Real estate in Greater Victoria is expected to remain a solid buy for investors

HOMEFINDER: Victoria area to bring ‘reasonable returns’ in real estate: report

West Shore demand should follow hot market in core locations for out-of-town investors

Several factors are making Greater Victoria a hot market for investment, according to the Real Estate Investment Network’s (REIN) projections for next five to 10 years, and the West Shore is no exception, although it should remain cooler than in town.

“Generally it won’t be as frenzied. It’ll have its moments … but overall the frenzy will be right in the city and then it’ll ripple out,” said Don Campbell, the Network’s senior analyst.

Economic and population growth, new employment opportunities and a strong rental demand are leading to an uptick in the Greater Victoria market. Couple that with the foreign buyers tax in Vancouver that has investors shifting their focus across the Strait of Georgia, and it’s making for an interesting scenario, he said.

“I would call it a perfect storm situation where you’ve got all of these factors pointing right at the southern part of Vancouver Island as a place poised as a place that’s going to feel the upward effects of rent and purchase price.”

The Capital Region is expected to out-perform non-Vancouver markets over the next several years. Jobs, and specifically the diversification of job sectors, are a key cog in the expected growth, with post-secondary education, cruise industries and an increasing technology sector at the forefront.

The area’s 880 technology companies – which directly employ 15,000 area residents – have played a large role in keeping university students in the region after they’ve graduated and make Greater Victoria a popular landing spot for young people looking for employment.

The area’s climate and lifestyle is attracting residents as well, while mainlanders are also choosing Greater Victoria as a means to escape Vancouver’s out-of-control market. As a result, REIN’s formula suggests real estate investors and home buyers should find reasonable returns in the Capital Region.

The West Shore should continue to attract area residents looking for a more affordable lifestyle, while also bringing in other Canadians who want in on the area’s favourable lifestyle.

“As you see a booming market, the next level booms, but not as much as the centre core,” Campbell said.

The network also predicts that in five years, the highest demand for rentals and purchases will trend towards two or more-bedroom unit properties, rather than one-bedroom units or bachelor suites.

“I think that we should be very cautious if the city is going to start approving microsuites. Frankly, I think that’s the wrong way to go,” Campbell said, adding that some millennials might jump on those opportunities now, but once they begin thinking about starting a family, their small suites will go by the wayside.

“If you’re going to be buying, and you have a long-term outlook on life, you buy with two bedroom units,” he said.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH TO DATE NOV. 14/16 COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD

» 236 / 573 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL, NOVEMBER 2015

» 299 / 747 — NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, NOVEMBER 2015

» 1,834 / 1,952 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, NOVEMBER 2015

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