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Should a Condo Be Your First Home Purchase?

The rising price of single detached housing in Greater Victoria means many families and investors are considering the purchase of a condominium – perhaps for the first time in their lives. And while most of our clients are embracing the idea, some feel a condominium is their “second best” choice after a detached home with a driveway, garage and back yard.
We get it. It’s no fun to be faced with home prices that are outpacing your ability to save a down payment or service the mortgage. It’s hard to give up the white picket fence and big garden. However, we’d like to point out some benefits to owning a condo you might not be aware of, and help you jump into the real estate market.
Price In Greater Victoria, condominiums are simply more affordable than owning a detached home. You’ll likely find your mortgage plus condo fees are equivalent to how much you pay for rent. If you end up paying more, be assured it’s less than what you’re going to be paying for a detached home mortgage plus m…
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Why Investing in a Pre-Sale Condominium is a Good Idea

We are seeing three categories of people purchasing our condominiums right now: young professionals looking for less expensive entrance into the competitive housing market; retirees downsizing from a big family home; and investors who want to buy a unit and rent it out to make a profit over time.
Quite a few real estate investors make a purchase at Triple Crown. That’s because real estate investors are catching on to the advantages of condo pre-sales, especially as the price of single detached dwellings skyrocket and become less financially tenable.
More Time to Save the Down Payment
The advantage of buying a pre-sales or pre-construction condo as a real estate investment is the flexible financial arrangement. If this is your first-time real estate investment, it’s difficult to come up with the required 20 per cent down payment. As of February 2018, the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) lists the benchmark price for condominiums in the Greater Victoria area as $463,100. The down pay…

Examining the BC NDP Budget Impacts on the Housing Market

The NDP budget includes a 30-point housing plan that is designed to stabilize the housing market. This plan outlines a new speculation tax on people who own empty homes but pay no income taxes in B.C., expands the current transfer tax and foreign buyers' tax, and cuts a loan program for first-time buyers.
Finance Minister Carole James said she hopes this and other changes will cool real estate costs, but would not predict how much, or what will happen if they take a bigger bite out of housing values than intended. "We are treading on new ground," she says.
Speculation Tax
Part of the plan includes a new levy, or "speculation tax," which will be applied to more than 15,000 residential properties in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the regions of Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, and Kelowna. The tax rate, charged on a property's assessed value, will be 0.5 per cent in 2018, and then 2 per cent in the following years. This means if an overseas owne…

Builders are Flat-Out Busy!

According to a report released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on February 8th, the number of January starts – 100 units – is down from 175 starts last January.

CMHC Stats

However, 2017 was a near-record year with close to 4000 units started. That’s nearly double what the Capital Regional District normally sees – on average 2000 – 2200. Builders in the Greater Victoria region started 2,966 multi-family units and 896 single-family homes last year for a total of 3862 new homes. This number beats every other year except 1976 when the region saw 4439 starts.

Lack of Inventory in Greater Victoria Continues to Drive Prices

Real estate prices have risen a good deal in the last year, driven by the lack of inventory which was at a record low in January.
There was a total of 1,491 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2018, 1.6 percent fewer than the 1,516 active listings for sale at the end of January 2017.
The lack of inventory in our market is maintaining pressure on pricing, especially as high demand continues in many areas of Victoria.
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single-family home in the Victoria Core in January 2018 was $831,900, a 9.3 percent increase from January 2017.

HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria area in January 2018 was $450,600, a 20.1 percent increase from January 2017. 
Read the full report on the Victoria Real Estate Board website.

Pricing Trends of Condominiums in Langford and Greater Victoria

Like all real estate sales in 2017, condominiums saw brisk sales! There was a total of 2,773 sold in Greater Victoria through the year, 370 of those being in Langford. At Triple Crown, we sold 34 of the 46 condominiums we have available, which means we contributed just over nine percent to that figure.

The average price of condominiums rose significantly through 2017, as did all other types of housing. We're happy to say our prices have remained the same, so we didn't contribute to the average rise in price. The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for condominiums was $449,460 in the Victoria downtown core, an increase over last year of 16.3 percent.


An interesting trend to note over the past 50 years of real estate prices in Greater Victoria is that prices tend to be flat for an average of eight to 13 years, then shoot up rapidly in a short time. In Langford, prices have more than doubled since 2005 but remained relatively flat from 2008 to 2016. What’s b…

November Saw Greatest Number of Sales Since 1996

November saw the greatest number of home sales in Victoria BC since 1996!
Is this a start of a new trend? Not according to Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “The fact that we've had an unusual month does not necessarily mean that this is the start of a new trend. It is, however, a good example of how outside forces can impact a housing market."
Balabanian suggests buyers have accelerated their purchase timelines in order to avoid the upcoming stress test on uninsured buyers coming into effect on January 1st. The new stress test will now include those with a down payment of 20 percent or more. The test will require purchasers to prove they can make meet their commitment if interest rates rise above the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or 2 percent higher than their contracted mortgage rate, whichever is higher.
"Judging by the sales we saw in November and what I have heard from our REALTOR® members, some buyers have indeed acce…