July 2024 – Salt Spring Island

July 2024


July welcomes the ease of summer pleasures.

Canada Day on July 1st is the anchor celebration. Check out the Visitor’s Centre for all the special offerings on Canada’s birthday (including the classic car show).

Summer Activities

Markets & Food

  • Saturday Market
  • Tuesday Farmers Market
  • Wine tasting at Garry Oak
  • Cider tastings (two cideries)
  • Olive grove
  • Craft brewery
  • Farmgate stands
  • Al fresco dining restaurants

Outdoor Activities

  • Hiking trails: Ruckle Park, Mt Erskine Park, Channel Ridge
  • Swimming: Vesuvius Beach, St Mary Lake, Cusheon Lake, Weston Lake
  • Kayaking
  • Whale watching
  • Drummond Children’s Park

Arts, Culture & Leisure

  • Studio tour
  • Village galleries: ArtSpring, Ganges Galleries, ArtCraft
  • Live music venues: Moby’s, Legion, Treehouse
  • Restorative spa experiences
  • Unique shops and specialty offerings

Experience the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the Gulf Islands. Take your ease and enjoy the summer pleasures!

Real Estate Trends

Real estate trends as we glide into the summer season? Although there can be lengthy pauses in action en route, the real estate market has seen continuing low inventory coupled with significant buyer interest for some substantial time…the effect of this ongoing trend is currently expressed in random pricings (stable, soft escalation, reductions at point of an offer… all are in evidence). This mix in outcomes highlights the fluidity of today’s world. The watchword of our time is “uncertainty”. This results in a stop and go pattern for buyer action, but it remains consistent.

Since 2016, most buyers in the secondary home/recreational regions have been from Vancouver/Lower Mainland. There have been ups and downs in market conditions over this timeline, but overall real estate has strengthened in value. Lately, we are seeing renewed interest from both Alberta and Ontario.

Most owners do not want to be sellers. The buyers arriving to view are seeking to drop urban for rural. There is always some increase of listings in summer/early fall, but not in significant numbers. As soon as one categorizes by price and type, one can see that the inventory continues to be very low. Buyers do not have a lot of choice in their preferred categories.

The push for rural over urban is one buyer trend and another is the desire for good hard asset investment. Buyers are concerned about currency issues and see ownership in a unique area as a preservation of capital decision.

The Gulf Islands have become a late summer/fall market, with prices generally higher than nearby Vancouver Island due to limited inventory.

Islands Trust and Housing

The Islands Trust, established in 1974, has capped growth on the Islands with strict density controls. This has led to consistently low inventory, regardless of market trends. The ongoing housing crisis across Canada is particularly pronounced in the Gulf Islands due to these restrictions.

Looking Ahead

So, we have arrived at the beginning of the last half of the year. Several years ago, the Gulf Islands became a late summer/fall market. It is a gift to be able to own and enjoy a Gulf Islands/Salt Spring Island lifestyle. Prices have always been higher than on nearby Vancouver Island, due to lack of growth inventory. The Islands are not really first time buyer territory. New ownership models may become a viable way to be a part of living on a Gulf Island…to own jointly with friends, or family. Single family ownership may evolve.

July… time to enjoy this season of warmth and largesse, to welcome the sense of ease it brings, to be inspired by sunsets and star watching opportunities.

A brief season. Already the days are becoming shorter. July… catch it! Enjoy.