June 2014, Market Analysis

Well, here we are at the beginning of June, a half-way point in our calendar year…yet only the beginning of our main sales window in our secondary home/discretionary marketplace.
Our busiest viewings/potential sales timeline has truncated down to mid-May (two holiday weekends) to mid-October (Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend). The most active months are July/August/September.

These summer season months dovetail with the boating season in our beautiful protected marine environment.

It used to be that our Salt Spring Island & Gulf Islands destinations were seen as “seasonless”…people would pop in as visitors & as potential buyers throughout the year, although with summer obviously still being the busiest time.

Post-Internet, though, decisions as to tourism destinations are global & Hawaii, Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Palm Desert, the Riviera, Spain, Portugal are seen as winter season ports of call…plus New Zealand & Australia, with their summer in our winter.


The entire Pacific Northwest Coast, then, has become this seasonally oriented tourist destination…late Spring, Summer, early Fall. I do believe that tourism drives real estate sales in all discretionary regions, & globally so. A shortening of a visitor timeline affects all resort-based area business.

Post-Internet, a potential property buyer also has huge choice as to where to buy that second home, whether for future retirement or recreational for now….

Choice. Too much choice means that it’s difficult to make a decision. An extra element of the post-Internet world.

Time lags for many reasons are a feature of all purchases in any secondary home/discretionary region…including on Salt Spring & the Southern Gulf Islands. Patience, then, is necessary on the part of both sellers & realtors. The buyer propels a market in any “by choice” area.

After a long six years of suppressed conditions, with price reductions between 29 & 45%, depending on property involved, with properties remaining on the market between 2 & 7 years, this year has so far seen a serious uptick in sales volume activity on Salt Spring Island.

Though still mainly busy in the entry-level property segment, the inventory in this category has also been “thinning out” & price points have thus been rising…it was the busiest March Break in six years. This early point in our ever shorter sales window usually foretells our main selling season…summer/early Fall. All good news, then, at this beginning of June moment.

June is often oddly quiet, until the final week. Until summer, it’s a weekend business. The Gulf Islands are recipient markets, buyers are not local, & a tourist visit often creates a real estate sales result.

To date, most sales remain below $800,000, mainly residentialwith the majority of sales below $600,000. A scant handful of sales are over one million. These are early days in our short seasonal market, & a true picture of this 2014 “year of recovery” may not be clear until late August.

One marker of authentic market shift, in an upward direction, would be the resurgence of the undeveloped land category.

There are many societal shifts underway right now. A seeking of a safe haven might be the reason for a return of interest to the secondary home marketplaces…including in the Canadian Gulf Islands.

The ability to be self-sufficient, the proximity to major centres, the peaceful allure of yesteryear in everyday life, the sense of community with all the 21st Century amenities at hand, with a temperate micro-climate, & in the heart of the best protected boating waters in the world…Salt Spring Island & the Gulf Islands are practically perfect.

Looking for your dream Island property? Call me! Your best interests are my motivation. I work for you!

There are many stellar properties awaiting your discovery: waterfronts, oceanviews, farms, vineyards, building opportunities, commercial/business options, acreages/lots…call me, & let’s view. This may be the tail-end of the buyers market….

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