WATCH: The latest assessment figures are no surprise, housing values are up in many parts of Vancouver Island. And there is one sector of the market experiencing a boom. Mary Griffin reports.
At Prospect Lane in Oak Bay, every house is assessed at well over a million dollars. A few blocks away, on Cubbon Road, every homeowner is a millionaire on paper.
This is the 2018 BC Property Assessment overview. The latest assessed values from the BC Assessment Authority confirm that single-family homes in the Greater Victoria core are spiralling out of reach for many first-time buyers. Realtor Tony Joe said first-time home buyers will have to readjust their expectations. "The biggest thing I think is anyone who wants to get into the marketplace right now, unfortunately, they have to adjust their hope of having a home, a house, as their first home, and into something higher density like a townhouse, or a condo," Joe said.
Even in that market, there is a wide range of prices. From townhouses in View Royal where a unit for sale is priced less than $200,000 to the Vancouver Island's most expensive condo in Songees assessed for $8.1 million. The building boom in downtown Victoria is all about condos. While in the western communities, thousands of single-family homes are planned or under construction.
Joe said there is a choice. "You have the option of buying a $600,000 condo or you can go further out and buy yourself a house for $600,000. But then, you need to figure out transit, getting your schools," Joe said.
The supply of detached houses for sale hit an all-time low in December in Greater Victoria. But demand continues to grow and so do the prices across the board. "The biggest thing, perhaps, [the] assessed value of condos were just undervalued for some time. And they are coming up to where they should realistically be now," Joe said.