December 2015, Market Analysis

December 2015

Around Salt Spring Island This Holiday Season

This month is a time of celebration, and Salt Spring offers many opportunities to enjoy this season: Wintercraft at Mahon Hall, Village Light-Up with Chili Cook-off and Shop Late & Social, the Beaver Point and Fulford Hall craft fairs, Glowtini contest & Shop Late & Social, Saturday Market opens for Christmas, Sunday Family Shopping Day, and Merry Monday in Fulford Village (thank you, Valdy). Plus, Santa arrives on a carol ship. It’s an authentic taste of a country village Christmas…enjoy!

December Snow - Salt Spring Island

Snow – Salt Spring Island

About Real Estate…

Real Estate sales in that entry level priced category, whether undeveloped land or residential options, have continued to drive our market outcomes. Some upper tier priced residential sales have strengthened, too, between August and now. Thinning inventory, renewed buyer interest in a secondary home/recreational/discretionary marketplace, a safe haven seeking aspect to this interest, a return to hard asset investment opportunities…it all spells a market recovery.

Markets are cyclic in nature…there are also beginnings/middles/ends in transition periods. I think the “end” is occurring right now. We may see a fast return to sellers conditions by Spring, 2016. The traditional market “window” on Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands is March Break to the Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend. It is never without activity, but the bulk of viewings do take place within this timeline. Sales take place at any time.

Sales volume appears to have doubled over last year, and the inventory up to a certain price range has also thinned dramatically. These are two items that underscore a move upward, in a market trend. Plus, undeveloped land sales are finally slowly starting, and that’s the third item one looks for, if seeking corroboration that the recovery is authentic.

In 2014, the sales pricing for a buyer seemed to hit a ceiling at around 550,000. This year, it’s around 750,000…again, a sign of a strong improving trend.

As of November 30th, there were 235 sales this year.

  • The first 14 (between 100,000 and 225,000) were undeveloped lots.
  • 26 residential options sold between 230,000 and 299,500.
  • 42 residential sales fell between 300,000 and 395,000.
  • 41 sold between 400,000 and 495,000.
  • 37 sold between 500,000 and 599,000.
  • 19 sold between 604,000 and 669,500.
  • 16 sold between 700,000 and 799,000.
  • 10 sold between 800,000 and 896,000.
  • 6 sold between 900,000 and 960,000.
  • 19 sold between 1,000,000 and 1,900,000.
  • one sold at 2,450,000.
  • one sold at 3,600,000.

Most of the sales over one million took place from July on.

When inventory starts to thin out, sales volume drops as the number of properties for sale is less…this is already happening in Victoria. This is when we see price stabilization and then increases.

I often think that the first two months of a year reflect the patterns of the last two months of the previous year. November/December have been busy. It appears that this rhythm will continue into January/February. It may take until March to truly see the tenor of the 2016 market.

There is always opportunity for a buyer at any point in time…there are properties available in all price ranges/types. More information on how the changing market trend can benefit you? Call me!

Whether selling or buying, your best interests are my motivation.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas this December and a very Happy New Year! Enjoy your special traditions.