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January to March land sales are up +62.5% vs last year year-to-date at 26 versus 16. Sales in the Gibsons led the pack up +50% over its nearest competitor – Pender Harbour (12 sales vs 6).

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SC Realtor© Kenan MacKenzie puts great store in vacant land sales. In his April 3rd ‘Real Estate Reflections', he wrote:

Quote:The interesting note is land sales are up by 77% over the next highest sales volume in 4 years. Good bare land sales are important. They mean jobs, home construction, with multiplying opportunities for employment; in short it represents economic growth.

I think MacKenzie might be jumping the gun here. These sales do not involve large development size holding. In January, the largest lot sold was 7.5 acres in Halfmoon Bay with 2 parcels each around 4.5 acres selling in Gibsons. In February, a 4.8 acre piece moved in Roberts Creek. In March, the largest holding was 3 acres up in Pender Harbour followed by a 2.7 acre lot in Gibsons. (Note: we're talking real estate market areas). At today’s prices, perhaps some of these parcels have been bought for investment purposes to be sold or subdivided at a later date; but, maybe MacKenzie does know what has motivated the buyers.

However, to equate economic growth with these 26 land sales – hmmm, I think that’s a stretch.
April & May 2015 SC Land Sales

Land is a hot commodity on the Sunshine Coast which shouldn’t be a surprise after 10 years of more or less stagnant sales – it’s got to turn sometime and with this being the year of really cheap money (low interest rates) what a perfect opportunity to snap up similarly priced dirt cheap lots especially in Sandy Hook – where all April sales in Sechelt took place. With prices from $60,000 (0.18ac) to $95,000 (0.76 steep highbank waterfront), I wouldn’t be surprised if those Sandy Hook lot purchases are strictly investments – wouldn’t be my choice locale but I’m not buying.

Three lots moved in Roberts Creek in April – all acreages: 4.17; 6.37; 9.52. Given their final sale prices of $310,000 to $450,000 all were well away from the ocean with two of the holdings located on the “other” side of the highway. Lot J Spruce Rd (6.37ac at $450,000 – last list was $510,000) had a list write-up that sets the tone for SC 2015 land sales:

Quote:Prime development acreage well located in lower Roberts Creek with access off Marlene Road. Current zoning permits 1/2 acre parcels in this area. Develop now or hold for later, build on portion and develop remainder? PLA [sic] for 11 lots is in the final approval stage.

Maybe the buyer got the discount because the final approval hasn’t quite arrived yet? Hey, but it’s still a bargain at these interest rates, right?

One highbank waterfront lot sold up in Pender Harbour in the Sakinaw Ridge development (Garden Bay) – lots that have been hanging around for nigh on a decade. The 1.82 acres sold for $361,000 (last list $395,000). Would you believe the 2011 Assessment for this property was $566,000?

The big market area for land sales in April was Gibsons. I tell you the area is hot, hot, hot and how do I know? Because, two lots sold in Georgia Crest Phase 2 and one up in Vista Ridge. Nine lots moved with 6 under 0.50ac ($117,000 to $220,000) and three were acreages (4.32; 9.06; 22.0) with sale prices from $150,000 to $282,500. The 22 acres went for $230,000 (last list was $269,900. Why so cheap? Well, the listing write-up says it all:

Quote:Level south west ocean view acreage overlooking the Georgia Strait. This property is a total of 22 acres in size, however the usable plateau is 0.67 of an acre. The zoning allows for two full size homes. There is underground servicing to Lot line which includes natural gas, hydro and water. Quiet private family neighbourhood and sunsets from your new home. Call today for details!

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As for May sales, there were two winners: Roberts Creek with 5 sales (all less than 0.50ac) and Pender Harbour also with 5 sales. However, looking at land mass Pender wins hands down with 4 large acreage sales – the biggest coming in at 1,783 acres. That’s right, but technically those acres aren’t in Pender but 30 miles up Jervis Inlet. The sale comprised of three district lots located past Malibu Rapids and inside the beautiful Princess Louisa Inlet. Here’s the list write-up typos and all:

Quote:DL 3516, 3517 & 3519 PRINCESS LOUISA INLET, EDGMONT [sic]. Situated approx. 100 km's [sic] North of Vancouver in Princess Louisa Inlet on the Sunshine Coast. Private retreat & land bank for long term investment. Timber resourse [sic] or conservation project. A rare opportunity to purchase such a significant oceanfront acreage so close to Vancouver.

The last list price for the three DLs was $3,600,000 and they went for $3,200,000. And, it’s Egmont not Edgmont and 100 km not 100 km’s (there is no plural designation because ‘km’ is a symbol and besides you’re indicating a contraction or possession) and resource not resourse. Jeez.

