Glynis' Market Snippets: July Edition

The Victoria real estate market is creeping closer to inventory levels of July 2016. We are now running at a shortfall of listings 16% less than this time last year. Condo sales continue to be very brisk in the under $1million range and homes well priced, are quick to sell.

According to the local Times Colonist, buyers in Greater Victoria spent about $73.87 million bidding over the asking prices for homes through the first 6 months of this year.

On the luxury side, since January 2017 there have been 5 sales over $4 million in the Greater Victoria area which includes the Gulf Islands. Three were in Oak Bay and 2 in Saanich East. There are currently 29 listings over $4 million in Greater Victoria.

Overall the economy looks good in the Capital City. According to Statistics Canada’s monthly labour-force survey, Greater Victoria is in the top spot in Canada for the lowest unemployment rate at 3.9% in May.

Victoria’s unemployment level improved from 5.6% in May 2016. Much of this additional employment is attributed to the construction industry. Cranes are towering over Victoria with a booming construction industry.

A growing number of Vancouver developers have been looking at opportunities in Victoria. Several companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars and built thousands of homes in the capital region.  Projects are in the form of downtown condominium towers where the urban lifestyle is catching on. Once they build here, they often stay to put up more projects.

Concert Properties is one of these companies which has identified residential developments of 70 to 80 units as the perfect size for Victoria. Concert is partnering with Jawl Properties in the development of the six-acre, mixed-use Capital Park site next to the Legislature.

Another Vancouver-based company is Chard Developments which has built six condo towers in downtown Victoria over the past decade. The company recently received approval from Victoria to build two 21 storey condo towers on Yates Street with market and affordable housing.

Omni Developments is planning 10 buildings with commercial space and hundreds of apartments at Colwood Corners.

Robert Bosa’s Bosa Properties is building the $40 million, 17 storey sold out Encore tower with 134 units at Bayview Place.

Ken Mariash’s Bayview Properties is now applying for building permits for its next phase at Bayview Place in the Songhees on Saghalie Road.

On another note, The Bank of Canada is encouraged by a broadening of economic strength, which includes gains across 70 per cent of industries, a top official said in what was widely seen as a “hawkish” speech from the country’s central bank. Analysts have said that these and other comments suggest the central bank is beginning to assess when, not if, the bank might introduce its first rate increase in nearly seven years.

For nearly two years, the rate has been locked at the very low level of 0.5% as a way to help lift the economy. The next scheduled announcement from the Bank of Canada is July 12th.

Wishing you a Happy Summer!