The total number of Real Estate sales in 2016 on Salt Spring Island was 364 sales - that is pretty well 1 sale each day! This is a record breaking number, the previous highest number of sales was in 2003 with 316 sales. The 17 year average is 239 sales annually. Between 2008 and 2013 inclusive the number of sales was below 200 each year.
In the rest of the Province the records show similar high numbers. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 112,209 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2016, an increase of 9.5 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was a record $77.6 billion, up 18.8 per cent from 2015. The average MLS® residential price in the province climbed 8.6 per cent to $691,144 on an annual basis in 2016.
The total value of all properties sold on Salt Spring Island was over $200 million.
What about the prices? The high sales volume exerted further upward pressure on prices and depleted the once overabundant inventory of properties for sale.
The Average sale price of non-waterfront residential property in 2016 rose further 12.5% from 2015, from $522,949 to $588,346. From the low in 2013 the average price of the non-waterfront residential sector gained 21.5%. We are now approximately at the 2007/2008 peak prices. See the graphs below.
Waterfront properties rose only about 5% in 2016; but this is a difficult number to quantify with the huge diversity of waterfront sales - the cheapest waterfront sale was a waterfront lot on the west side (Musgrave) for $150k while the most expensive was a property on Southey Point that sold for $4 million.
But the highest sale price on the Island was $5.3 mil for the Channel Ridge Development property.
In the non-waterfront residential sector (188 sales) the least expensive property was a home in Maliview for $189k and the most expensive was a non-waterfront residential home was $3.2 mil, incidentally again on Southey Point.
Total of 14 Brinkworthy Place homes and 24 townhomes changed hands in 2016, currently leaving only a small handful available for sale. The least expensive was a 1,050 sq.ft. townhome for $260k, the most expensive one sold in Grace Point for $760,000.
What is in the future?
It is expected that the sales volume will significantly decrease in 2017 (not much to sell!) but, stated with caution, the prices should continue to rise for a few more years. A negative factor to this trend could be the Vancouver market correction turning into a prolonged downturn (though not likely). Many of the Buyers come from the Lower Mainland seeking a new lifestyle on the Islands. However, we also get many Buyers from Victoria, Toronto and the rest of Canada. Often one property purchase by an off island Buyer triggers 2 or 3 local sales.
Most Buyers, however, are still looking for a good product at a fair price. Apart from location, the right pricing, good presentation and marketing of a property are still the essential ingredients of a successful sale.
Tom Navratil is a Realtor© with Pemberton Holmes Salt Spring