Copyright, Li Read, 2020
I always think the calendar shift between seasons is a month out on the Pacific Northwest Coast. To me, November is the bringer of Winter.
Daylight Saving Time has returned to Standard Time, and the shorter days are with us. Temperatures cool. Rainy days that live up to the “wet coast” description come and go. Grey is the palette.
The continuing covid-19 restrictions (no large gatherings, social distancing, staying home if not feeling well, frequent hand-washing, sanitizer if not possible, wearing of masks in interior spaces) mean cancellation of loved seasonal events.
Online meetings, online shopping, online family and friends visits, online education, online medical, online legal advice....yes, it’s communication, but it’s very different from in-person meet-ups. It’s neither good nor not-good...it’s just different.
Marshall McLuhan, back in the 1970s, alerted us that “the medium is the message”. He was implying that our communication methods shape us. Is the online method making us observers instead of participants? Hmmmm......
Meantime, lovely Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands continue to shimmer forward, and to remind us of the beauty of all seasons in this region.
Real estate? At the very start of November, we continue to experience thin inventory and buyer desire remains high. Prices appear to have stabilized, although there remain many reductions at the point of a sale.
At this very beginning of November, then, there are approximately 137 residential listings. There are 36 listings between 299,000 and 998,500. There are 23 listings between 1,025,000 and 1,998,500. There are 7 listings available between 2,000,000 and 2,700,000. There is one listing at 3,100,000. There is one listing at 5,900,000. There is one listing at 12,000,000. There are two listings at 14,000,000.
At this very beginning of November, there are approximately 70 land listings. There are 60 listings between 149,000 and 995,000. There are 7 listings between 1,020,000 and 1,395,000. There are 3 listings between 2,150,000 and 2,495,000.
There have been approximately 211 sales to date, at this very beginning of November. There were 157 sales between 120,000 and 998,000. There were 48 sales between 1,017,000 and 1,900,000. There were 6 sales between 2,050,000 and 2,600,100.
Price reductions were seen in most transactions at the point of the offer, and price reductions were also still taking place en route to that “last list price”, before the accepted offer.
Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands are secondary home markets. Buyers choose to come to Salt Spring and to the other Gulf Islands. No one “has to”. It still takes time, and two visits if not three, for that interested buyer to choose the “where”.
Buyers want to be sure, before committing to the specific island...it’s always a two-step dance. Choose the island and then decide on the property.
As good residential inventory cleans out, there is more interest in undeveloped land and a building project. Questions? Call me! Your best interests truly are my motivation.
There are now many opportunities to showcase a property online. For several years, I have offered 3-D image rich plans and also video walk-throughs and drone videos. Now, these are just required items. Buyers, in spite of these specialty visual marketing options, are often asking realtors to do a face time walk through. Is the next step buying without an on site visit? Perhaps.
In past years, approximately 50 % of the buyers in the secondary home venues were from the U.S. and Alberta. The closing of the border back in March means no U.S. tourists and no potential buyers. Previously, U.S. & Albertans were recreational.
Since 2016, most buyers have been from Vancouver, and they plan to live in their new areas. This is another reason why it takes two (and often three) visits before choosing for Salt Spring or a Gulf Island...it’s that “being sure” thing, again.
November is the beginning of Winter here, regardless of what the calendar says. Yes, Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands enjoy that “cool Mediterranean” micro-climate and there are more sunny days/less rain than anywhere on the coast. Warmer, less rain, a temperate climate that allows for orchards, olive groves, vineyards, wineries, cideries, craft brewery...lucky us! Salt Spring offers a year-round lifestyle. Questions? Call me!
So...no large gatherings, cancellation of most seasonal events...a different kind of November, indeed, in the time of covid.
Important to pay attention to what is there, right in front of us, to experience and to enjoy. Whether selling, buying, or resting in place, we are in a beautiful environment, with a soft climate, and no thing remains the same forever. When our new normal finally arrives, will we be ready?
That winter pasture, looking sere and lifeless on its surface, is busy at the root level...when Spring arrives that eruption of new growth is suddenly there. Right now is perhaps our “tending the roots” moment.
So: read a fat book, collate family recipes to gift on to younger generations, cook from scratch, light candles for dinner, be cosy by the fireplace, write your memoirs, be totally at ease in the online world (lots of tutorials to look to)...if that’s our surround sound, then let’s be fully immersed in it. Plant bulbs...be wonderfully surprised when they flower forward in February. Decorate for Christmas and give pleasure to others.
Seeking your special place on Salt Spring And the Gulf Islands? I look forward to meeting you and to helping you to discover it. Call me!