Drakefearann

Drakefearann

Homefinder: The year that was for Oak Bay homeowners

The hot seller’s market continued to be the big story in Oak Bay real estate for 2016, with limited listings putting pressure on prices

  • Dec. 31, 2016 9:00 a.m.

The hot seller’s market continued to be the big story in Oak Bay real estate for 2016, with limited listings putting pressure on prices.

Right out of the gate in January, realtors were advising clients to have their “ducks in a row” as they embarked on the quest for a new home.

“It’s a tough market for buyers. I think inventory has been low all of last year and it just seems to be getting lower,” realtor Cassie Kangas told HomeFinder in January.

That continuing trend also had an impact on home assessments, with Oak Bay homeowners looking at an average increase of about 6.52 per cent when assessments were mailed last January.

“Notably, a robust real estate market over the past year resulted in assessment increases for man properties in the Vancovuer Island region,” Regional Assessor Reuben Danakody said at the time.

By the beginning of May, the headline read “Property sales exceed expectations” as the Victoria Real Estate Board reported a total of 1,286 properties sold in the region in April, an increase of 53 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Most of those buyers  – 72.5 per cent in the first quarter – were local and many were focused on the Victoria core, Saanich and Oak Bay. “If you are shopping for a home right now, there is a good chance that if you are looking in a higher-demand area you may find yourself in a multiple offer situation when you go to purchase,” said VREB president Mike Nugent.

The story continued through summer. In July, the board reported 972 sales through the region, an increase of 22 per cent over the previous July.

“Though we saw the seasonal slowdown that we expect this time of year, we had another record-breaking month,” Nugent said.

Oak Bay heritage discussions also returned to these pages throughout the 2016, spurred on by concern about the loss of Oak Bay’s older homes. Advocates are working on several fronts, and in April, we chatted with Pat Wilson, of Oak Bay Heritage, about her 1939-built storybook cottage’s place in the heritage register.

“Placing your home on the heritage register says your home has heritage value to the community,” Wilson said. “It flags your home as having heritage value and celebrating what is good about your home for the rest of us.”

Oak Bay homes also figured prominently in other exciting news, including this year’s CARE Awards.

 

Oak Bay’s Drakefearann project, by Denford Construction Management Ltd., was the big winner, capturing 12 gold CARE Awards,

including Project of the Year and the

People’s Choice Award.

 

Also participating in the project were multiple award-winners Goodison Construction and Jason Good Custom Cabinets.

Among the other Oak Bay winners was Patio Court from Città Group, which won for Best Residential Renovation or Restoration $275,000 to $499,000.

From the Island to the provincial stage, Patio Court was also named as a finalist late in the year for the 25th anniversary Georgie Awards, for Best Residential Renovation $100,000 to $299,999

Citta and the other finalists await the gold winners, to be announced March 11 in Vancouver.

2016 also took us to several Oak Bay showpieces taking centre stage on the region’s home and garden tours.

Louise and Frank Quinby showed readers how a “retro-modern” design – the kitchen was inspired by the family’s former Studebaker – took their 1947 half-split level into a roomy, contemporary masterpiece.

And in time for the annual For the Love of Arica Water Garden Tour, Lloyd Howard took us on a tour of his garden created beneath a canopy of Garry oaks.

Talking to local experts about a wide range of home ownership issues through the year, among the lessons learned were tips and tricks to keep mould at bay, with Ryan Ratcliffe from Axiom Mould Experts, what to watch for with asbestos in the home, and yes, even how to get ready for Oak Bay’s annual clutter-buster, Garagellenium in June,

From Bill Okell, from Okell Waterproofing, we learned how to tackle water wreaking havoc in the home, while from Gary Law, of Oak Bay’s SeaFirst Insurance, readers learned the ins and outs of insuring their homes.

2016 was a busy year.

 

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read