Projects such as this building in the 500-block of Goldstream Avenue in Langford are contributing to the construction boom on the Island. The West Shore

HOMEFINDER: West Shore drives south Island development

Second-quarter building start figures show continued growth on Island

The construction industry is booming on the West Shore and many other areas across Vancouver Island.

A key indicator of that success and future construction activity is the number of building permits that have been issued. Well, according to the Vancouver Island Construction Association, the total number of permits issued across Vancouver Island rose more than 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2015.

The association credited residential activity for the bulk of those increases. When compared to the first half of 2014, residential activity rose almost 30 per cent this year.

While those statistics don’t break down construction activity by municipality, construction association CEO Greg Baynton said there’s little doubt the West Shore is continuing to lead South Island communities in development.

“I would think it would play a very dominant factor on the Island,” Baynton told the Gazette.

“We’re really optimistic about the next three to four years at least.”

A source within the City of Langford provided figures that show just how much this area is driving residential development.

As of the end of August, the number of building permits issued for single family dwellings had reached 260, almost double the amount issued (135) by the same point last year.

As for multi-family dwellings such as apartment buildings and condominium complexes, the number was about the same, 123 units this year compared to 121 in 2014.

There’s been plenty of activity in Colwood in 2015, as well, with more expected in the coming months on some major development projects.

“There’s going to be a lot more activity in terms of building permits issuance, with the first phase of Royal Bay (100 lots of single family dwellings) and with renewed activity on such developments as Pacific Landing, Ocean Grove and City Centre,” said Colwood planning director Ian Bourhill.

View Royal is contributing its fair share to the growth as well. As of the end of July, there had building permits issued for 16 single family homes and multi-family dwelling units.

That compares with 10 for the same period last year.

Of note, however, is that major multi-family condominium and townhouse projects began work late in 2014 on Wilfert Road and Watkiss Way, when developer Omicron also got underway with the residential/commercial portion of the Eagle Creek Village.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Q: SHOULD I STICK WITH MY OWN BANK WHEN IT COMES TO SECURING A MORTGAGE?

Strong interest rates have kept the housing market vibrant in 2015, enticing both new homeowners and home “flippers” to stay active across Greater Victoria, and especially here in the West Shore.

However, something to keep in mind while looking for the right mortgage is that the big chartered banks, while typically the most high-profile, may not actually have the best rates.

That is not to say the big banks aren’t a good idea, they can help provide sound integrated services if you already bank with them, keeping your finances together at one place. However, it is always worth looking around to a number of different mortgage brokers to look at finding a rate the both fits your financial and service needs.

Banking can be hereditary, with many families banking where their parents before them banked, and that isn’t going to change. But keeping a keen eye out there for a great rate might be a perfect way to save money on interest costs, or at least negotiate a beneficial lending rate for what is usually the biggest purchase you’ll ever make.

GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH TO DATE, SEPT. 8/15   COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD

» 137 / 565 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2014

» 192 / 1,099 — NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2014

» 3,547 / 4,253 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2014

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