West Shore residents who make the daily trek in to Victoria’s core municipalities likely cheered when an interchange project for the Trans-Canada Highway at McKenzie Avenue and Admirals Road was green-lighted by the province this year.
While the initiative is expected to reduce commuting times for travellers from the west and north, will that translate into higher demand for homes on the West Shore?
Mike Holmes, owner and president of Pemberton Holmes Realty, has seen the area’s growth outpace all others in Greater Victoria in the past 20 years. He looked at the project from both a finished stage as well as during the building process.
“I don’t believe the period of construction of the interchange will have any material negative effect on real estate values, as property buyers and sellers will see the potential benefits outweighing any inconvenience caused,” he said.
The project is currently going through the design phase, with three options up for discussion and pubic input. Two of the three are similar diamond formats – one calls for the highway to go under McKenzie, the other sees the opposite configuration – while the third is a partial cloverleaf design that would eliminate more parkland.
“As the effects settle in of the completed interchange, I suspect we will see a slight positive impact on values, depending on the amount of time saved in commuting,” Holmes said. “If it is as significant as anticipated, then the majority of the stigma attached by many to the ‘Colwood crawl’ could be eliminated.”
Then again, much of that negative image has already been neutralized by the creation of more and better services on the West Shore,” he added.
“I look forward to the new driving experience.”
Q: What’s the market looking like right now?
Victoria Real Estate Board president Guy Crozier says prospective home sellers may want to take advantage of current market conditions.
“One thing I can say is that due to lower inventory levels, this is the best time in the past 10 years to list a house,” he says.
“Demand from buyers in most areas is up, but inventory continues to decrease on a year-over-year basis. The good news for buyers is that pricing remains competitive and there are new listings coming onto the market every day.”
GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH TO DATE Dec. 7/15 COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD
» 124 / 389 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL, DECEMBER 2014
» 125 / 419 –NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, DECEMBER 2014
» 2,797 / 3,210 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, DECEMBER 2014