up.

In other regions we are hearing about thinning inventory and rising prices in entry level residential options. Even multiple offers are being reported. We are also hearing that the luxury residential segment is improving, in some areas.

Our region often follows trends elsewhere in North America within 4 to 6 months. We should thus be experiencing the same improving statistics by late 2013/early 2014.

A natural cyclical improvement, a seeking of a safe haven environment, a desire to protect capital…these are strong motivators to action in secondary home markets.

As we enter September, and that late summer/early Fall market, it may be that we will experience consistent sales…from now right through to late November. Oddly enough, the Spring timeline is no longer our busiest sales window.

The rest of Canada loves to dream about retiring to B.C.’s coast…with the Boomer move to retirement living choices, Salt Spring Island’s year round lifestyle beckons. Europe, Asia, South America, the U.S. are also looking our way.

The Internet definitely opens up all regions to a global buyer profile. At the same time, it gives that national/international buyer too many choices. So, whether it’s a buoyant or a suppressed market trend, it takes time to sell any Gulf Island property…the buyer looks “everywhere” & is totally in charge of the “where” & the “when” of a purchase decision. Sellers have to practice patience, always.

Salt Spring Island & the Canadian Gulf Islands are not municipalities. They are governed by the provincial government body known as the Islands Trust. The Trust has been in place since 1974, with the mandate “to preserve & protect” the environmental beauties of the Gulf Islands for the benefit of all B.C. residents. This is accomplished by curtailing growth via severe zoning bylaws…in a sense, growth is capped by such controls. Such inventory control does mean, over time, price escalation…as people discover the magic of these islands, want to own a piece of it, and there’s a limited amount available forever…you get the drift!

Are we now on the authentic uptick?

April 2013, Market Analysis

Spring! Blossom Festival begins the dance of Salt Spring’s season.

We who live here are lucky to celebrate a lifestyle in the midst of beauty. Our wonderful weather “season” is from now until the Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend in early October…this is a treasured location.

Is the government mandated Islands Trust control of growth the reason for the preservation of the environmental beauties of the Gulf Islands? I think so.

The Trust’s mandate was to preserve and protect, for the benefit of all B.C. residents, the park-like allure of these islands, and it was put in place in 1974.

I think most residents & visitors would agree that this was a worthy goal, and that zoning restrictions were there to safe-guard the beauty.

When, though, does a loose body of regulations solidify into intransigence?

Isn’t the point of elected representatives to interpret a regulatory framework, for the good of the overall community? In that interpretive role, isn’t it essential to allow for individual responses without being afraid of the dreaded word precedent? Did the Trust forget the people?

A community’s self-sufficiency is based on the ability of its population to maintain itself, to foster and encourage sustainable growth, to respond to changing times for the benefit of the entire community. Entropy is the result of an unchanging response. Entropy leads to the death of an organism.

Salt Spring has been blessed in past years to be what I call a stand-alone community. One did not have to leave the island for services/amenities unless one wished to…the island was not a bedroom community of towns on nearby Vancouver Island. Can we say this is still the case?

In recent years, did the elected trustees overstep their mandate and stray into lifestyle decisions of the residents? Businesses that gave work to local residents have closed and moved off-island. More may be considering this.

The big box stores in Duncan are only a 20 minute ferry trip away: Home Depot, Walmart, Rona, Staples, London Drugs, plus the satellites that go along with plaza life (Starbucks, Tim Hortons, KFC, et al).

The Chamber of Commerce also has a mandate: to support local/community businesses and to create an atmosphere of opportunity for them. It is a volunteer body.

Salt Spring, as part of the Islands Trust governance model, is not a municipality. There are two elected trustees per Gulf Island. There is also a CRD director…CRD stands for Capital Regional District. This is also an elected position. As an unincorporated area, Salt Spring is under Victoria’s CRD re building permits, septic installations, etc.

One can see, though, as population slowly grew, since 1974, that there was a void there. The Trust is about land use bylaws. The CRD is about granting septic and building permits, so that construction is to current code requirements. There is no local elected mayor/council to aid the community’s progress.

What about an overall plan to ensure that residents lifestyles are also encouraged and preserved?

There is no funding from the provincial government to the local Chamber, as the Island is not a municipality. Thus, Chamber activities to benefit local businesses are all volunteer driven…with monetary support for tourism related events raised from the same local businesses.

