January 2015, Market Analysis

January 2014, Salt Spring Island Real Estate

Welcome to these early days of the first month of a brand new year.

Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island
Named after Janus, the Roman god who looked behind & ahead, at the same time, January straddles what has been & what will be, in real estate outcomes.

Many indicators are out there that are predicting a strong transition from a down to an up market, in the secondary home marketplaces, & globally so.

Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands, & Vancouver Island are often the tail of the dog in a market recovery. A recovery is never even-handed. Some places & some property types recover faster than others. The good news: if every story has a beginning & a middle & an end, then here, on the coastal “rim”, we are at the close of the transition “middle ground” between market trends.

The beginning of the recovery might be seen as having become visible by October 2013. It began with sales volume increase in the entry level residential category. Prices did not stabilize.

By October 2014, all property types were finding interested buyers (undeveloped land, higher end residential offerings, thinning inventory in entry level residential options, which helped to solidify prices, & even commercial sales began to occur).

No market ever stays up or down

No market ever stays up or down. Since late 2013, then, our slow coastal region’s recovery, in discretionary areas, had begun.
Ganges Harbour
I often think that secondary home sales mirror the fine art world’s sales pattern…perhaps within six months. The late Fall 2014 art action at the auction houses would seem to point towards an active secondary home sales rhythm to be in place by April/May of 2015.

Perhaps safe haven investing is the biggest motivator to sales in a discretionary/recreational marketplace, right now. If there is a concern about currencies, then a hard asset purchase might be an outcome of such a worry. It’s about preservation of capital. The plus of self-sufficiency might be an alluring factor for choosing Salt Spring & a Gulf Island as the destination. Our lower Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar is also often an attractor to a buyer, for our area.


January is a good time to attend investment conferences…listen well. Soak in the prevailing thought. Read investment articles…catch the vibe. Being informed is always the best first step in decision making.

It’s also important to act. The buyers market conditions are dissipating in the secondary home regions. Between now & April, we may see the “deals” evaporating. It has been a long seven year downturn in “by choice” markets. Indecision meant buyer inaction. That is over. Short-term, the upper tier priced residential opportunities may still see some price spreads between list & sale. The entry level market has seen price solidity develop.

If you have long dreamed of owning & enjoying a Salt Spring & Gulf Islands property, now is your moment to buy. The market is shifting upwards…which results in less inventory & higher prices. That’s the description of a sellers market.