Despite the recent $1.1-million waterfront sale breaking a condominium sales record in Sooke, the community isn’t poised for a boom in luxury housing builds.
That’s according to Dane Kingsbury, a realtor with McDonald Realty and Vancouver New Condos Group, who says the sale was more of an anomaly than the fuel that started the luxury housing fire.
“This property went for so much because it has the great views of the waterfront. A condo two or three blocks back would have gone for much less,” he said.
“Not every developer is going to have the guts to build something for a market like that. The developers’ risk on capital inputs is going to be very high, and if people don’t come, they’re going to be on the hook for some pretty expensive product.”
The 950-square-foot penthouse condo in the The Residences on the Sooke Harbour waterfront has incredible views of the Sooke Basin and the Olympic Mountain range.
The $1.1 million figure is a record price for a condominium unit in Sooke, beating the previous mark by about $300,000.
The developers, Fitzpatrick Enterprises, are considering another development like the one that sold for over a million, Kingsbury said. Still, he expected that most developments in Sooke would continue to be aimed at the more affordable, family-oriented market.
Kingsbury added that much of the surrounding area, like East Sooke, is still remote, and people who can afford luxury real estate are more likely to want to live closer to Victoria.
There is limited housing stock, though, which could push people further west and increase demand in Sooke, although Kingsbury says the number of housing options in the district is also limited.
There are several reasons for that: people aren’t moving houses as much during the pandemic, and developers are unable to host open houses and invite people to presentation centres to tour condominium complexes.
“You have a void of time, where we would probably have seen some of these buildings that are currently underway for like 2024. They might have been ready to produce moving product maybe earlier into 2023,” he said. “But as a result of just delaying the sales process, they, therefore, delayed the construction process, which therefore delays the completion process.”
Kingsbury says condominium complexes also don’t list every unit available in a building, so the actual number of available real estate may be higher.
But he says of the 65 listings currently available in Sooke, around 20 per cent of them aren’t built houses, an unusually high figure. For condominiums in Greater Victoria, the number of condominiums listed that won’t be completed until 2022 or later is one in four.