Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sorry about the lack of posts....

Just back from a tour of the Gulf Islands. These places are really ground zero for the sales crunch.

The dynamic of each Island is different. The ones with limited infrastructure seem to be in the biggest trouble. Eg Galliano...lots of properties for sale, some look to have been abandoned by owners and are getting shabbier by the day...

Pender Island is loaded with listings too, some subdivisions seem to have almost every third house for sale.  Pender has some infrastructure - supermarket, doctor etc like Saltspring which is a like a small town, but even there listings have exploded and sales seem to be few and far between.

The market for these Island properties is a very interesting. These Islands used to be the hang-outs of the alternative crowd, especially Hornby and Galliano but they have long ago been pushed out by wealthy Mainlanders and US buyers driving to their week-end places in their Sequoias. The latter have been missing the last few years due to the weak USD and the US recession. Properties are much cheaper in the US Gulf Islands.

Saltsrping was always the artsy place and still is an artistic hub, with a few farms and lots of retirees. However for a number reasons the Islands have been on the wane for several years...

BC Ferries fees have been moving up..
The US buyers have disappeared and are net sellers from what I hear.
The peak for the family recreational cabin peaked with baby-bommers aging
The older baby-boomers want to be close to doctors, hospitals and services.
Pressured life styles leave little time to wait for an hour, get on a ferry for 3 hours and then return in two days.

In Summer when the tourists arrive, all the listings come out hoping to hook one of them. Buy in haste and repent at leisure.


  1. The small businesses on the islands must be affected by the Ferries hike(s) in price(s). We have not been to Saltspring's lavender farm for a while now, when Washington has plenty to offer to families with small budget.

  2. Mike Campbell over @Globus tonight was giving a glowing account of China's super economy. Lordy! Harper and/or Crispy ought to hire him as the PR guy.

    So far, China has approved only a few big projects, but has refrained from stimulating their property markets. They aren't that stupid after all. With the instability of the transition stage in their domestic politics, all property booms are off.

    Someone had just sold a property at 25% off the asking price@$22M in an Asian megapolis. The global house of cards has started.

  3. I was on Pender Island myself recently and noticed the mass of listing there as well.

  4. A picture tells a thousand words - this is Saturna island and those are stinging nettles:

    They've given up....

  5. any guesses for September's numbers?

    A few big sales may skew the averages, though we should see drops in most areas. However the HPI SHOULD show a good drop.

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