No “one thing” pushing real estate boom: VREB

There is no single factor leading to the region's red hot housing market, according to the Victoria Real Estate Board.

In the movie City Slickers, Jack Palance, (Curly) utters a now-famous line about how the secret to everything comes down to “one thing.” He holds up a finger, smiles knowingly, but never discloses what the “one thing” might be, leaving Billy Crystal (Mitch) completely befuddled and unsatisfied.

Mike Nugent, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), maintains homebuyers or sellers looking for a single explanation of everything in Victoria’s current real estate boom are just as unlikely to find a simple factor for the market conditions.

Nugent said it’s obvious Victoria is riding a strong housing sales market right now and there is no end in sight.

A total of 1,286 properties sold in the VREB region this April, a 53 per cent increase from the same month last year. But Nugent stressed a host of factors have combined to cause the boom in the market and trying to decipher the causes to gain an advantage is not likely to be successful.

“I’ve heard people say that it’s foreign buyers, or buyers from the mainland cashing in and moving to Victoria who are pushing up demand, but it’s not the main factor…again, there is no one thing,” said Nugent.

Popular wisdom attributing the hot market to foreign buyers is not borne out by statistics complied by the VREB which indicate that buyers from the U.S. have increased by only 0.2 per cent and buyers from Asia showed a similarly modest increase of 0.1 per cent.

Nugent acknowledged some truth in the belief that Lower Mainland buyers are cashing in on a bullish real estate market in Vancouver and surrounding areas and moving to Victoria, an action leading to increased demand here. VREB statistics show, in 2015, 8.2 percent of buyers originate on the mainland.

“If you look at the statistics, Victoria generally has a movement of about 25,000 people. Generally that number evens out, with about half moving off the Island and half moving here to stay. Last year we had a net positive movement of about 6,000 and that increase in numbers is significant given our relatively small population,” said Nugent. “It’s bound to put pressure on the market.”

But he was quick to add a plethora of other causes are feeding the boom.

“Real estate is always cyclical, and we are coming out of what was a steadily declining market after the 2008 financial crisis. We had almost five years where the market was very flat and the herd mentality being what it is, people just didn’t want to commit to a home purchase because they were concerned about the economy and saw others holding off…so they did as well,” said Nugent.

He said the same group think has now fueled a belief that it’s a time to get into the market for a new home.

Another factor adding to the increase in housing sales lies in demographics, said Nugent. Aging baby boomers are downsizing, selling the family home to get into smaller accommodations, while the millenial generation is entering a point in their lives where a family home is wanted by many.

Finally, Nugent said Victoria’s geography means the amount of land for new construction is very limited.

“We have some densification with the construction of condos in the downtown area of Victoria, but the main possibilities for new housing (in the region) are out on the West Shore. That increases the demand for housing in the downtown area and when homes do become available near downtown they can generate multiple offers.”

Regardless of the causes for the current real estate boom, the best advice when buying or selling a home is still to use a reputable realtor, said Nugent.

“Work with a realtor…they know the market and they know what they’re doing.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food trucks will be allowed to operate in several Sooke parks beginning May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke’s food truck pilot project under scrutiny

Councillor questions impact food trucks will have on nearby restaurants

A walk for autism awareness. (Black Press Media file photo)
COLUMN: Autism acceptance, not autism awareness

Elizabeth Sparling is the mother of a 24-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
PHOTOS: Vehicle driven into Saanich Walmart removed after two trapped workers rescued

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Tons of bottles were donated during bottle drives in Sooke and Langford on March 27. The funds raised from the drives will help a local family stay with their daughter during her leukemia treatments in Vancouver. (Photos: Glendora Scarfone)
Sooke, Langford bottle drives help cover family’s costs of staying with daughter during cancer treatments

More than $11,900 raised to help Shae Hanilton’s family stay with her in Vancouver

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Most Read