What will the summer bring to the San Juan Islands?

Real Estate Agent with Windermere San Juan Island

We're getting ready for that big summer push here on the island.  Regardless of the increasing ferry fares, the tourists and vacationers look to be returning for yet another season.  My husband runs a vacation rental management business, www.sanjuanpm.com , and bookings are looking good for yet another record season!  The restaurants, variety of retail shops, and the kayak and whale watching businesses are all in full gear.  The question many of us have is how will this affect our real estate market?

There's no question that the San Juan Island market is different from your mainland suburbia.  Limited, pristine land and stunning waterfront can make a place stand out not to mention the tranquil setting offered to boaters and kayakers. I continue to love every minute I'm here on the island and I think we'll continue to see that from others...in strong numbers.  It's true, our first quarter sales volume is down a solid 40% in 2008 compared to last year.  Do I think our second quarter will be down as well?  Yes, indeed.  But I think that our market will suffer a softer blow compared to our Seattle metro market. 

Who wouldn't want to be a buyer in this market?  We have record listing inventories and certainly some motivated sellers and good buys.  No, do not expect to come in and pick up a waterfront home for pennies on the dollar.  There are reasonable values out there with solid investment potential.  Although not a lot compared to years past, San Juan Island does have a wide price gamut of properties currently under contract - single family residences ranging from $185,000 up to $3,950,000. 

There is something here for everyone.  As baby boomers continue to look for second homes, investments and retirement properties I think its safe to say that the San Juan Island real estate market will continue to be a solid market to invest in and I think this summer, more then ever, we'll see people realize the value and concur that there isn't a better time to buy in the islands then now!


Comments (1)

Michele Mayer
Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands, Inc. - Roche Harbor, WA

Any island real estate market has it's unique qualities. San Juan Island (and the surrounding islands) is no different. Yes, we will see what the summer brings, but my feeling is that the island is a great place to be a buyer right now. The quality of life, the simplicity, the natural beauty are just a few of the attractive characteristics that make this a popular destination. The savvy buyer would be wise to take a look at property in this market. There are "deals to be had", (something that is well priced and will increase in value) which is very different from the "fire sales" that many other markets are seeing. This is why I believe that the islands are currently a great opportunity for the savvy buyer, someone who understands that the highest return on the investment may be realized in years rather than months.  The future of real estate buyers is strong, with the job opportunities of the Pacific Northwest and the baby boomers looking to settle down for retirement. Now, if we could get the lending industry on track...


May 30, 2008 07:24 AM