Tag Archives: salt spring

Salt Spring Island, August 2022, Market Analysis

Something we know for sure: the 2022 real estate market is very different from the 2021 pattern.

Buyers have not lost interest in a Salt Spring or Gulf Islands property purchase.

The desire to experience the rural lifestyle, to be “apart” from city issues, to be self-sufficient, all remain as the base lines of such interest.

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

Buyers are hesitating on the way to making a decision. The bidding frenzy (for five months) seen in 2021 has long gone.

Fear is the archtypal inhibitor.

Rising interest rates, inflation impacts, supply chain woes, wars and rumours of wars, currency worries…these all create a safe haven seeking. Yet action can stall.

When to hold? When to act? Are prices going down? If I wait, will a seller be more inclined to listen to my offer? Is it a buyer’s market now? Uncertainty brings a treading water pattern.

Note: classic sellers market means few listings and many buyers. Classic buyers market means lots of listings and few buyers.

Listing inventory is rising very slightly. At the moment, there are still few available listings as soon as one separates out by property type and price point. There is not a large spill-out of property opportunities. Inventory is best described as still “thin”.

Some owners are removing listings from the market; they are wanting to hold their Salt Spring and Gulf Islands assets. In inflationary times, real estate keeps pace.

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

Others, remaining as sellers, will counter at full price or close to it when an offer does come in. If their property has no competing parcel, then more than one buyer may come forward. This means the buyer still has to come towards the seller.

None of this sounds like a big market correction or a segue into a full buyers market. In a buyer considering an outcome, there are bound to be pauses. A flat line pause is not a downward spiral. So…in August (and summer is a slower season as people are on holiday) 2022, it can perhaps be described as a thoughtful market.

Thoughtful is good. It allows time for a buyer to do due diligence, to have subject conditions on an offer, to be satisfied on the purchase. It also allows time for the seller to consider right pricing. A seller once again needs to prep to sell at optimum.

Price is the only thing a seller is in control of. A buyer decides the where and the when of a purchase. It is always a two step dance between a seller and a buyer.

We may have to wait until the end of October to see the outcome of the 2022 summer season market. The entire year to date has seen a 6 to 8 week delay in many instances (weather, gardens, markets). 2022 is slower than 2021…perhaps it’s more like 2019 (pre-pandemic)…but it may not be the expected “correction”. Important to keep an eye on things, perhaps weekly. Change is just a part of the 21st Century surround sound…shift is with us.

More information on the current Salt Spring and Gulf Islands real estate market? Look forward to connecting with you.

Salt Spring Island, August 2022, Thoughts & Market Musings

The Gulf Islands & The Beauty Shimmering Around Us

Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands breathe blue, that lovely French blue palette, of sea and sky. You know…the hue that makes us dream.

It’s a short season. Remember your Omar Khayyam (“the bird is on the wing”), and give yourself permission to enjoy this season’s ease….

A kayak meander here, a sunset beach there, a drifting across a lake on a paddle board, an ice cream cone on a dock, a coffee at a seaside patio with a view…pack a picnic and scamper down to Ruckle Park (always a good place to start).

The ferry goes back and forth, to and fro, and the floatplanes chortle in and out. The Harbour ripples through the marina.

Somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, everyday concerns pile up…summer-summer turns away…later is the mantra. It can all wait.

Right now, a seal slides past, an eagle ponders from a tree, and summer smiles over Salt Spring…enjoy.

Salt Spring Island, July 2022, Market Analysis

Salt Spring Real Estate Market, July 2022

For several years now (maybe 20+??), I have been offering up my market thoughts at the start of each month.

A surprising number of people both read and comment on same…and I am so appreciative.

Am in the midst right now of changing things up…how information is disseminated is changing (along with every other change that seems to be underway).

Salt Spring Island

I will be back soon with continuing “thoughts”…for the moment, though, am not creating my usual first day of the month report.

Change, change…everywhere a change. I know the words to that 70s anthem.
Salt Spring Island
Meantime: wonderful summer-summer is with us and it’s a short and lushly beautiful season.

Catch a ferry, get a seaplane…arrive by private boat. Enjoy Salt Spring’s summer pleasures.

