As summer approaches, you may be ready for either a change or a new challenge in your life. Maybe you’ve heard great things about the capital of British Columbia and you’ve already checked out what the Victoria real estate market has to offer. But before the increased housing prices scare you away, take some time to get to know the place they call The Garden City! Reflecting the cost of real estate here, the quality of life the city offers to its residents is unparalleled in many ways. We’ve done some research and have come up with 5 things you need to know about before moving to Victoria, BC:
Ask any local about their most beloved aspects of living in Victoria and one of the answers will definitely involve the splendid weather. As well as having a warm Mediterranean climate in summer, The Garden City also boasts mild winters with very slim chances of getting snowed in. Winter here is, however, known as the rainy season, so make sure you carry an umbrella with you from November to mid-March.
Summers are generally not too hot to be uncomfortable, but they are dry and, most importantly, sunny. Victoria has made the list ranking of top 10 major Canadian cities with the highest hours of bright sunshine annually and has an average of 308 days of sunshine per year. If you’re someone who doesn’t really like weather extremes, then the pleasant conditions here will surely lure you in.
Pricy Real Estate
The Victoria real estate market has been heating up for a while, and the increasing prices have surely made it a good investment opportunity for many. Efforts have been made to try to control this upward trend by imposing a foreign buyers’ tax as well as establishing other rules regarding the refinancing and renewal of mortgages.
In the past month the average selling price for single-family homes in the Greater Vancouver area was $903,052, an increase of 26% compared to the same month in 2017. The average price of condos has also risen, and currently stands at $476,568, a similar figure to that for townhouses, which have an average selling price of $579,377. The rental market is pretty tight, with an overall vacancy rate of 0.7% and an average rent of $1,072.
At merely 3.3%, the unemployment rate in the Greater Victoria area is the lowest in all of Canada. One of the most important and most fast-paced industries in the city is the tech sector, boasting nearly 400 firms with a combined annual revenue in excess of $4 billion. Other major employers can be found in the retail, tourism, education, food products and government administration industries.
Aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs will also feel at home in Victoria, thanks to the informational courses, accelerator programs and societies aiming to help local businesses thrive. For those looking to widen their horizons and keep on studying, the three major post-secondary institutions of Victoria (namely the University of Victoria, Camosun College and Royal Roads University) offer a wide array of opportunities.
The favourable weather conditions here are not only beloved by residents but are also highly appreciated by local farmers. Thanks to the booming local agriculture sector, the restaurants, diners and pubs of Victoria make good use of locally-grown and organic produce. Whether you’re interested in exotic flavours, healthy snacks or even vegetarian treats, you can be sure that you’ll find something to suit your taste in the hundreds of eateries in the city.
Let’s not forget about the fact that Victoria is British Columbia’s self-proclaimed Craft Beer Capital, boasting a prosperous local brewing culture. You will not only find a wide selection of local breweries, distilleries and cideries, but you can also enjoy some fine, award-winning wine in the picturesque vineyards located in the outskirts of the city.
When the weather is fine (and it usually is), residents of Victoria flock to the great outdoors for some well-deserved leisure time. Not only does the city have over 100 parks filled to the brim with colourful flowers (hence the city’s nickname), it also has a Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan set in motion to upgrade said green spaces in the next 25 years.
Whichever outdoor activity you prefer, Victoria can provide an ideal setting, the proof of this being the 3.5 million tourists who come here every year. Due to the city’s maritime location, it will be no surprise to learn that sailing and rowing are popular sports here, while cycling and curling also have their adherents. Beacon Hill Park, with its petting zoo, playing fields and waterpark, is a great place to take the kids, and other nearby outdoor sights include Fort Rudd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse. Last but not least, visitors and locals alike can take part in whale watching—a popular and worthwhile activity in this area.
To conclude, moving to Victoria can be quite a thrill. Even if the prices are generally high, it’s hard to beat the top quality of life the British Columbian capital offers its residents. From a stable economy and famously mild climate to a myriad of professional as well as leisure opportunities, this city has it all. We think that anyone looking for a change of scenery or maybe looking to start on a fresh career path, after they have done a bit of research beforehand, will find that this city will not disappoint.