Monday January 18, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated in market pricing section at 6:20 pm]
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
As the calendar turns and 2021 get rolling, the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) has made its annual announcement of a new president and their Board of Directors for the year.
A REALTOR® from Macdonald Realty Victoria will be president this year — David Langlois will be president and board chair for 2021 which is the centennial year for VREB.
“I am honoured to be leading the Victoria Real Estate Board into our centennial year,” said President Langlois.
This is a year with some unique market aspects, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Most property listings are shown remotely now with a virtual tour, and most showings are singularly held by appointment in replacing the traditional open house due to restrictions on gatherings and maintaining six feet of physical space.
Sandi-Jo Ayers was the VREB president who guided VREB through the pandemic year of 2020.
Market pricing and demand:
Market pricing and demand surprised nearly everyone last year. After a market standstill in March and April as the pandemic dug in, then pricing held strong and even increased, especially for single family homes where space and isolation was the prized premium. Demand became even stronger than usual for single family homes and also townhomes. In the year 2020 overall, condo demand was steady but did not increase.
The latest VREB stats (averages of actual sales for December 2020) show single family homes averaging at $992,202 across Greater Victoria ($1,196,945 in Saanich East, $1,148,532 in Victoria, $1,144,000 in View Royal, $859,909 in Langford, $837,743 in Esquimalt, $833,093 in Colwood, and $599,785 in Sooke); townhouses averaging at $681,616 across Greater Victoria; and condominium units at $485,312 across Greater Victoria.
The BC Government and local municipalities are aiming to increase the number of affordable housing projects and rental units in major cities in BC. [Map of provincially-funded housing projects | Tackling the housing crisis with affordable homes]
At least one developer in the west shore — David Marsh with Manitoba-based Ironclad Developments — says that single family homes are “largely unaffordable” in the Greater Victoria area. He says that the housing market price point has “really reached a crisis level”. He points out that there is a “desperate need for more housing and a variety of housing types”, as part of his presentation at City of Langford council this evening.
One hundred years:
“Our Board of Directors, Members and staff have shown themselves to be the best in business, year after year. As we enter our 100th year we look forward to not just celebrating our history but at how to position ourselves for the next 100 years,” said Langlois in a news release today.
“As a board we will continue to focus on delivering high level services to our members and advocating for our profession on a local, provincial and national level,” said Langlois.
Langlois says VREB has built an organization that is “admired throughout organized real estate” and that the organization has established relationships both inside and outside of the industry that will help them continue to support their members “to deliver the best possible service to their clients while advancing the interests of our profession”.
No group photo:
Due to COVID and the restrictions on social gatherings and the requirement for physical distancing, there is no group photo of the VREB board this year.
Joining Langlois around the table is President-Elect Karen Dinnie-Smyth, Treasurer Patrick Novotny, Past President Sandi-Jo Ayers and Directors Sheila Aujla, Robert Cole, Laurie Lidstone, Jackie Ngai, and Graden Sol.