February 2015, Market Analysis

February 2015, Market Analysis – Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

The reminder from that savvy Ancient Greek, Heraclitus, that we never step in the same river water twice, is a thought to hold onto. As he noted, the only constant in life is change.

3-D printer, robotics revolution, driverless car…the word is out: humans need not apply. So, if the age of jobs is over, what next?

Is the age of travel also over? Violence is found in all places. Going out to buy bread or meet a friend for coffee can result in death by violence…a politically motivated person can take events into their own hands & too bad for you, in the corner of the cafe, minding your own business, with totally distant thoughts.

What did John Donne alert us to? Never send to ask for whom the bell tolls, for it tolls for thee? That, yes, & also the reminder that any man’s death diminishes us all.

So, as usual, the poets instruct us.

Cavafey, a recent Greek poet, reminded us that there’s no point in waiting for the barbarians to arrive…they are already here…they are us. Isn’t that the news that Pogo brought back from the swamp? I have seen the enemy & he is us?


Meantime, Voltaire suggested that we might want to just stay home & cultivate our own garden.

It’s difficult to offer specific outcomes in local real estate markets, when societal shifts of such a deep nature are in full swing. These societal shifts are shaping economic outcomes. Global rhythms shape specific regions…it’s called the global economy for a reason. No area is remote. The connectivity of the post-Internet world means the butterfly effect is in play.

A study of history, both far & immediate pasts, might be of some help when attempting an interpretive role.

When the Industrial Revolution exploded onto the centuries old agrarian lifestyle, it was a knife through an established & thus well understood pattern.

Today, technological innovation is slashing through the vestiges of the latter years of the 20th Century.

If you stand on the technology side of this shift, there is endless opportunity. If in the recent past…well…just read a George Eliot or Charles Dickens novel for some gloomier outcomes.



Big picture events colour our tiny lives. Within that frame, what does a move to Salt Spring Island, to a Gulf Island, to a Vancouver Island community offer?

Following Voltaire’s advice, a move to such rural coastal opportunities means experiencing community, means the ability to be self-sufficient, means the luxury of being slightly “apart”, without being isolated. These are safe haven venues. It is possible to be self-sustaining. More information? Call me!

Recent Salt Spring & Gulf Island sales appear to be predicting a shift from a buyers to a sellers market, in the secondary home markets. It is a slow but steady rhythm.

The tax assessments still reflect the past 7 year downturn. It may take until 2016 for the tax assessments to reflect recent sales volume uptick. Prices have not yet stabilized.

Thinning inventory will continue to highlight price stability…& possibly increases. The tail end of a transition period between market trends reflects both past & future, in the short-term.

Oceanfronts, oceanviews, acreages, building lots, residential, commercial, investment, recreational…varying types of properties, varying prices…your special property dream is out there, waiting for you.

I often find that the first two months of a new year follow the patterns of last two months of the previous year. Most sales have remained in that entry level residential segment. The spread between list & sale prices has been narrowing in this property segment…lower inventory encourages strengthening prices. Some recent sales in undeveloped land may also predict an uptick in a market. Sales growth in the upper tier priced residential market appears to be underway…price reductions at point of these sales remain dramatic.

The sudden collapse in commodities markets may have serious outcomes for the secondary home marketplaces. An Alberta buyer has been a traditional coastal purchaser.

It takes until mid-March to see the first aspects of a new year market take shape. March Break is the traditional beginning to the “season” on Salt Spring & the Gulf Islands.

I usually write my market thoughts at the beginning of a month. Between early January’s “report” & now, we saw events in France plus a continuing crash in the commodities markets…societal & economic shifts together can deliver a “pause” to a discretionary marketplace.

It’s important to act prudently. Should one make a lifestyle move to a softer/gentler place, & live more simply, & slightly “apart”? Hmmm…. Decisions, decisions. In change lies opportunity.

How may I help you to buy your special property on Salt Spring Island or on another Gulf Island or on Vancouver Island? Please contact me…your best interests are always my motivation.

Looking for information about specific areas? Information about properties and opportunities? Call me! Benefit from my knowledge (of inventory & market trends) and from my expertise (experience counts!).