Kelowna, Victoria are 2020 Hotspots

Photo: City of Kelowna

Greater Victoria and the Central Okanagan continue to be B.C.’s primary destinations for retirees, second-home purchasers and downsizers. However, 2019 brought some relief to homeowners’ tax burdens, thanks to slowing real estate sales in Lower Mainland due to increased taxation and scrutiny over foreign investment.

Provincial assessments often increase in communities that have previously been “affordable,” as buyers move up to the next rung in the ladder and younger, often first-time home buyers fill the void. So while luxury homes in Oak Bay saw their assessments fall by five per cent or so, mid-priced homes in Langford, Sooke or View Royale experienced a slight rise in assessments. In the Central Okanagan, assessments stayed virtually the same between 2018 and 2019, mirroring the slower pace of sales. Still, homeowners in both Victoria and Kelowna have experienced good returns from the housing boom that emerged after the global financial crisis in 2009/2010.

Buy here: Typical assessmed value of a single-family home in Victoria, $821,000; Kelowna, $629,000.