Real estate sales indicate growth coming

Lakeside homes, cottages and lots have become hot properties at Cowichan Lake.

Lakeside homes, cottages and lots have become hot properties at Cowichan Lake.

It’s undeniably a beautiful area, with tons of potential for growth, and real estate has traditionally been more affordable than in other regions of the Cowichan Valley.

It’s no surprise then that retirees and young families are looking at the lake and deciding it can be a good place to call home.

In 2008, during the global economic crisis, real estate prices at the lake took a hit, along with a lot of other things.

According to agents, on the whole, the market lost about 25 per cent in value.

Those prices are only now starting to come back up to what they once were.

So people who’ve been sitting on waterfront property for a decade or so aren’t making out like bandits. But they are starting to be able to sell without taking a loss on their original investment.

Recreational properties are particularly in demand, as people see an opportunity to snap up some lakefront, or at least lake view, before the prices start to become prohibitive as they already have in so many other desirable locations.

It’s all part and parcel with a feeling that has started to grow in the area, that opportunities are starting to open up and communities hit hard by the demise of much of the forest industry in the area are starting to turn around in a new direction.

There are several businesses either renovating or planning to set up in Lake Cowichan.

Laketown Ranch hosted Sunfest for the first time out at Meade Creek, with other festivals to follow at the same site, bringing in all kinds of new people.

The key is going to be to manage development so that the community retains its charm and personality — the reasons that people love to visit, and many have chosen to live here.

Let’s hope that Re/Max’s Sandy Stinson is correct and the lake can expect steady growth rather than a growth explosion that has the possibility of overwhelming planning and existing resources.

Too many once-small, beautiful waterfront communities have been hurt by not having a plan for growth that just came on too fast, as they were suddenly ‘discovered’ by the outside world.

One of the great things about the Cowichan Lake communities is the willingness of the people to roll up their sleeves and pitch in for the good of the everyone.

Lake dwellers are go-getters, eager to get things done and move into the future.