Now, for me the land sell of true note occurred in Halfmoon Bay although it’s being credited to Sechelt. This sale is noteworthy for two reasons: the first, because I wrote about this listing in March 2014 and the second, because the buyer got it – big time. So, back on March 5, 2014 when I posted about these 160 acres, they were listed as DL2389 Sunshine Coast Hwy Halfmoon Bay. At that time, the land was listed with Royal LePage Sunshine Coast, but Sotheby’s kicked things off in 2013. Neither company had any luck moving the to bring in the big guns...George Wong & Lily Korstanje of Vancouver-based Magnum Projects Ltd which you apparently turn to for “High Calibre Project Marketing”.

Yessiree, with Magnum we’re after the Asian buyer. But, first we have to tidy up the address (9150 Highway 101 Sechelt) because we don’t want any Google search to point back to those old Halfmoon Bay lists since we’re upping the price by +60% to $6,380,000 from $3,980,000. Next, we have to freshen up the list write-up to appeal to our target audience:

Quote:Located in Sunshine Coast. The property is located in the community of Halfmoon Bay, which is about 7 minutes north of the Town of Sechelt. Halfmoon Bay is also only 40 minutes from the ferry terminal at Langdale and Gibsons. The area is also accessible by air, with regularly scheduled seaplane service into Sechelt, form [sic] both Vancouver and Richmond. Halfmoon Bay is a quite an eclectic area, in that many artists, movie stars, and business people from Vancouver and elsewhere live there, at least on a part time basis. It also features one of the best schools in BC. The property, itself, is 160 acres in size and it is located adjacent to Highway 101, which is the main Highway in the area.

Yep, there are the keywords in order of importance: Vancouver, Richmond, artists, movie stars, business people, best school – nothing else matters, the rest is fluff. (I think that “best school” might be the Pender Harbour Highschool which pushes out an amazing number of provincial scholars each year relative to its size – that’s my guess do correct me if I’m wrong.)

For comparison, let's look back to early last year and see how Royal LePage Sunshine Coast hope to garner interest...

Quote:Stunning 160 acre view parcel 2 minutes from the waterfront Government dock & hamlet stores of Halfmoon By. BC DL 2389 is zoned RU-4 & has been fully prepped for a single/multi family development. Major road networks throughout the property with beautiful build platforms take in wide open ocean views to the south & west. Surrounded by crown land forest on 3 sides the property has been selectively cleared with lots of arbutus trees, 4 large water pond/lakes. Graded roads built to suit further development lead to rocky outcropping & terraced building sites. Located 10 minutes past Sechelt in the heart of Halfmoon Bay, this is very unique offering. Tremendous investment/development/or property holding opportunity.

Hmmm, fascinating.

Of course, we can’t be sure If Magnum sold the property or another agency or if it was bought with HAM (Hot Asian Money); but, I think if I were the buyer and saw this listing history image below I’ld be right choked.

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Note: Regardless of the MLS listing, I am not giving the sale of these 160 acres to Sechelt but to where they actually belong - in Halfmoon Bay stats. As a result, my chart shows no land sales in Sechelt in May and 2 sales in Halfmoon Bay.
June & July 2015 SC Land Sales

Vacant lot sales took a big dip in July falling -50% to 6 sales from the previous month’s 12 sales. That being said half of July sales were over 1 acre in size. The largest holding was almost 20 acres up in Pender Harbour which tells you right off the bat it went dirt cheap...drum roll, please...$218,000!!! I mentioned this property listing (4686 Irvings Landing Rd) back in Nov 2013 and said I really like the Realtor write-up especially the cabin description:

Quote:Just about 20 acres in beautiful Irvine's Landing, fully treed, and very private. Set right in the middle of four of the best lakes the Sunshine Coast has to offer. This acreage is priced so you can hold on to it for the future or build your home right now. The topography is sloping, not steep, and fully treed with some merchantable timber. Surrounded by other large parcels of land this acreage offers great privacy. There is a wood stove in the cabin, no services, just a banjo in the closet and lots of candles.

Of course, what the Realtor was implying was the property was land locked, but wasn’t indicating the cabin was an ancient squat. LOL...loved the pics...

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Yep, all that’s needed is someone sitting on that porch with that bango from the closet playing this YouTube classic hit. At that price whoever bought will likely hold onto it for the future – as a real “loooooooong term” investment. However with a little spit and polish, that cabin has potential – looks like good bones to me.

Also up that way, 6.30 acres moved on nearby Hardy Island for $350,000 which really was no hell either considering it’s a 1600’ low to high back waterfront property (mostly high judging from the pics).

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As for June sales, all but one involved properties were under 1 acre. The big holding was once again up in Pender coming in at 11.63 acres but it wasn’t a giveaway as it closed at $2,250,000. Why? Well, it’s on Sakinaw Lake, has road access, and 1,197’ of shoreline. The list write-up says, “This is a true "Trophy Property" & once in a lifetime opportunity”. Obviously, some dumb-dumb thought so, too. That's a 947% premium paid for those 11.63 acres compared to those land locked 20 acres mentioned above. Who laughs last?
August 2015 SC Land Sales

This month's lot sales doubled July’s measly 6 with Sechelt leading the pack with 7 of those 12 sales and most of those Sechelt lots seem to have been bought by home construction companies.

