August, July 2014, Market Analysis

The main real estate sales window on the Pacific Northwest Coast seems to have evolved into a Summer/Fall market.

This may be the case on Vancouver Island, on the Sunshine Coast, as well as on the Gulf Islands.

Secondary home/discretionary markets have a different pattern from primary residence/city markets. “By choice” regions have been slow to recover from this past six year downturn.

At this very beginning of July, the uptick does appear to be underway, although it’s not an even-handed recovery & most sales to date still remain in the entry-level residential category.

It’s essential for a seller (& their realtor) to showcase listings throughout the year, in order to attract that mainly non-local buyer profile…but the physicality timeline for this non-local potential buyer to visit an area/view properties will mainly occur in July/August/September/October….perhaps into early November, depending on Fall weather pattern.

Along with this later arrival time, to view property opportunities, we are also seeing more “interviewing of areas” first.

With the “boomer” retirement wave just starting, & a strong desire from many Canadians from other provinces to choose a coastal retirement location, it makes sense that they might vacation here a good year or two before actually moving to a specific location.

Thus, Salt Spring & the Gulf Islands & Vancouver Island are in competition with each other…the potential purchaser has to “buy” the specific locale, first, before seriously looking at a property to purchase. Why here? Why not there? Serious questions!

The Internet search engines do allow a global discovery/audience. All that potential choice of destination, though, can make decision-making slower…if one can go anywhere for a retirement or a recreational choice, then that very broad choice parameter might lead to hesitation in decision…one wants “to be sure”.


Regardless of market trend, it can take one to three years to sell a specific property in any particular secondary home area. Time is always a component in the choice dance. Buyers set markets, not sellers or realtors. It’s only very recently that buyers are once again looking at the secondary home/recreational marketplaces.

The good news? Slowly slowly that secondary home/recreational marketplace is on the uptick, after that 6 year downturn. While mainly busy in residential sales of properties below 700,000, in the Gulf Islands/on Vancouver Island, the “real season” is just beginning…by October, sales should be occurring in all property segments.

For Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island? Slow but sure recovery…& eventually activity will be seen in all price points/property types.

Our market sales window has truncated down to July/August/September/October.Offers may come in later, but chances are that the viewing took place in those four intense months.

If a realtor is actively presenting a property, year-long, then a seller needs to have faith that they will deliver a buyer in the physicality timeline. The sale process is a slow one, for many reasons, in all secondary home markets.

In lieu of a monthly market update, this 2014 recovery year, I plan to let July/August take place…by mid-September, the shift should be clear, with provable statistics. Will report back in with verifiable statistics then, as opposed to reasoned projections right now. Important to let the beginning weeks of our “real market” take place. The rhythm/speed of our recovery is not yet totally clear.

Meantime, any questions, please contact me. I offer weekly driveby lists of all listed properties (not just board related options), plus weekly “solds to date” reports of all sales (not just board related options). The full information is thus always possible with me.

In September, I will report back with the total “actuality”, to that point. Meantime, it’s Summer, in the supremely beautiful Pacific Northwest Coast…enjoy!

Looking for your special piece of paradise? Your best interests are my motivation.

Whether buying or selling, please contact me for excellent service & all information. Knowledge is key.

Thank you!