WATCH: Some developers are creating affordable, higher density options, that many say is the housing of the future. April Lawrence takes a look.
For a growing number of house hunters in Greater Victoria, a condominium is one of few options left.
“You can get into an entry level condo for under $300,000 so [it’s] more affordable,” said Tony Zarsadias, owner of The Condo Group.
Even condos that are a little larger are still considerably less than a single family home in the area.
“The closest areas like James Bay and Fairfield, the average home is probably getting close to a million dollars,” he said.
Although condos are getting increasingly smaller, with the average one bedroom about 500 square feet, Zarsadias said they can offer some pretty impressive amenities.
“The gyms and the pools and the hot tubs and having lots of storage.”
If you’re okay with a smaller home but you need the green space a park home development like Chemainus Gardens is another option.
“We have just under 40 acres, over 70 percent of it will remain as gardens,” said Marketing Manager John Kelly.
The homes are all 535 square feet or less.
They’re custom designed and pre-built in a factory.
“They’re built like homes, they’re 2 x 4 construction, they’re insulated thermopane windows, full sized appliances,” Kelly said.
And what they lack in living space, they make up for in price.
“$69,900 and they go up, the most expensive would be about $120,000 depending on the style, the options, and the models that you pick,” he said.
Kelly said the first few phases of the development are already sold out — a sign of how popular this kind of ‘small footprint’ living is becoming.
If you’re not willing to compromise on space, new construction single family homes are still a possibility — mostly on the West Shore.
“You can get a two storey, three bedroom home in the Langford area for $374,000 or $400,000,” said Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association.
Edge said they’re more affordable because they are higher density, something he says other communities need to start embracing.
“We need to take the space that we’ve got in some of these traditional municipalities and make better use of them,” he said. “We have an obligation to future generations to create affordability.”
Because with no sign of demand for housing in Greater Victoria waning, increasing the supply of homes and condos may be the only option for an affordable future.