July 1st…it’s the annual celebration of Canada Day. Summer-summer is with us.

December 2021, Salt Spring Island Market Analysis

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.
Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

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”!

May 2021, Salt Spring Island Market Analysis

Bidding Wars & the Rush to Rural

At the beginning of each month, I give my market thoughts. During the ensuing days of that month, I give market updates via my regular blog.

For the past several months, I have referred to the very low inventory of listed properties. This thin inventory is coupled with huge buyer demand. Bidding wars have become standard procedure. The inventory keeps shrinking and few new listings come onstream to replace the steady sales. Owners, unless they have to, do not want to be sellers.

This clear-out of inventory for Salt Spring began around June 23, 2020, when the ten week closures, throughout B.C., ended. When B.C. Ferries reinstated routes and sailing schedules, the rush to rural in our area began.

Salt Spring Island, Land & Luxury Residential Homes

This kind of intensity always begins with entry level residential and then evolves to the luxury residential segment and to undeveloped land opportunities. By late February, 2021, bidding wars were underway in the residential segment. By late March, undeveloped land options began to sell. Most buyers continue to be from Vancouver.

The allure of a rural lifestyle is now in synch with the ability to work from home. The pandemic has created a viable digital lifestyle, and this, along with continuing low interest rates, has resulted in historic sales patterns in all secondary home regions. This includes on Salt Spring Island.

The buyers are looking for a year round lifestyle, with health care options (Salt Spring has a hospital), education options (3 elementary schools and a junior/senior school), and all services/amenities available without having to leave the island.

The form of governance for all Gulf Islands is the Islands Trust (a provincial government body), and for Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands the CRD (Capital Regional District, out of Victoria) is also part of the governance model. Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands are not municipalities.

Truly is a lifestyle rewrite

Buyers at the moment plan to live full-time on Salt Spring…this truly is a lifestyle rewrite. Recreational living has been a mainstay on all Gulf Islands for many years. Choosing to live full-time is different. This may bring about a more sustainable year-round business outcome…with less emphasis on seasonal tourism as the economic driver on the Island.

Post-Pandemic Salt Spring Island

Change is definitely the mantra as we struggle to be fully post-pandemic. Digital ways are predominant. Ever more important to seek new outcomes for marketing and presentation of both real estate and visitor experiences. In change lies opportunity.

Meantime, the splendour of May is erupting all around us…so important to really “see” and to savour the natural world. Nature both restores and nurtures us. Maybe time to re-read those Romantic poets that we endured in school? Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands surround us with beauty…enjoy!

Current Inventory & Sales on Salt Spring Island

And real estate? At this very beginning of May, there are approximately 29 residential listings…without separating out townhomes, waterfront, acreages…just “residential”. These options range from 499,000 to 14,000,000.

At this very beginning of May, there are around 37 land listings. Again, not separating out waterfront, acreages, lots…simply undeveloped land. Prices range from 239,000 to 2,495,000.

At this very beginning of May, there have been 130 “solds to date”. Sale prices have ranged from 199,000 to 5,645,000. Half of the sales have been below one million and half above. The number of sales to date is about the same as sales for all of 2020.

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

This attrition of listings is the same in all secondary home markets, including on Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands. Owners are wanting to stay where they are, unless they have to sell. Buyers wanting to move full-time to a rural area are on the move. The ability of the internet to now support working from home…wherever home happens to be…allows this choice. The acceptance by consumers of this work from home concept is a part of the shift. A perfect storm, resulting in profound societal change. (And, we didn’t even get to look at peer to peer connections in the block chain era!).

Well, Thales, one of those savvy Ancient Greeks, did alert us that we never step in the same river water twice

May is one of the most beautiful months on the entire Pacific Northwest Coast. Give yourself the gift of experiencing it all…choose a different place to visit, on Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands, every day. Lucky us to be here!

April 2021, Salt Spring Island Market Analysis

Here we are at April 1st. The beginning of real Spring. Early April mirrors March…late April is a forerunner of amazing May. April is a shift month.

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

 

Salt Spring Island, A Unique & Creative Space to Call Home

Whatever the season or weather pattern, beautiful Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands welcome one…these islands nestled in the Salish Sea are unique and creative spaces to call home.

