As a Realtor, when I meet someone on the street, in a restaurant, in the bar, wherever, it’s a toss up whether the first question is “ How are you?” or “How about this weather” or “ What’s the market like?" The two most common points of interest are the weather and the real estate market for many. I get asked so often I feel like a YouTube video being played. So here it is. 2016 was a record year for real estate sales on Salt Spring. It started out with a boom and never quit. Predictions were that 2017 would slow down. In the 1st quarter of 2016 there were (plus or minus), 78 new listings as compared to 51 sales. In 2017 for the 1st quarter there have been 54 new listings as compared to 49 sales. This is the continuing saga. Sales are down but in a large way because of the shortage of inventory. For the 1st quarter of 2016, the average time on market for the sold properties was 178 days (DOM). In the 1st quarter of 2017 that had dropped to 101 DOM. Of the 54 new listings in…Read more about Real Estate Report: What's The Market Like?
Real Estate Report: What’s enough information?
It has always been my belief that you can never have too much information about a subject. On the other hand, there is a point where you have enough to make an informed move. This applies to Real Estate and is very relevant in todays fast market. Buying property is one of he biggest decisions you can make. Unless you are a billionaire, this will be a major portion of your net worth. I don’t know about you but I have in my lifetime lost pretty much everything a couple of times and I didn’t like it. I was younger and could pick myself up and start again. Now I’m not so young, What’s enough information? Of course you have to do your due diligence. You have to know where it fits in the marketplace and if it is reasonable value. If you like it and there are no obvious issues then you have to make a decision to make an offer. This is not a “ You bought it you got it, so sorry, end of story” situation. Your safety net is conditions or subjects as they are called. These are questi…Read more about Real Estate Report: What’s enough information?
Real Estate Report: Don't Hold Your Breath
'The Times They Are A-changin' - Bob Dylan - I still get emails from people saying they expect prices to start going down. I hope they aren’t holding their breath. As a realtor, making an announcement that demand is high, supply of listings is low and that will generally equate to higher prices is a double edged sword. Buyers have been in wait-and-see mode for a long time. That is over. The other side of the blade is sellers who overreact and overprice their property can lead to stale listings rather than the bidding wars they want. Prices seem to be rising but if you want 2 years from now prices, wait 2 years. There have been announcements about prices in Victoria being up by 15% and people ask if that is the case on Salt Spring. We still have too small a statistical number to clearly define that but the gut feeling is yes, prices are up. How much is almost impossible to answer as you would have to have a number of identical properties sell last year and this year to make t…Read more about Real Estate Report: Don't Hold Your Breath
Real Estate Views: In Deference to the Experts
I recently had a client that was about to put in an offer on a property and was feeling me out about what price they should put on the offer. This gets to be a very complex question depending on both the buyer and the seller. In my mind the main focus should be on facilitating a transaction. If there is no sale, neither the buyer nor the seller are happy. No one wins. The word “ wins” is very telling. It’s amazing how buyers go from a state of warm and fuzzy with visions of enjoying the property to gaming mode in the blink of an eye. When I say gaming mode, I mean they do a Jekyll and Hyde, Werewolf transformation. All of a sudden it is not about buying the property they want, it’s the competition, it’s the game, the ego. It’s the “ them or me” state of mind. The property becomes secondary. With any negotiation, there will be two starting points. The sellers price and the buyers price. The negotiations will hopefully settle out somewhere in between. This client quoted the …Read more about Real Estate Views: In Deference to the Experts
Real Estate Report: Where do the buyers come from?
It has long been a standard question, “ Are the American buyers coming back?”. Just to put it in perspective, if we go back to the heady days in 2007 when there were 234 residential sales in that year as compared to 2014’s 183 sales, only 4.2% of the buyers were from the US. In that same year 11% of the buyers were from Alberta. 81% of the buyers were from BC of which 17% were from the lower mainland and 46% were from Salt Spring Island. In 2014 and continuing into 2015, the US buyers were only 1.5% of the market and Alberta only had 4.3%. Buyers from BC were still on top with 85% of the buyers of which 20% were from the lower mainland and 45% were from Salt Spring. John Cade, Pemberton Holmes Salt Spring IslandRead more about Real Estate Report: Where do the buyers come from?
Real Estate Report: How’s the Market?
The daily question for a Realtor® again has to be answered with qualifications and take into consideration that when you are dealing with small sample of data one or two anomalies can through all the ratios out the window. The attached stats are for residential sales only for this period of time. What does it tell us? In general, it’s telling us the market is looking pretty good. We have had 25 sales to date in 2015 and compared to 15 and 17 respectively for the last 2 years for the same period. Of course, as any Realtor® will tell you, we can go for a period with no sales and the averages will come into line with the previous years but in this industry you have to have a positive outlook every day and try to keep the momentum going. In general it is looking pretty good so far. A word of caution though, it’s not time to start raising prices. Since a very large percentage of our buyers come from “Away”, they perceive Salt Spring to be a rural island and are surprised by th…Read more about Real Estate Report: How’s the Market?