The economic meltdowns between late 2008 and late 2012 caused tourism to halt in all secondary home/discretionary areas. On Salt Spring, tourism in 2010 & 2011 was apparently down by 40%. This affected accomodations, restaurants, studios, galleries, real estate…which in turn affected lawyers, contractors, architects, etc. It’s a wheel that rolls or else falters and collapses.

There is, at the moment, a sense that no one has been looking after the preservation of the Island’s lifestyle…no one helping the residents.

When I arrived in 1989, it seemed that “everyone” was here: affluent, old hippies, artists, farmers, retirees, young families, teachers, nurses, ferry employees, retail owners, summer people, spec builders, etc. Just the normal mix in any small rural community.

So…what happened?

Is it just the law of unintended consequences at work? Is it that those initial regulations to address uncontrolled growth have spawned into more regulations, narrowing interpretations of original bylaws, simply to fill a void?

The community did seem, in the 80s and early 90s, to work together…it still comes together to help when someone is afflicted with an accident or loss by outside circumstances. There now, though, also seems to be a very divisive attitude in evidence…fixed positions…no conversation of negotiation.

I sense that Salt Spring is well on its way to being a safe haven for an affluent buyer. It may be that those who service such an area will be coming from off island. The Trust’s point in 1974 was to preserve the park. This was accomplished.

A decision to control growth in a beautiful area does have the effect of making it a place one has to be able to afford. The Trust created, on all the Gulf Islands, an eventual outcome of being expensive places to live. The old adage of supply and demand in play.

It is what it is.

The Trust could have created thoughtful affordable housing zonings, industrial land groupings, & thus have preserved small family businesses, that hire locals, that support other local businesses. They did not.

Currently, there is a governance study underway on Salt Spring. There will be an eventual referendum to decide whether or not to have a Gulf Islands Municipality. This is the second such study/referendum process.

If a yes vote? The Trust would remain, with two elected trustees, and the bylaws in place. The CRD role would be taken over by an elected council, on Salt Spring, and so there would be local people in place to look after lifestyle options for the residents. The encroachment of the Trust into this realm, to fill a void, would end. The Trust, its elected local trustees, and its land use controls would remain.

Very recently, the CRD has struck a committee known as the EDC (Economic Development Committee). This committee has pulled people from local groups such as: accomodations, tourism, chamber volunteer groups…is it a think tank? Is it working to fill that local presence void, in case the governance study outcome is a nay vote? Are your concerns being met? Ask questions!

Is incorporation a good idea for Salt Spring? Attend the meetings, listen with an open mind. It’s an important issue with a serious outcome, on either side of the question.

My hope is that Salt Spring Island will remain that vibrant stand-alone community structure, with opportunity for all population segments. How best to ensure this?

Be a part of the decision making…it’s your island, after all. Be informed.

Tourism engenders real estate outcomes and thus ensuing good business outcomes for all other enterprises. Another reason to support the Chamber of Commerce.

The real estate market on Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands, and on Vancouver Island is still slow in sales. There is an increase in interest…inquiries are stronger…there is no marked trend, yet. In 2012, most sales were in entry level residential. In the final months of the year, some upper tier priced residential options found their buyer…at reduced price points from list pricings. Undeveloped land and commercial options remained “flat” throughout 2010, 2011, and 2012.

It may be that 2013 will be a year of authentic recovery in real estate in our secondary home/discretionary area. It may take until July to see this build in. The main sales now take place, in our seasonal marketplace, between mid-July and November. With the impact of the Internet, it’s important to be listed and “present”…otherwise, how will the searcher discover a specific property? Perhaps by early May, the trend-line for 2013 will be sufficiently in place to see a pattern.

The driver to action this year may be the seeking of a safe haven. Preservation of capital and the ability to be self-sustaining are powerful motivators to action. The cash on the sidelines may be flowing back into secondary home markets, and globally so. The issues in Cyprus, towards the end of March, may have hastened this shift out of cash, held in savings, in financial institutions.

Many insecurities abound, globally, and the Gulf Islands are not exempt.

What can we appreciate? A micro-climate that enjoys a year round opportunity, farms and the 10K diet are alive & well. The best protected boating waters in the world, at our doorstep. Ecological beauties to enjoy. Creative & thoughtful people to bring forward solutions to 21st Century issues. Lucky us, we who now call this region “home”.

May I help you to discover your special property on Salt Spring Island, on the Gulf Islands, and on Vancouver Island? Your best interests are my motivation. Please call…look forward to meeting you, and to helping you become an Islander, too!