Garden Suites in Victoria

Garden Suites in Saanich. 

If you’ve spent any time lately on instagram, or reading architectural design magazines or blogs, tiny homes, garden suites, and other alternative forms of housing are EVERYWHERE. 

In case you missed it, the municipality of Saanich is considering joining the city of Victoria in working to allow the construction of garden suites in our most populous municipality. 

Sample plan view from Saanich’s website.

Here are the the most important things to know:

  1.  A house cannot have a secondary suite AND a garden suite
  2. There are restrictions on the size of the suite, based on the size of the lot. 
  3. Just because your lot meets the size and zoning requirements will not guarantee approval; neighbour’s privacy, shadows cast by the building, etc will all be considered. 
  4. A garden suite MUST have its own parking space. 
  5. The city is looking for green design factors.. Energy consumption, rainwater runoff management, etc. 
Parking is an import consideration in your development application.

Check out the proposal here:

Check out the original Study Here:

Keep in mind, this is not approved yet. Make sure to talk to your local planning department to confirm a project is feasible BEFORE spending too much time designing your perfect little backyard dream project. 

And, if you ever have questions about real estate anywhere in Victoria…. We are here to help!

This is what a garden suite could look like. Keep in mind height and size restrictions when submitting your application.

Vincent Baart

Real Estate Professional

Victoria Property Specialists Group

RE/MAX Camosun


Greater Victoria Market Update – December 2019


With the holiday season behind us and a new year ahead of us, things are gearing up for the 2020 market. The BC Assessments are in the mail for nearly 2 million homeowners in British Columbia. Tina Ireland, an assessor with BC Assessment states, “I would suggest that the significant increases that we have generally seen in the past are just that – they are a thing of the past. We have really seen moderate changes this year, and even some decline in value. So I’d suggest that we are returning to a more stable and balanced market.”

Where prices are rising is in the condominium market. With the Speculation Tax and now, the recent news of strata corporations across BC seeing large increases in their insurance rates and deductibles, 2020 may be the year to consider selling if you own a condo.

If you’ve been thinking of selling, we offer complementary Market Evaluations. See how your BC Assessed value compares to the Market Value!


A total of 402 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 7.2 per cent more than the 375 properties sold in December 2018 and a 30.3 per cent decrease from November 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 17.5 per cent from December 2018 with 121 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 13.8 per cent from December 2018 with 198 sold.

A grand total of 7,255 properties sold over the course of 2019, 1.47 percent more than the 7,150 that sold in 2018. 2019 sales came in at slightly under the ten-year average of 7,413 properties sold.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2018 was $860,400. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2019 decreased by 0.6 per cent to $855,000, slightly less than November’s value of $855,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December.

INTEREST RATES:  A five-year fixed term mortgage can be had for around 2.74% if you qualify, depending on your down payment, term, credit history, institution etc.  Rates have been coming down little by little.  That’s a very good rate, historically speaking.  If you’re thinking of moving, take the time to get preapproved to make sure everything goes more smoothly.  Don’t know a Mortgage Broker? Click HERE to send us an email and we’ll forward on a list of reputable Mortgage Specialists.

WHAT DOES THE MARKET LOOK LIKE FOR 2020 IN BC? The Western Investor published their B.C. residential real estate outlook 2020 on December 17th. the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA) predicts that MLS residential sales across the province will increase 10.9 per cent to 85,500 units in 2020, which would take the annual total to just below the 10-year annual average of 85,800 units. Greater Vancouver residential transactions are predicted to increase by 18.2 per cent in 2020, compared with 2019, and Fraser Valley sales are forecast to go up 12.4 per cent next year. In comparison, Victoria’s resale transactions are expected to rise a more modest four per cent in 2020.

Of course, if you have any questions about the market or what your home or investment property could sell for, we are here to help you!

