Salt Spring Land report

There is no shortage of Salt Spring land. Officially there is 182.7 square kilometers (70.5 sq mi) of Salt Spring land. Did you know Salt Spring is bigger than Vancouver? Anyone that says that the Island trust is against development should read the land use planning bylaw ssbylbaselu0355. Salt Spring is approximately halfway to build out. At this point, the low hanging fruit has been developed and most people are against any more development.  Development takes a long time and is costly.  Most of the nice flat land is protected by the Agriculture Land Commission who regulates most of the farmland in BC’s Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR).  ALR land cannot be subdivided.  Most new developments on Salt Spring are up on the side of a mountain.  Some have views some do not.  A new subdivision has to have an average lot size of 5 acres if it is zoned Rural.  South facing, view, close to Ganges and usable land is in relatively short supply.

If you have not read about the water situation on Salt Spring here it is again; During 2015 North Salt Spring Water district (NSSWD) wanted to raise the level of the weir on St Mary lake to add capacity to the lake.  There are numerous property owners around the lake that stand to lose land due to the flooding of the lake.   To put pressure on the property owners NSSWD really played up the dry summer and then imposed a sweeping policy of “no more hookups” to the water district.  Even lot owners who had been paying the water tax every year for years and years could not get a water hook up.   As of 2016 the policy has been changed, one can get a hook up for the main home but not a cottage.

2017 was a little slower than the prior year with 54 lots selling.

Average price $266,991

Average asking price $290,291

Average lot size 168,517 sq ft

The story in 2016 was raw land selling at a blistering pace with 70 lots selling.

Average price $351,453

Average asking price $407,525

Average lots size 223,465 sq ft

There were 26 Salt Spring lots that sold in 2015;

lots sold 2015

2015 Average price $215,403

2015 Average asking price $243,611

2015 Average lot size  164,103 sq ft

There were 19 Salt Spring lots that sold 2014;


2014 Average price $231,942

Average lots size 251,432 sq ft.


There were 16 Salt Spring lots that sold 2013;


Average sold price was $302,921

Average lot size of 440,364 sq ft.


Larger lots are usually good for a privacy screen and or view corridor.  Very few people use more land than the land their home is sitting on.  Unless one is going to buy a farm.
1 acre = 43560 sq ft = .405 HA = 4,047 square meters  One acre is approx the size of a soccer/football field. 5 acres = 217,800


If you are thinking of buying and subdividing on Salt Spring you have to think that all the long time residents have picked over ever sq ft of the island and any new listings has been looked at by every realtor and or real estate investor.  I’m not saying you might not find a place that can be divided but if there is a profit to be made someone else would have probably bought it.  Salt Spring has always been a land speculators dream location but there are a lot of land speculators that have left the island with a lot less money than when they came to Salt Spring.

If you are thinking of buying a farm or farm land here is a good video of a local farmer chatting about farm land on Salt Spring;

If you can find the right lot and the right price and feel confident about building this is a good option to get exactly what you want in your Salt Spring home.  Generally speaking it takes more time to find the right lot on Salt Spring.  I have hiked almost ever lot that is for sale on Salt Spring and know them all well.  Sometimes one has to see the lot at various times of the day to get a clear picture of what the lot is really like.  Happy land shopping.


Scott Simmons