Tag Archives: North America

May 2013, Market Analysis


Recently watched a cable t.v. knowledge network style bio on a local game designer…he was one of a few game programmers/designers to be given new virtual tour equipment, to see what kind of game he could come up with, in using it. Wow! There’s the 21st century for you. A small town techie on a par with silicon valley style locations.

Beyond the “anyone anywhere can invent the future” scenario, though, lives (perhaps) the next great thing.

If within 2 to 5 years virtual reality will be seamless & everywhere, a guesstimate by this game designer, then why will we need real malls, real storefronts, real showrooms, real offices…already the retail world is moving online, the most recent recipient of that Internet eraser.

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

What will our world look like in 5 years, when this gamer thinks virtual reality will be mainstream?

Will we need real schools? Will we have offices seemingly “there”, but just virtual versions? Retail will be virtual? What will home designs look like?

Hmmm…ok imagineers, it’s change that brings opportunity. Time to be creatively thinking.

And specifically, as it’s my current world, what effect will virtual reality have on real estate marketing?

And your thoughts are? Always welcome!

Locally, our real estate sales window has now become May, June, July, August, September…with the reminder that the first three weeks of June are always quiet.

A short and intense timeline, thus. People search all the time & year round, so it’s important to “be there”, on all the internet opportunities. Otherwise, areas won’t be discovered…people won’t come. So, marketing is a year round business and physicality is a 6 month affair with 3 months being the busiest. Hmmm….

In 2012, we saw a substantial increase in sales volume in entry level residential options. In the main, sales were below 400,000…best described as investments, with rental potential. Prices were not stable and reductions continued, in that search for the bottom. A handful of sales in higher end properties, towards year’s end, in waterfronts, was perhaps a sign of a move back into authentic real estate investment in unique areas. Many of these offerings had been on market for 4 to 7 years, & in spite of reductions in price, en route, there were further reductions at point of the offer.

The first quarter of 2013 has been oddly flat in sales. It may be that a digesting moment is underway: concerns over currency instability, the perceived over-creation of paper monies, banks not easily lending, the Cyprus issue, the threat of terrorism in North America, the intermingling of inflation & deflation scenarios, the search for a safe haven, the desire for sustainability…it’s a mix of all things, and the bottom line could be a flight to hard asset investment as a way to preserve capital.

Safe Haven Investing is my name for it, and Salt Spring Island & the Gulf Islands are beautifully positioned to deliver on this requirement: proximity plus being “apart”.

In many U.S. States, real estate has become very buoyant, with approximately 40% of sales to international buyers. And they are mainly cash sales.

I always feel that our area follows such statistics within 4 to 6 months. Thus, we may see this rush back to property by late July/early August…and there is not a large inventory of listings, as soon as one prioritizes type & price. Hmmm….

Treading water in May/June is perhaps a good idea. The trend for this year is just developing now.

If needing a sale, perhaps try to hang on till mid-July. Things are just starting to clarify.

If a buyer, an alert that the buyers conditions of the past 4 to 5 years may almost be over. These weeks may be the last time to discover a good residential offering at a price that recognizes the buyer point of view.

In either case, change is underway & is happening right now.

Hmmm. In change lies opportunity.