Known as the Sunshine Coast, the southwest corner of the British Columbia mainland stretches 110 miles between Howe Sound and Desolation Sound. Here you will find the traditional territories, including Sliammon, Sechelt, Squamish and Klahoose nations. The population here is a rough 50,000.
The region features a lot of coastline, but there are also inlets, lakes and mountains. This makes the area a paradise for persons looking for a more outdoor focused lifestyle. The area used to be one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets, but around 5 years ago there was an uptick in foreign buyers. This triggered an increase in prices.
Pandemic Effects on Pricing
Then came the pandemic, which further increased the region’s desirability. Vancouver residents dwelling in condos started to move to larger properties that gave them the home office. At the start of this year, the median sale price for a detached home in this area was just over a million Canadian. In the first half of this year, we saw a 22% increase over the same period for last year.
At that price, the Sunshine Coast is one of the most affordable regions in the Vancouver metro area. 2022 has shown us prices flattening in the area despite Greater Vancouver’s downward housing market trend. This is greatly in part caused by the increase in interest rates we saw this year. These increases kind of helped the market cool off.
Through June of 2022, sales of detached homes in the Greater Vancouver area were lower across the board. The Sunshine Coast and other outer areas were down by 25%. Cosmopolitan areas in East Vancouver were down 40%, according to data shared by Re/Max Canada.
One of the things that dictates prices is the proximity to the ferry in Langdale. This makes the town of Gibsons the most elite area neighboring here.
The housing crisis has hit the area, and there is a shortage of rentals, making it hard for business owners to find workers. As such, quite a few businesses are struggling, and often they will buy housing to help provide housing for their employees so they can keep them on.
Inventory in the Region
The inventory in the Sunshine Coast region is still relatively low. The majority of buyers are from the Vancouver area with just a small number of foreign buyers. Most foreign buyers are from the United States, but the area also attracts buyers from China who are looking into making business investments.
Buying in the Region
In January of 2023, the Canadian government plans to put a two-year prohibition on home purchases by foreign nationals. This should alleviate some of the pressures on housing prices. International students and temporary workers are exempt from the ban, as it really is targeting investors.
In British Columbia, foreign buyers are currently mandated to pay a 20% tax on home purchases. In the Sunshine Coast, however, the tax is not mandatory. Because there is no foreign buyers tax here, there are investors that come up just to purchase here. It is also important to note that most properties in the region are not connected to a municipal sewer, and so the buyer will need to create their own septic system, and this must pass inspections.
Would you consider purchasing in the Sunshine Coast? Would you be able to afford a home there?