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.