Is It Easy to Move to Salt Spring Island?

Real estate in the Gulf Islands is always slightly apart from larger market trends. The form of governance in these islands is a provincial government body known as the Islands Trust.

Created in 1974 by the government, to “preserve and protect” the environmental beauties of the islands for the benefit of all B.C. residents, the Trust has curtailed growth (via strict zoning/bylaws). This effective cap on growth ensured that the Gulf Islands would remain these lovely park-like entities.

A cap on growth means that, over time, these islands will become enclave areas that one will have to be able to afford…already, they are not entry level pricing areas. First time buyers are not usual, without family help.

Mount Baker

Mount Baker

What was B.C.’s response to covid?

B.C.’s first response to covid was to shut down/require people to stay at home. A ten week covid closure was in place by March 12/20. Around June 23/20, restrictions were softly lifted and Immediately a strong real estate sales pattern clicked into place. The allure of a rural lifestyle was the theme.

Starting with entry level residential and then including affordable lots/acreages, the inventory thinned out and price points on Salt Spring began to rise…“bidding wars” occurred by mid-February 2021. Around late February/early March 2021, the higher end/luxury properties segment caught sales interest.

The Vancouverite Migration

Almost all buyers were from Vancouver and they were wanting to live permanently on Salt Spring. Sale prices to date range from 199,000 to 5,645,000. The volume of sales to the end of March now match an entire year’s sales in previous recent times.

So, at this very beginning of April, we have 39 residential properties listed. Townhomes, waterfront, view, farms are not separated out…it’s just residential/dwellings.

  • 15 listings are between 349,000 and 995,000.
  • There are 13 listings between 1,069,000 and 1,985,000.
  • There are currently 5 listings between 2 million and 2,699,900. One listing is at 4,995,000.
  • There is a listing at 5,995,000.
  • A farm parcel is listed at 6,688,800.
  • An acreage is asking 12,000,000
  • a waterfront acreage is on at 14,000,000.
  • A waterfront farm is asking 14,000,000.

We have 45 land listings at this very beginning of April, again not separating out type…just undeveloped land options. Prices range from 239,000 to 2,495,000

  • There have been 77 solds to date
  • There were 58 sales below one million
  • 14 sales between one and two million
  • 4 sales between two and three million
  • and one sale over five million

This extraordinarily thin inventory of listings is partly due to strong buyer action. It also reflects owner reluctance to be a seller. Unless they “have to” sell, most owners are choosing to “hold”.

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

A Hyperbolic Market

One recent scenario: one entry level priced listing and twelve buyers for it, resulting in a listing agent stating a time for all offers to be presented, no ability for a buyers agent to present their offer, the offers all seen by the seller at same time and a choice then made. This kind of outcome is why many buyers put in unconditional offers and also why the offers are “over ask”. It’s a hyperbolic market everywhere. Salt Spring is no exception. Will it last? Ah…the key question.

A Lifestyle Rewrite

The lifestyle rewrite in this post-pandemic moment is the main propeller to rural real estate activity, throughout B.C. Vancouver sellers remain the main buyers in all the secondary home venues. Recreating a life script is a strong motivator to action and this does not seem to have run its course…perhaps it’s just beginning?

Salt Spring Island & Land Banking

Also to be considered: the desire for safe hard asset investment, as a way to preserve capital in an era of printing press currencies and fears of inflation. Land banking is one such outcome. Current low interest rates invite buyer ability to buy. The societal shift to all things digital and the “work from home” ethic have become mainstream, which allows a rural move. Everything seems to have coalesced…the perfect storm, if you will.

Lack of inventory may continue for some time. An outcome will be serious price escalation.

There is always opportunity, no matter the background noise of daily events.

Are you thinking of selling? Call me…I look forward to sharing my knowledge of this current sellers market trend. You may decide to “hold”…you may decide to sell. “Of the moment” market knowledge is essential to make that important decision. I look forward to connecting with you. As a top selling agent, I bring to your benefit my expertise, plus creative and productive marketing solutions (local and global), and a solid understanding of the sale process.