If you’re currently living somewhere else in Canada or British Columbia, you’ve probably at some point in your life considered moving to Victoria. As it so happens, now might be a great time to do so. Here are a few factors that make Victoria such a great place to buy a house.
1. Limited Supply, Increasing Demand
Unlike most cities on the mainland, Victoria is surrounded by ocean on all sides and flanked by mountain ranges to the North. This means urban sprawl can’t go on forever—there’s a natural barrier preventing the city’s footprint from expanding indefinitely. At the present time, the Greater Victoria region has essentially reached critical land-mass. Apart from a few new subdivisions going up in the West Shore area (a 30-45 minute drive from the downtown core), nearly all new housing structures being built in Greater Victoria are condos.
This presents a unique problem for developers, and a big opportunity for both homebuyers and homeowners alike. Developers are forced to keep building new condos in order to keep up with demand, and the only way they can do that is by purchasing a lot from a homeowner and bulldozing a pre-existing house. This means houses in Greater Victoria are going to become increasingly valuable as the population expands and an increasing number of condos need to be built. Being on an island means that land is of limited quantity, and most of the available land on the Southern part of of Vancouver Island is already occupied!
Homes in Greater Victoria are currently selling at a higher price than ever before, and this trend isn’t expected to reverse anytime soon.
2. Government + Tech = a Strong Job Market
Contrary to popular belief, the City of Victoria is a lot more than just a tourist attraction. It’s also the provincial capital, and with British Columbia’s continuing growth, jobs in the BC Public Service are going through a growth phase as well. The city is also in close proximity to the booming tech sectors of both Vancouver and Seattle, and Victoria is starting to following suit as a less-expensive, alternative location for startups in the Pacific Northwest.
Investments in Victoria’s tech sector are expected to quadruple in the coming decade, and in the same timeframe the government will be looking to hire thousands of new employees to replace retiring baby boomers. With this increasing demand for skilled labour in the coming years, expect Victoria’s housing prices to ramp up accordingly.
3. The Envy of Canada
Not too hot, not too cold—and we’re not just talking about the climate. As Vancouver Island’s population has grown, the region has reached a happy balance between economic development and environmental preservation. Growth has enabled more opportunities than ever before, and at the same time we haven’t seen the sort of relentless urbanization that’s transformed other big cities in North America into concrete jungles. Victoria (and the island as a whole) still retains much of its natural beauty, livability, and a more relaxed pace of life.
If you're not convinced, just check out this tourism promo:
Opportunity is Everywhere.
Three factors are playing into the Victoria housing market:
The city is on an island with limited supply of land.
Population is going to keep growing for the foreseeable future.
Victoria consistently ranks as one of the best small cities in the world.
The limited housing supply on the island is likely to keep increasing in value as more and more people look to move here. A good strategy would be to buy while houses are still affordable and watch your property value increase as the city’s population expands. Victoria isn’t just a great place to live and start a family, it’s also a fantastic place to invest in a new home!