December 2021, Salt Spring Island Real Estate Market
Rain and snow and then crisp days of brilliant sun, with mesmerizing ocean/islands/mountain viewscapes.
A time of seasonal lights, family traditions, special menus, craft fairs, markets, choral presentations…and a time of gifting to those who need it most.
Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands are offering the softer season delights to both locals and visitors. Take part! Support local.
December is also a time to look back at what has been and to look forward to what is emerging.
Strong Sales in 2021
There have been strong sales throughout 2021. In residential options, if listed below one million, there were several sales “over ask”. Only one property and several interested buyers…a recipe for bidding wars.
By Spring, higher end listings began to sell and also undeveloped land opportunities…as we edge to the end of the year, we have extremely low inventory in all property types and price points.
While the majority of sales are below 1.2 million, there are still many more sales above that mark, and that has not been seen since pre-2008 economic meltdowns. It seems that we have returned to a pattern not seen since 2004/05.
A societal rewrite
The flight from urban to rural is underway, and the authentic ability to work from home supports this. A societal rewrite appears to be happening. The outcomes of the changes that began with the first covid closures almost two years ago are not fully in place yet.
- At this very beginning of December, there are approximately 55 residential listings, not separating out waterfront, view, townhome, farm, lot, acreage. The prices range from 159,900 to 14,000,000.
- At this very beginning of December, there are approximately 28 land listings…not separating out waterfront, view, lot, acreage. Prices range from 259,000 to 4,900,000.
- Together, that means approximately 83 listings are available for a buyer to consider. Usually we would see a total of 300+ listings.
- At this very beginning of December, there have been approximately 265 sales to date, ranging between 199,000 and 5,850,000.
A desire to leave city congestion and seek a rural lifestyle continue to be the main propellers to action. The Gulf Islands offer a preserved environment, due to the Islands Trust form of governance (in place since 1974). Ask me about this important aspect.
The evolution of the internet so that it now fully supports the ability to work remotely is also a part of allowing the shift to smaller communities.
Owners in these areas do not want to be sellers, and that is also part of the reason for such low inventory. This is a true sellers market.
A Competitive Market
Buyers have to make their best efforts…they are in competition. They might need to consider renovation or building projects after purchase…buyers are not in the driver’s seat right now. Until there is more supply, this thin market will continue. It may take two years to see a further supply of housing come to market.
Concerns over inflation might also be a factor in land sales…real estate values keep pace with inflation. It is a strong hard asset. Land banking may be the reason for some land sales. Welcome your thoughts here.
There are always issues, of course. December, though, brings with it a season of light and joy.
Some loved Island events (such as Santa’s Carol Ship) were cancelled due to covid shut-downs, but many remain. Check the various holiday calendars for the Gulf Islands and enjoy the special events that are offered. Whether large or small celebrations, remember to enjoy the festive time. It is “the season”!