Holly Sansom

Real Estate Professional

Victoria Property Specialists Group

RE/MAX Camosun


Best Places to Live: Canada Liveability Report

Canadians love where they live; RE/MAX Report explores some of the best places to live in Canada

  • 89 per cent of Canadians would recommend their neighbourhoods to others
  • Major Canadian cities are a beacon for liveability

Canadians genuinely celebrate the liveability factors — the qualities that give each homeowner the true satisfaction of his/her home within the context of a neighbourhood — when it comes to choosing a property to buy and live in. In fact, 89 per cent of Canadians would recommend their neighbourhood to others according to a recent RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger.

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Beyond Legislation:

The shortage of affordable housing in BC was a top political pain point in the last election, and citizens voted based on the party they felt had the best plan to tackle affordable housing. 

Since the 2017 change of government, a lot of red-tape has been added to the process of buying and owning real estate in our Province. There has been a combined effort on the Provincial and Municipal levels to curb the use of short term rentals, vacant homes, out-of-province satellite families, and investors, but is it really working? In addition to the increase in taxes and costs on landowners, the Residential Tenancy Branch has added additional protections for tenants, making BC the province with the strictest protections for tenants and the harshest penalties for landlords who stray from the law. 

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Greater Victoria Market Update – October 2019

Hello everyone!

There’s a chill in the air and more leaves on the ground telling us Autumn is here!  It’s time again for our Monthly Market Update, a service we provide as a courtesy to our loyal clients and contacts.

PRICING & ACTIVITY:  For September the core area (which takes in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Oak Bay and Saanich) is showing a price decrease of about 4.3% year over year.  The benchmark price of a single-family home in the core is $846,500, just a bit less than last month’s $847,300 and 3.6% less than last year’s $878,500.

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Team Market Update: August 2019

Inventory continues to increase, and again sales volume is slightly improved year over year, interest rates decrease. 

– August 2019 Quick Summary

Hi everybody,  

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying summer.  It’s time again for our Monthly Market Update, a service which we provide as a courtesy to our loyal clients and contacts.

Pricing and Activity:  For July the core area (which takes in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Oak Bay and Saanich) is showing a price decrease of about 3.4% year over year.  The benchmark price of a single family home in the core is$858,800, just a bit less than last month’s $859,600 but less than last year’s $889,200.  Overall in our entire market area (which also takes in the islands, Western communities and over the Malahat)it’s almost even year over year, standing at $756,000.  Last year it was $761,300 and last month was  $754,200.Activity and pricing vary by area and also by type of property.  There are more sales of single family homes than any other class so it best represents the activity. 

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CMHC Housing Assessment: Q3 2019 Highlights

Every Quarter, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation releases an assessment of the Canadian Housing Market… here are the findings from August 2019:


  • The Housing Market Assessment (HMA)1 continues to indicate a moderate degree of overall vulnerability at the national level. However, imbalances between house prices and housing market fundamentals have narrowed over the past year.
  • After being flagged with a high degree of vulnerability for twelve consecutive quarters, the overall assessment of the Vancouver housing market has been changed to moderate as evidence of price acceleration has eased to low.
  • The degree of overall vulnerability remains high for Toronto, Hamilton and Victoria. But, conditions of overheating, price acceleration and overvaluation are showing signs of easing in all three centres.
  • Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg continue to see a moderate degree of vulnerability in the overall assessment, where evidence of overbuilding continues to be observed.
  • A low degree of overall vulnerability is maintained for Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, Moncton, Halifax and St. John’s. However, overheating conditions persist in Montréal and Moncton, as does overbuilding in St. John’s

If you’d like to see the full report, check out the report on their website:

Dealing with Asbestos

This is one A-Word that most people don’t want to hear in Real Estate. Before you run screaming for the hills, it’s important to realize that asbestos is not as bad as you might think, and in more place than you ever imagined.

When it was first discovered as a building material, it was a breakthrough with many promising applications… it took a while before scientists discovered the dark side of asbestos.

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