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Lot 1 & 2 Sitka Rd (0.2ac & 0.24ac) each sold for list at $119,000. They’re part of the new 15-lot Burnett Falls subdivsion off Yew Rd in East Porpoise Bay; yep, that’s Stockwell land for those in the know.

Those lots sold about 2 weeks ago and were both relisted yesterday with houses on’s a miracle! Yep, both are 3bed/2bath ranchers at 1343sf and 1360sf and going for $349,900. I tell you folks, the Sunshine Coast is hot and so are its builders. Actually, at the very end of the listing, it says they’re “under construction” and will be completed by mid-January...just in time for higher interest rates. So, these homes can be built for about $230,000 each...hmmm, sounds like no basement or crawl space to me.

Another double miracle occurred over in West Sechelt. Orca Vista managed to unload three 0.15ac lots in mid-August: #90, #100, and #101 McCourt Rd. They were a little more expensive because of their “view” potential: $155,000, $150,000 and $149,500. Lot 90 went right back on the market Sept 1st with a 3bed/2bath 1582sf rancher built by PDM Construction with a list price of $459,000. That’s $10,000 less than its identical twin next door at 5438 McCourt Rd...exactly same pictures and blurb...yeah, turns out that's Lot 100. But, those are recycled pictures from another PDM Construction home at 5454 McCourt (0.15ac) that went a year ago for a bit over $350,000 (last list $369,900) - it had been sitting on the market for a year. Hmmm, up $100,000 for exactly the same house – hey, I didn’t put those same pics up. Well, I guess in 2015 “9 ft ceilings, quartz counters, glass tile backsplash in the gourmet style kitchen...large master bedroom with private ensuite and walk in closet” will just cost you a hundred grand more on the SC even if the house is sitting on just a concrete slab.

(P.S. not such a miracle either...they’ll be completed in May 2016).

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September – October 2015 SC Land Sales

There’s no doubt about it land sales are smoking on the SC compared to recent years. September’s sales were up +49% year-over-year and +87% vs September 2013. In total, 12 parcels moved. The cheapest at $88,000 (damn 8s everywhere you look) was for 0.71ac in Sechelt – we’re talking the end of the road up there in Tuwanek...past Sandy East Porpoise Bay...still doesn’t ring any bells? That’s why it was cheap.

The largest parcel at 32.8 acres off Trout Lake Rd in Halfmoon Bay went for $875,000. The most expensive saw $1,335,000 dished out for a 4.97 acre waterfront property on Sakinaw Lake north of Pender Harbour – too much.

The one sale that caught my eye was a small subdivision lot up in Oracle Heights in West Sechelt. Lot 30 Dodona Place sold almost to the day 9 years after it was first listed back in September 2006 (MLS# V613308). Its last list price was $149,900 and it went for $128,000. I was sad to see it go but there are still two more ancient lot listings nearby that have the potential to make it to ten years, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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Yee haw, October was the best month so far this year for sales – 18 lots! This is a +75% year-over-year increase and a whopping +120% vs October 2013. Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel like dancing...


Lots sold for $50,000 for 0.3 acres in Gibsons up to $389,500 for 0.65 acres, again, in Gibsons. In fact, Gibsons, was the overall winner this month with 7 lots changing hands. As usual, a wholelota land moving for peanuts happened up there in cheapo Pender Harbour with a 19.5 acre Irvings Landing Rd parcel closing at $170,000.

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So, do you think the federal election played a role here? Many still believe in times of uncertainty buy land...or silver...or gold...what’s gold going for now...$1,055.90 (down -14.10 or -1.32% on today’s trading)...yeah, that works. Looking at what’s moving I think there are definitely investors hedging their bets, but also home builders trying to pick up some sweet deals on which to slap up some spec homes as inventory drops. We’ll see how that goes...
November 2015 SC Lot Sales

November lot sales dipped a bit compared to October but still came in at a hefty 13 sales. Year-to-date sales now stand at a significant 132 – almost double 2014 total lot sales. Let's keep dancing.

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The cheapest lot: $59,000 for 0.43 acres in the Sechelt area and try and guess exactly where...if you’re thinking East Porpoise Bay, way up Sechelt Inlet Rd, pass Sandy Hook, and in Tuwanek, you’re absolutely right! Yep, right near the end of the District of Sechelt boundary and there’s no road going in north of Carmel because of the topography. As you can see in the close-up box, there’s one other lot there for sale – 1.4 acres for $199,000 (Lot 1, Carmel Pl, V1112207) and it looks like there still might be some wood left on it, too.

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The most expensive lot: $550,000 for 1.6 acres off of Hillcrest Rd in Gibsons. It’s already ”zoned for multi-family and has nice view potential. Excellent Development Opportunity!” One of the listing pics shows the block divided into 4 lots.

As you can see in the table above, Gibsons was once again the big winner for lot sales with 7 this month and all but the Hillcrest sale were under 1 acre. I wonder who's buying?