Salt Spring Island Real Estate | May 2011 Market Update

Salt Spring Island Real Estate | May, 2011.

Some market “thoughts”…

So, our first “third” is over…January to April. Now begins our real
sales season: May to September.

Potential buyers now arrive physically on island, to view what may have
caught their attention at an earlier moment, either from a targeted
specialty print ad displayed where they live or from an Internet search,
and they may decide to make an offer at a later moment, but the main time
period for viewings falls between mid-May and mid-September.

Essential to be presented to the market throughout the year, though, even
when the buyers aren’t physically present to view…the search engine eye
is never closed.

Time and geography have been erased by the Internet. The buyer is “out
there”, seeking, and so a seller must be visible, at all times.

No time/always time…never “off”.

Sellers and realtors need patience..,the buyer is in charge of the where
and the when of a transaction process in a secondary home/discretionary

No one “has to” buy on any Gulf Island, it’s all a decision about
choice…there is no propeller to action.

Choice of which island and where on a specific island and when to commit
to a purchase…it’s all up to the buyer. In a downmarket, a decision to
buy a second or a retirement home can be put “on hold”.

There are whisperings of action in all discretionary areas, this year, in
residential offerings, and this includes the Gulf Islands marketplace.

Undeveloped land, commercial options, recreational/retreat choices remain
quiet. Step-in ready homes, not “fixer-uppers” are catching the attention
of the reluctant buyer. The main action is still seen in the entry level
price points. When a buyer does make an offer, there is often still a
substantial spread between a list and a sale price.

Some companies/realtors continue to insist on price reductions to try to
encourage more viewings/offers. In a discretionary marketplace, where
the buyer is in charge of the process, this rarely works…it does mean,
though, that all sellers have to follow suit, in an effort to remain
competitive.Local market manipulation is a real thing.

A concern over potential currency instability, a seeking of a safe haven,
a worry about hyper-inflation…these might be a reason for some renewed
interest in good real estate hard asset investment.

All of the above seem to showcase a transition period…in such moments,
everything is on the table, all at the same time, there’s no clear
pattern, and all that can be said is that there is “movement”.

Perhaps we’re in year six of a seven year “downturn”, and thus may be
starting up the slope to improvement. Statistics seem to show an upswing
in volume and in some regions even slight price increases are being seen.

No pattern to be counted on, yet, but the appearance of an improving trend
is heartening. Confidence from the consumer is the key, and slow signs of
this are underway.

There has been a steady residential sales record from first of January to
end of April, and this seems to be a return to 2007 rhythms.