Real Estate Report: Positive Start to New Year
The following article put out by the BC Real Estate Association give us a broader picture of the market in BC as a whole. On Salt Spring we seem to be reflecting the same results. While one month’s statistics is not definitive, it does give us an indication of the direction things are going. In January 2015 there were 12 sales on Salt Spring. For the month of January of 2014 there were 5, in January of 2013 there were 6. I won’t put average values on these sales as one high end sale can skew the the numbers completely. The number of sales does show a positive direction. BC Home Sales Start 2015 in Positive Territory Vancouver, BC – February 13, 2015. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,377 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, up 3.1 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $2.6 billion, an increase of 8.3 per cent compared to a year ago. The averag…Read more about Real Estate Report: Positive Start to New Year
Real Estate Report: Market on Target
One of the things about being a Realtor is that the common greeting I receive is “ Hi John, how’s the market?”. It has been said that Canadians are obsessed with the weather and watch the weather reports like the stock market. They also seem to be obsessed with the real estate market in the same way. In fact you can take any 6 o'clock news channel weather report and exchange the temperatures and rain or snow predictions for property types and prices and it would fit seamlessly. They want to know what the temperatures were today, what are they now and what will they be tomorrow and what is the trend in the near future. Standing in front of a map of BC the Realtor reporter can point to areas with a big capital “ H” and explain that there has been a High pressure front in Campbell River and the market volume has risen by almost 46% in 2014 which will move on down the island in the next month or so. The “ L” area around Kamloops is was a cooling trend but it is a weak front an…Read more about Real Estate Report: Market on Target
Real Estate: What's Your Salt Spring Home Worth?
Everyone would like to know what their home is worth today. It is probably the biggest asset you have and it can make or break your net worth. It’s like watching the Canadian/Us dollar and figuring out what your purchasing power is or the stock market to see what your portfolio is worth. It’s one of those things that you don’t have much control over but it can effect your life in a big way. So how do you figure that out? Well, you could put it on the market and say you won’t accept any offers for 60 days and then accept the highest bid at the end. The market would then decide. Of course most buyers would not wait that long and wouldn’t put in an offer. You can study the market yourself and try to figure it out but you will be prejudiced about your own property and probably get it wrong. Yes, I have heard the sayings such as “ This is not my first rodeo” and “I’ve bought and sold many houses before, I know how to do this”. You may have bought and/or sold 3 or 4 or even 10 h…Read more about Real Estate: What's Your Salt Spring Home Worth?
Real Estate Report and Investing on the Island
Over the years I have been approached many times about buying property as an investment. I don’t know if it is the abundance of real estate TV shows that prompts the queries but they seem to have a common theme. These “Investors” are looking for a fire sale that they can do a makeover on and flip it for big profits. Unfortunately most just want to do what I call a Lipstick makeover. Cleaning, painting and decorating is all they want to get into and then turn a $30-$40K profit. Not likely to happen! Buying , renovating and selling is a viable option but it’s going to take more than paint and wallpaper. Most of the reasons houses sell for low prices is they have inherent issues that turns buyers off. Usually these are age related design and layout issues. If it has 1960’s flooring, kitchen cabinets and bathrooms, buyers are turned off and it sits on the market. Interestingly enough, this crosses all age groups. In my day a young first time home buyer would buy a rough home b…Read more about Real Estate Report and Investing on the Island
Real Estate Round Up
Yes, there seems to be a change in the real estate market these days. According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, ( VREB), sales for this September are up 16% over September last year. Sales for the third quarter are up 15% over last year. "Once again we see more houses sold this month than last September," Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres says. "We haven't seen sales like this in September since 2009. The balanced market conditions we've seen over the last seven months mean property prices are stable, so it might be more comfortable for buyers and sellers to make a move because they know that property values are predictable." This does not mean a jump in property values. In the VREB the average price is only up about 1%. This is what stabilization means. The same old story still applies. If it is priced well, it will sell. Of the 14 sales of Single Family Detached homes in September on Salt Spring, 4 of them sold within 97.5% of the asking price and were …Read more about Real Estate Round Up
Real Estate Report: Spring Market in Full Bloom
We are fully planted in the spring sales cycle it seems. The sales number of single family homes is up about 20% over the same year-to-date (YTD) period as last year. Interestingly though, the average price is down. This doesn’t mean that the prices have dropped although they are at best buy levels. It seems that that bottom end of the market is being picked off at a rapid rate. This year the average sale price of a Single Family Detached home is about $540,000 as compared to last year at about $640,000 . A lot of this is due to the carpet sweeping of homes under $500,000 plus the fact that we have had only 3 sales over $1Million as compared to 6 last year for this period. Townhouse buyers seem to have done a shift also. In 2014 ( YTD) we had abut the same number of sales but the average price sold was only $295,000 as compared to almost $412,000 in 2013 (YTD). It isn’t that prices have dropped that much, it’s a different product that sold. This year smaller, lower priced …Read more about Real Estate Report: Spring Market in Full Bloom
Real Estate Report: Partially Cloudy with Sunny Breaks and a Chance of Sales
It is rumoured that it is never hard to start a conversation with a Canadian because you can always lead off with a comment about the weather. It seems to be a national obsession. As a Realtor, the same thing applies. Everyone from 9 to 90 is comfortable asking a Realtor “ How’s the market”. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are actively buying or selling property, thinking about it or have no plans at all. In most larger communities, the market moves with the local economic influences. On Salt Spring the market seems to move with the influence of the markets and economics of the larger communities that are “ Away” as the Newfies would put it. We are the tail of the dog. Attached to the larger body but following behind. Some times wagging briskly with positive energy and sometimes hanging low. Our biggest source of off island buyers has traditionally been the lower mainland of Vancouver and BC in general. The California and Alberta buyers are just the frosting on the cake.…Read more about Real Estate Report: Partially Cloudy with Sunny Breaks and a Chance of Sales