Copyright, Li Read, 2019
The entire Pacific Northwest Coast region experienced a once-every-twenty-years winter season weather pattern, which erased the 2019 projected early market.
A hurricane force wind on December 20th, with resulting power outages and severe forest damage, was replaced by an Arctic Front and snowstorm sequences (no melt between storms, due to cold)...the result of all of this was to cause a cancellation of potential viewers/buyers. Christmas/New Year week and February's Family Day Holiday Weekend were both affected by weather-induced pauses. The good news: everyone did rebook and March appears to have "busyness" at its heart.
Listings remain very low, in both residential and in undeveloped land options. With renewed buyer interest, coupled with this lack of owner desire to sell, we may see price escalation begin. It may take until late April/early May to see the true tone of this year, since weather issues have created a slow start to the market.
The Vancouver market is also beginning to reactivate, including in the higher end property segment. Vancouver sellers have been the main buyers on Vancouver Island and on the Gulf Islands, since mid-March, 2016. Hesitations from then to now can be attributed to various provincial government tax measures, specifically created to suppress the Vancouver market, plus El Nino/La Nina weather vagaries.
March sees the beginning of Spring, showcases the allure factors of Salt Spring, and invites market activity...to enjoy a property between late Spring and early Fall (the best weather months in our area), one pretty well has to buy in March/April.
Low Canadian Dollar against the U.S. dollar, low interest rates, lack of inventory that may drive future price increases (would see this, if turns out to be the case, by summer), and a renewed global seeking of a safe haven destination, are all reasons for increased action. The hesitations of 2018 (mostly a reaction to the many provincial government tax burdens in Vancouver) seem to be over.
How can you make this current market work for you? Whether a seller or a buyer, and no matter the market trend, there are always elements that can work to your benefit. Call me....let's discuss opportunities for you.
At the very beginning of March, then, we have 87 residential listings (not separating out waterfronts, townhomes, farms). There are 60 undeveloped land listings (lots/acreages). There are 14 commercial/business listings. There have been 10 sales to date, all residential, from 440,000 to 1,700,000.
It is more usual to see a total of 380 to 420 listings on Salt Spring...this lack of current inventory (147 residentially zoned options, including dwellings and undeveloped land), if continues, could lead to price escalation by the summer season.
March is an interesting month. It eases from winter into spring, daylight saving returns, and everywhere the resurgence of growth ignites our natural coastal beauty.
An annual Home and Garden show sponsored by the Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce takes place in mid-March and the beginning of the Saturday Market in the Park "season" is in place by month's end. Live music continues at Moby's, at Woodley's, at the Legion. ArtSpring showcases special events. And the days are enticingly longer...time to rediscover Salt Spring's hiking/walking trails, beachcombing pleasures, gallery spring openings...time to consider a garden.
Although Salt Spring is seasonless, in the sense that there is always something to discover and to enjoy, it is true that April to October are the famously most delightful months on the great Pacific Northwest Coast. March is the shaking off of winter and the preparation for "real Spring". Time for all of us to mirror the month and to shake it up a little.
Thinking of real estate this March? Call me. Benefit from my knowledge of inventory and market trends. Your best interests are my motivation.
How may I help you with your real estate needs in 2019?
Welcome your call!