Salt Spring Island, October 2023, Market Analysis

Authentic Fall

October delivers authentic Fall and the fullness of the Harvest season. Oct 1st is the annual Apple Fest. Don’t miss this. The Saturday Market continues till month’s end. The once every two years SSNAP (Salt Spring National Art Prize) is underway…another “don’t miss” event. The Parallel Art Show also underway, and special presentations at the Ganges galleries. Fall menus at our great restaurants. Perfect weather for hiking/walking trails. Spa retreats to help us ease into the softer season. The Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend, a truly Harvest celebration. Lucky Salt Springers!

Market Trends This Fall?

The Fall Market real estate trend? Continuing low inventory (the seller side) and continuing desire to leave urban for rural (the buyer side) are still the themes driving the Gulf Islands marketplace. For several years, the main buyer profile on the islands has been from Vancouver/Lower Mainland.

Price Stability

Low inventory is always a factor on the Gulf Islands due to the Islands Trust form of governance (in place since 1974). The preservation and protection mandate of the Trust created a cap on growth. The housing crisis of today is also an outcome of lack of supply right across the province and the country. The Gulf Islands are not immune. Until product meets demand, lack of choice for a buyer will keep prices stable and may also lead to further price escalation. The Gulf Islands are not first time buyer locations. That said, interest rate rises do affect city markets and what occurs in Vancouver does have a ripple down effect in the Gulf Islands.

At this very beginning of October, there are 97 residential properties for sale on Salt Spring (not separating out townhomes, single family, farms, waterfronts…simply residential offerings). Prices range between 172,000 (for a single-wide older mobile) to 11,975,000 (for an ocean view estate acreage). There are 40 properties currently listed below one million. (In a balanced market, there might be close to 200 residential listings on Salt Spring).

At this very beginning of October, there are 39 Land listings (not separating out lots, acreages, farm parcels, waterfronts…simply undeveloped land offerings). There are 17 commercial listings at this very beginning of October (some are business only options and others are land/buildings plus business).

At this very beginning of October, there have been 147 sales to date, with a mix of land, single family, townhomes, waterfronts, commercial, strata-resort options. Prices have ranged from 55,000 (for an older mobile in a mobile home park) to 4,288,000 (for a renovated waterfront home on a small acreage)…the bulk of sales have been below 1.4 million. More information? Seeking to sell or to buy? Look forward to your call.

So…October. A time to enjoy the season of harvest largesse and to cosy up before winter says hello. The shorter days allow for serious crisp evening star watching…is this the year to really learn the constellations? Never hurts to look beyond our everyday locations. Meantime, catch the mid-Fall pleasures. Lots to see and do and to enjoy. October smiles its welcome.