July 2011 | Salt Spring Island Market Analysis

July, 2011.

Well, here it is…the “real season” has begun!

In the past, there used to be 3 “seasons” on Salt Spring & the Southern Gulf Islands: a short early Spring (Feb/March/early April), Summer (late May to early September), and the “off season” (October to January).

Tourism worked hard to keep activity consistent…events to bring attention to the Islands were stressing the “shoulder season” moments…different days, now!

Post-Internet, seasonality has been heightened. Someplace has become in competition with every place. The season in our region has shrunk to July/August/September, perhaps into early October.

The Gulf Islands/Salt Spring Island are not viewed as alluring winter venues…they are now seen as summer places.

The tourist visitor and prospective buyer (complementary streams of arrivals) go to Tucson, Palm Desert, Maui, Cabo…or the Caribbean…in the winter and enjoy the Pacific Northwest Coast in the summer…a skier might have a fractional ownership condo in Whistler or its equivalent, but main winter holidays would be in a sunny locale.

The Internet erased time & geography, & created Marshall McLuhan’s proposed “global village”.

Someone in the U.K. can enjoy a home in Spain, for winter vacations or seasonal retirement. Someone in Texas can escape the searing summer heat by retreating to a summer home on Salt Spring Island.

You get the drift…the entire world is now available to anyone…Chinese buying in Vancouver…or in Australia…or in Paris. Albertans buying in Scottsdale or Palm Springs . Brazilians buying in Florida….

What did I say? Some place is now in competition with every place?

It is essential to market to a breadth of potentials, to get the information out to where the buyer “is”…& then to create interest in the specific area, so that the buyer will choose the Island over Tofino or Qualicum or Sechelt or Kelowna or…anywhere at all.

Why here? Why not there? Time lags become more evident, as choice grows!

This is an amazingly beautiful part of the world, & the Southern Gulf Islands are in the heart of the best protected boating waters in this world.

The form of government, the Islands Trust, has a mandate of “to preserve & protect“, the environmental beauties of these island gems, for the benefit of all B.C. residents…their bylaws/zonings control growth.

No market stays up or down, and rarely “holds” in equilibrium. In the cyclical nature of a market, we may be in year six of a seven year downturn…which means we’re already on the way back up.

It may be that we will look back & decide that Sept/October, 2010, were the “bottom-bottom” of the market…certainly, savvy investor buyers were active then.

It’s not too late to act. Low interest rates for now, still motivated sellers, good inventory to choose from, price reductions around 30% from 2007 to present day…all of the above intertwined with a seeking of a safe haven and a concern over currency instability…sounds like an ideal time to turn to a good hard asset investment, for preservation of capital.

Hmmm…the societal shifts delivered by the Internet continue to work themselves out, and no endeavor is untouched.

Looking for your Island paradise? Call me! Successfully connecting sellers and buyers, on Salt Spring & on the Southern Gulf Islands, since 1989, it’s important to me that your best interests are promoted…I look forward to bringing my knowledge & expertise to your benefit.

Farms, waterfronts, acreages, view properties, commercial enterprises, investments for appreciation, private islands…I look forward to introducing you to your special opportunity.

How may I help you to buy your special Salt Spring Island or Gulf Island property?

Copyright, Li Read, 2011