Copyright, Li Read, 2019
For many years now, Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands have seen strong sales between August and year end.
The Gulf Islands became predominantly summer/fall markets several years ago.
Some sellers don’t list their properties until August, as they want unencumbered enjoyment of their properties, for one last summer season.
Some buyers, who might have viewed a Gulf Islands property in the Spring season, might now be willing to act with an offer…there might be a little psychology at play, along the lines of: “seller may be noting that we are nearing the close of a seasonal marketplace, and so may be willing to accept a lower offer”. This could be so…although an outcome might also depend on motivation of a seller to sell.
At the beginning of August, then, we find a very thin inventory of listings continuing, and yet actual sales still take time to fill in.
Buyers who come to view Salt Spring or another Gulf Island or even a Vancouver Island community, seem to be interviewing areas. The main buyer profile remains someone from Vancouver/Lower Mainland. They plan to live where they choose to buy.
It does make sense then that these buyers will take time to check out the merits of various locale possibilities…why here? Why not there? Often, that “being sure” means two or even three trips to a region, “checking it out”, before deciding to make an offer on a specific property.
Patience is important on the part of a seller. It just seems to take the time it takes to accomplish a sale in any secondary home/discretionary area.
The first decision is always: “I choose for Salt Spring”. Then a potential buyer will be serious about purchasing a property. Before that decision about choosing “for” the Island, as the destination, viewings occur without resulting offers.
At the beginning of August, there are 135 residential listings (not separating out townhomes, single family homes, waterfronts). Of these, 69 are below one million; the majority are below 900,000. Over half the residential listings are priced over one million. Of these, 49 are listed between 1,020,000 and 1,999,900. Eleven are listed between 2,150,000 and 2,900,000. Four are listed between 3,200,000 and 3,895,000.
At the start of August, there are 97 lots/acreages for sale (again, not separating out waterfronts), ranging from 148,800 to 2,495,000.
By the beginning of August, there had been 89 “solds to date”, ranging between 135,000 and 1,700,000. Fifty-seven of these were below 800,000, supporting a pattern that entry level residential offerings were the most active segment in the first half of the year. In the latter part of the year (August to year end), one often sees interest in upper tier priced properties filling in. It should be clear by mid-October what the upper tier property market sales trend will prove to be in 2019.
Salt Spring Island enjoys a year-round lifestyle opportunity. Three ferries service Salt Spring, with consistent year-round service (to Vancouver, to Victoria, to mid-Vancouver Island). There are three elementary schools, a middle school, and a state of the art senior school. There is a hospital on Salt Spring and excellent care. There are regular year round floatplane companies servicing Salt Spring (to Vancouver airport and to downtown Vancouver). All services/amenities required for a pleasing 21st Century lifestyle are available on Salt Spring. It is not necessary to leave the Island, although it is easy to come and go.
Part of the Islands Trust, a body created by the provincial government in 1974, Salt Spring is also a part of the Trust’s mandate: to preserve and protect the environmental beauties of the Gulf Islands for the benefit of all B.C. residents. Salt Spring is not a municipality. Effectively, the Trust capped growth on all the Gulf Islands, via strict zoning/density bylaws. Two trustees are elected each civic election and also a CRD (Capital Regional District) director. Many of the wonderful things Salt Spring enjoys have been put in place by volunteers. Ask me about this!
Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands are in a microclimate known as “cool Mediterranean”. More hours of sunshine/less rainfall than in other coastal communities. Orchards, vineyards, wineries, craft brewery, cideries, olive groves, cheesemaker’s, farmgate stands…the rural agrarian life is here. Taste your way around the Island!
An authentic artists community, Salt Spring also enjoys a rich cultural life. Ganges galleries, Studio Tour, ArtCraft, ArtSpring. SSNAP (Salt Spring National Art Prize), 2019. More info? Call me!
August offers B.C. Day Holiday Weekend fun, Saturday Market in the Park (one of the 10 best markets in Canada), the Tuesday Farmers Market, live music venues (Treehouse, Moby’s, Legion, Woodley’s), Wednesday evening sailing races, kayaking to Chocolate Beach, sunset viewing at Vesuvius Beach, dining al fresco around the town, whale watching tours, swimming in ocean & lakes, forest breathing, and…your fave summer choices are? Share!
Salt Spring is a delectable place to visit and a very special place to call home. How may I help you with your Salt Spring Island real estate needs? Call me! Your best interests are my motivation. I look forward to your call.