West Shore communities are leading the way when it comes to new housing stock in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media File)

West Shore communities are leading the way when it comes to new housing stock in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media File)

West Shore communities lead Greater Victoria in new housing stock

New figures show the speculation tax is having little effect on non-resident ownership

New housing figures raise questions about the provincial speculation tax and confirm the fast-growing nature of the West Shore.

Figures from Statistics Canada show that the share of residential properties owned by non-residents in British Columbia remained stable at 3.2 per cent from 2018 to 2019.

The provincial government started charging the provincial speculation and vacancy tax in the fall of 2018 in selected parts of the province including Greater Victoria to cool an overheated real estate sector by way of taxing non-residents who own properties in the province. Such homeowners can avoid the tax by renting out their properties.

The controversial tax has drawn legal challenges not to mention criticism from locals. But if the tax aims to discourage outsiders from owning second homes in British Columbia, it appears to have failed, at least based on the available evidence, with the provision that the available data is of a small sample size, namely a year.

RELATED: Langford, Colwood, Sidney lead region in housing starts

Statistics Canada also shows that the provincial housing stock is growing faster in urban areas than rural areas, with the proviso that housing growth in CMAs (Census Metropolitan Areas) takes place at their respective edges rather than in their geographic centres.

Consider Victoria’s CMA. Growth in Census Subdivisions of Langford (up four per cent), Colwood (up 3.2 per cent) and Sooke (up 2.7 per cent) has outpaced growth in the Victoria Census Subdivision (up 1.3 per cent). These figures broadly match demographic figures that show the geographic centres of CMAs losing population to outer districts or even other regions entirely.

This trend has become especially notable in Vancouver’s CMA as the suburbs ringing the City of Vancouver, as well as the Fraser Valley and beyond, have recorded steady population gains in the face of high housing prices in the core. This said, CMAs including Vancouver continue to draw international migrants as well as younger individuals coming to CMAs for post-secondary education from other, less urban parts of the province.

Victoria CMA appears to experience a comparable phenomenon, with the areas outside the core communities of Victoria and Saanich but especially the West Shore absorbing regional population growth, as measured by additional housing.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Andrew McBride is among those who deck out for Sea of Lights floating ship parade annually. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic sinks Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Sea of Lights

Oak Bay club encourages donations to the charities event supports

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read