Copyright, Li Read, 2022
Almost everyone agrees that the entire Pacific Northwest Coast (this includes Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands) is approximately six weeks behind the normal Spring weather pattern. A typical La Niña weather outcome. So...June will be May. Some forecasters say we may not see “real summer” until mid-July. Hmmm.....
Meantime, the global concerns continue to roll along: wars and rumours of wars, stock market wild fluctuations, continuing pandemic concerns, supply chain disruptions, immigration pressures due to population dislocations, inflation, and the ever evolving tech changes that make some business models redundant while others become breakthrough patterns leading to the future. Well, that pretty well sums up this societal rewrite that is underway. That means individual lifestyle changes, too. Change is never easy...yet opportunity does live in change.
The lengthy covid shut-downs, with many events and businesses closed down for almost two years, did create anxiety, worry, and fear. In keeping lifestyles tamped down, out of fear, and so causing the demise of many livelihoods, quick trigger responses were also created...anger under the surface. Recovery after traumatic experiences takes time. As we hopefully continue to segue out of a closure mind-set, it’s important to be patient. It is easier to close down than to re-open. Essential to remember that we all recover from significant change differently...it is never one size fits all.
And what about real estate markets? The rush from urban to rural, brought on by the covid closures of 2020, and encouraged by the authentic ability to work from home, are still the main drivers to action in the secondary home markets.
In the main, the buyer profile on the Gulf Islands and on Vancouver Island is a Vancouver purchaser. The secondary home/recreational areas in B.C. depend on a busy Vancouver sales scenario. Pauses in that major city market create pauses in the rural outcomes. Low inventory and buyer interest still remain in place, at this time.
At this very beginning of June, there are approximately 63 residential listings on Salt Spring Island, not separating out waterfronts, view, farms...simply all residential offerings. Sixteen of these are listed between 239,000 and 995,000. Twenty-six of these are listed between 1,125,000 and 1,998,.000. Nine residential listings are between 2,100,000 and 2,890,000. Four are listed between 3,333,000 and 3,995,000. Two are listed between 4,395,000 and 4,595,000. Two are listed between 5,790,000 and 5,990,000. One is listed at 6,950,000. One is asking 11,975,000. Two are listed at 14,000,000.
There are approximately 24 land listings on Salt Spring Island, at this very first of the month, not separating out waterfronts, view, farms, lots or acreages...simply undeveloped land. Nineteen of these are listed between 259,000 and 998,000. Three are listed between 1,038,000 and 1,495,000. One is listed at 2,995,000. One is listed at 5,400,000 (a farm, three titles, 17+ acres).
Inventory remains very low. There are now some price reductions on the way to a sale, unlike the consistent bidding wars seen in mid-2021, and often there are further reductions at the point of a sale. The key seems to be about the amount of remedial work that may be needed by a property listing. A step-in ready home may sell at list price...there may be more than one offer and thus sell over-ask...but this is less often than in 2021.
The frenzy of sales action occurred between February and September 2021, and buyers (perhaps out of fatigue) are more measured in 2022. In response to Vancouver’s hot market in 2021, the provincial government is bringing in further significant changes to the Real Estate Services Act, throughout B.C. These changes may be in place by summer. One such would stop blind bidding and another would enact a three day cooling off period for a buyer, after an accepted offer. Stay tuned for more definitive information on these important changes.
Was this past February the “top” in buyer activity? Perhaps for the short-term moment...it is about supply, though, and the serious lack of housing supply may continue to uphold the sellers market scenario for some substantial time yet. Low supply and the strong desire to be safe...which implies a seeking of a rural/apart lifestyle...continue to propel the Gulf Islands markets. In inflationary times, real estate is also often viewed as a hard asset that keeps pace.
At this very beginning of June, there have been approximately 80 sales to date on Salt Spring. Forty-six of these have sold between 100,000 and 998,000. Twenty-nine of these have sold between 1,038,000 and 1,995,000. There were four sales between 2,000,000 and 2,559,000. There were two sales between 3,200,000 and 3,725,000. More information? Call me.
Meantime, whether it’s a continuing late Spring as June unfolds or a quick segue into summer-summer, the natural beauty experienced at this time of year is an inspiration. In our always daily busyness, it’s important to pay attention to this lush beauty displaying around us. Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands are in the heart of some of the best protected boating waters in the world (a kayakers dream) and are located mid-way between Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle. Easy to get to, and yet wonderfully apart.
There is always opportunity if you are seeking to buy or to sell a real estate holding. In these erratic times, on either side of the sales equation, creative thinking can carry the day. The Islands Trust, a provincial government body created in 1974, to preserve and protect the Gulf Islands, capped growth via strict zoning/bylaws. This ensures low inventory, regardless of market trend in play. More information on this non-municipal form of governance? Call me.
Look forward to meeting with you and to helping you with your Salt Spring Island and Gulf Islands property needs. Your best interests are my motivation. Benefit from my knowledge, experience, and expertise. “See Li for successful solutions”. Let’s connect.
2021 Medallion Club award.