While waterfront homes may carry a certain level of prestige, Victoria and Esquimalt offer a number of options for those who are looking to settle down by the sea but may not have the means to do so elsewhere.
In Esquimalt’s Saxe Point Park area, in particular, it isn’t uncommon to find a home on the ocean for under $1 million. Saxe Point and other neighbourhoods in Esquimalt continue to be “reasonable,” according to Soethby’s realtor Scott Piercey, when compared to similar properties found in Vancouver or Seattle.
According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, the average cost of waterfront homes have gone down this year from $1.22 million to $1.11 million, a nine per cent drop.
However, communications manager Denise Hogue warns that when it comes to waterfront property, the numbers can be misleading—a single luxury home selling for $17 million can skew the numbers. Sales have also been on the rise this year, with 99 being sold in 2014 as of July 1, compared to last year’s 84, representing a rise of 18 per cent.
“Waterfront homes do mirror general trends in the market,” David Beswick of MacDonald Realty said. “But it can go from hot to cold rather quickly because the buying pool is small due to the cost.”
Piercey said that the main attraction of waterfront properties, aside from a beautiful view, is the waterfront lifestyle that comes along with it – boating, kayaking, canoeing, and other outdoor elements. Due to the recreation factor, private docks are a common point on buyers’ wish lists.
However, a foreshore lease is required for a property owner to build a dock, as the provincial government owns almost all of the foreshore in B.C. According to Beswick of, homes with a foreshore lease aren’t easy to come by in Victoria.
“Docks definitely factor into the price of a home, but it’s hard to put an exact number on it,” Beswick said.
“The type of dock makes a difference too—whether or not it’s sheltered, what type of boat you can dock or if it’s just for launching kayaks off of.”
Many buyers come from outside of the province, looking for a place to retire, so docks are not always a factor.
“A lot of people just want to have that comfort level,” Beswick said, “that tranquility you get from living on the ocean.”