Homes along Merlin Road in Langford are an example of the booming real estate industry on the West Shore.

Homes along Merlin Road in Langford are an example of the booming real estate industry on the West Shore.

HOMEFINDER: New families moving to the West Shore

West Shore real estate sales are up and 2016 is shaping up for another great year

West Shore sales are up, the market is balanced and 2016 is shaping up for another great year.

Victoria Real Estate board president Guy Crozier said the West Shore is one of the strongest areas of growth on Vancouver Island and isn’t expecting the upward trend to change anytime soon.

“In the West Shore sales are up 27 per cent overall,” Crozier said. “The consumer confidence is great, rates are dynamite and prices are still very attractive.”

He said the numbers are up approximately 27 per cent, with overall sales jumping from 923 sales in the West Shore in 2014 to 1174 sales in 2015 for the same time this year. He said the condo market, has seen the quietest increase, jumping from 143 to 153 which is a much smaller 6-7 per cent growth. However, the sales of single-family homes, duplexes and town houses have been peaking at over 30 per cent growth, with many new homeowners finding their way to the West Shore for their first real estate purchase.

“We are still seeing a lot of first-time home buyers especially in affordable areas like Happy Valley corridor, that is great news. We can see young couples get a house instead of getting a condo that may not suit their needs,” he said. “So the trend we are seeing is young people are still able to get into the market and are getting into the market.”

One of the main reasons for that he said, was a growing inventory. Big developments already building with more developments on the way not only keep inventory high, but stabilize housing prices compared to areas with less overall inventory and limited growth.

“I think what you will see is continual growth in the West Shore and really affordable homes. Right now the  increase (in price) all over Victoria is 6.88 percent but in the West Shore it as at 2.3 per cent because there is still a good inventory and that is the good news for the West Shore. We will still see the 30 per cent trend continue, but because of the inventory houses will stay affordable out there and that is good news for both buyers and sellers.”

Crozier added sales are strong across southern Vancouver Island but expects municipalities including Langford and Colwood to continue to outsell markets like Oak Bay, Victoria and Saanich while remaining an affordable place to buy in an overall market slowing moving away from the buyer.

“It is edging towards a sellers’ market for sure, but it is different in different areas,” Crozier said. “If you go into an area where inventory is low you are much more like a sellers’ market, but if you get into an area like West Shore, it is much more balanced because of inventory.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com