The first of December is considered meteorological Winter, although the calendar says it begins on the 20th. The great Pacific Northwest Coast experiences shorter days (dark by 4:30 p.m.) and every year is slightly different, weather-wise. This year promises snow and arctic cold. I prefer the usual rain that has our west coast location often described as “the famously wet coast”. (I am allergic to snow at sea level).
Things To Do on Salt Spring Island This Winter
Lots of art gallery openings and receptions in December, plus the annual WinterCraft at Mahon Hall until the 23rd, the annual Beaver Point and Fulford Hall craft fairs (December 2 to 4), and other loved pop-ups…closed for two seasons due to covid closures, these displays of artistic flair are welcomed. ArtSpring offers choral/seasonal concerts…check out the website for dates. Enjoy the lights in the Village, and the decorated shops. Tasty special menus at coffee stops and restaurants…decorated farm gate stands encourage a jaunt around the island. Live music venues (Moby’s, the Legion) are fun. Check out the Christmas on Salt Spring events (the Chamber of Commerce website or Visitors Centre). Does Santa really arrive by floatplane?
Close to major centres and yet wonderfully apart…a visit to a Gulf Island/to Salt Spring Island can be a restorative and peaceful experience at this softer Winter season.
Real estate at this end of the year
Real estate at this end of the year time is still consistently chugging along. Buyers remain interested and active. Snow storms mean some delays for some viewings, but Winter does not last long in our region. Inquiries remain strong. Winter is often a weekend business in a secondary home market. The lack of inventory remains a factor. The desire for a buyer to leave the city and to live in the country is still the main reason for activity. That authentic internet connectivity allows this profound lifestyle change. A softer gentler lifestyle seems to be the goal. A very human need: to be safe.
Housing Supply & Purchase Taxation
The governments (provincial and federal) are attempting to solve the lack of affordable housing supply through taxation (offshore purchase taxation, empty home (speculation) tax, moratorium on non-Canadian buyers, interest rate rises), and yet the federal government is also looking for 1.5 million immigrants by 2025. CMHC has forecast that 22 million housing units would need to be in place by 2030, to solve this “lack of housing” crisis (not including immigration pressures).
First time buyers are affected by the series of interest rate rises. Some experts are forecasting more rate rises to come…others think not (possibly fearing societal unrest?).
Affordability is tied to supply…instead of taxing existing options, which does not grow supply, governments need to encourage construction…an entrepreneurial answer to supply and demand issues.
Real Estate – Still A solid hard asset investment
Meantime, real estate remains a solid hard asset investment (especially during currency fluctuations) and keeps pace with inflation.
December is a time to be thoughtful, a time to acknowledge traditions and to practice the art of gratitude. A time to create new traditions and to include those on their own in our celebrations. It’s fun to research other seasonal events and definitely important to have lots of candles, have a fire in the hearth, and to invite light into our homes. Maybe a year to reread Charles Dickens’ classic: A Christmas Carol?
Feasting is allowed. A pause is encouraged.
December…a time of joy. Good to partake.