I always think the calendar shift between seasons is a month out on the Pacific Northwest Coast. To me, November is the bringer of Winter.
Daylight Saving Time has returned to Standard Time, and the shorter days are with us. Temperatures cool. Rainy days that live up to the “wet coast” description come and go. Grey is the palette.
The continuing covid-19 restrictions (no large gatherings, social distancing, staying home if not feeling well, frequent hand-washing, sanitizer if not possible, wearing of masks in interior spaces) mean cancellation of loved seasonal events.
Online meetings, online shopping, online family and friends visits, online education, online medical, online legal advice….yes, it’s communication, but it’s very different from in-person meet-ups. It’s neither good nor not-good…it’s just different.
Marshall McLuhan, back in the 1970s, alerted us that “the medium is the message”. He was implying that our communication methods shape us. Is the online method making us observers instead of participants?
Meantime, lovely Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands continue to shimmer forward, and to remind us of the beauty of all seasons in this region.
Real estate? At the very start of November, we continue to experience thin inventory and buyer desire remains high. Prices appear to have stabilized, although there remain many reductions at the point of a sale.
137 residential listings
- 36 listings between 299,000 and 998,500
- 23 listings between 1,025,000 and 1,998,500
- 7 listings available between 2,000,000 and 2,700,000
- One listing at 3,100,000
- One listing at 5,900,000
- One listing at 12,000,000
- Two listings at 14,000,000
70 land listings
- 60 listings between 149,000 and 995,000
- 7 listings between 1,020,000 and 1,395,000
- 3 listings between 2,150,000 and 2,495,000
211 sales to date
- 157 sales between 120,000 and 998,000.
- 48 sales between 1,017,000 and 1,900,000
- 6 sales between 2,050,000 and 2,600,100
Price reductions were seen in most transactions at the point of the offer, and price reductions were also still taking place en route to that “last list price”, before the accepted offer.
About Salt Spring In the Winter?
Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands are secondary home markets. Buyers choose to come to Salt Spring and to the other Gulf Islands. No one “has to”. It still takes time, and two visits if not three, for that interested buyer to choose the “where”.
Buyers want to be sure, before committing to the specific island…it’s always a two-step dance. Choose the island and then decide on the property.
As good residential inventory cleans out, there is more interest in undeveloped land and a building project.
There are now many opportunities to showcase a property online. For several years, I have offered 3-D image rich plans and also video walk-throughs and drone videos. Now, these are just required items. Buyers, in spite of these specialty visual marketing options, are often asking realtors to do a face time walk through. Is the next step buying without an on site visit? Perhaps.
What is the Secondary Home Market Like in BC, Canada?
In past years, approximately 50 % of the buyers in the secondary home venues were from the U.S. and Alberta. The closing of the border back in March means no U.S. tourists and no potential buyers. Previously, U.S. & Albertans were recreational.
Since 2016, most buyers have been from Vancouver, and they plan to live in their new areas. This is another reason why it takes two (and often three) visits before choosing for Salt Spring or a Gulf Island…it’s that “being sure” thing, again.
November is the beginning of Winter here, regardless of what the calendar says. Yes, Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands enjoy that “cool Mediterranean” micro-climate and there are more sunny days/less rain than anywhere on the coast. Warmer, less rain, a temperate climate that allows for orchards, olive groves, vineyards, wineries, cideries, craft brewery…lucky us! Salt Spring offers a year-round lifestyle. Questions? Call me!
So…no large gatherings, cancellation of most seasonal events…a different kind of November, indeed, in the time of covid.
What’s Really Important?
Important to pay attention to what is there, right in front of us, to experience and to enjoy. Whether selling, buying, or resting in place, we are in a beautiful environment, with a soft climate, and no thing remains the same forever. When our new normal finally arrives, will we be ready?
That winter pasture, looking sere and lifeless on its surface, is busy at the root level…when Spring arrives that eruption of new growth is suddenly there. Right now is perhaps our “tending the roots” moment.
So: read a fat book, collate family recipes to gift on to younger generations, cook from scratch, light candles for dinner, be cosy by the fireplace, write your memoirs, be totally at ease in the online world (lots of tutorials to look to)…if that’s our surround sound, then let’s be fully immersed in it. Plant bulbs…be wonderfully surprised when they flower forward in February. Decorate for Christmas and give pleasure to others.