New developments in Saanich point to the future of real estate in Victoria
In November there was a slight decline in year-over-year home sales in Greater Victoria, according to the Greater Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB). Home prices in October declined slightly compared to September but are still higher than a year.
All of this points to a shift to a more “balanced state”, according to VREB, with changes to the real estate market largely influenced by new lending rules and taxes.
Indeed, sales of single-family homes have declined by 14.7 per cent year-over-year. Condominium sales also went down, by 15.5 per cent.
However, statistics can sometimes be deceiving. Some of this decline in volume can be attributed to slower sales of higher-end homes at more expensive price points.
And, compared to other markets across Canada, Victoria’s future looks very bright indeed.
With one of the lowest unemployment rates in North America, and with employers trying to fill a large number of high-paying jobs over the next 15 years, Victoria will continue to be an attractive and competitive real estate market, especially for people who want to ditch their car and enjoy the amenities of urban life.
Greater Victoria Focused on Increasing Density and Walkability Outside of Downtown Core
Many strata and condo developments in downtown Victoria are an easy sell based on walkable access to shops, services, entertainment and, best of all, work.
Paying attention to steady condo sales downtown, suburban municipalities are also working at reinventing themselves to appeal to residents who may not want to drive everywhere to get things done.
Saanich’s Shelbourne Valley Action Plan is a great example of this trend. The plan, designed to be implemented over thirty years, will transform Shelbourne Street, currently a busy commuter artery, into a series of “villages” or centers where density and walkability are encouraged.
In the short term, the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan will add separated cycling lanes and improved sidewalks while temporarily narrowing a portion of the busy corridor from four lanes of automobile traffic down to two lanes (plus a third turning lane) between Broadmead/Kisber avenues (south) and Garnet Road (north).
It’s all designed to encourage more local trips, help create community hubs and reduce reliance on automobiles.
Some condo developers are already taking advantage of the plan. New developments are already underway close to one of the planned centers along Shelbourne, the newly renovated and revitalized Hillside Mall.
New Cedar Hill Development Plays Starring Role in New Shelbourne Corridor
Planned for 1588 North Dairy Road between Keats and Wordsworth streets, Fifteen88 is a 62-unit condominium complex that will feature a mix of one and two-bedroom residences
The project should be completed by fall 2020 and is intended to be the first examples of Saanich’s newly-introduced development guidelines for the Shelbourne corridor.
Designed to encourage alternative modes of transportation consistent with the vision set out by the plan, Fifteen88 will incorporate over 100 bicycle spaces and five scooter spaces. Cyclists will also benefit from a dedicated cargo bicycle room with cycling repair provisions off the residential entrance.
For residents who don’t want to own a vehicle, a Modo car-share membership will be provided with each home together with a Modo hybrid car that will be situated just steps from the building.
All in all, this new development in Saanich is great news for anyone who is looking for a lifestyle that features close connections to the local community.
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