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Victoria, BC Ultimate Neighbourhoods Guide: What does it cost to buy a house in Victoria, BC?

If you’re thinking about making a move to Victoria, BC, or looking for things to do as a visitor, our upcoming video series is for you!

We’ll be diving into each of the 13 municipalities making up the Capital Regional District, or “CRD”, most known as “Greater Victoria”. Kicking things off with this overarching summary to help you decide what areas best fit your goals and lifestyle.

The big question: “What does it cost to buy a home in Victoria, BC?”

We hear you, and we have included benchmark prices in each district based on the June 2023 data from the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), which calculates benchmark price as the value of a “typical home” based on what has been bought and sold in the area.

Please note: There is a considerable amount of price variability depending on what you’re looking for and the current market.

Capital Region District (CRD)

Each municipality within the CRD has its own local government, with elected representatives also serving on the CRD, Capital Region Housing Corporation, and Capital Regional Hospital District boards.

The CRD works collaboratively with First Nations, municipal councils, and local businesses and organizations to expand, improve, and uphold the quality of regional utilities and services accessed throughout Southern Vancouver Island.

Peninsula Districts

Starting up the Saanich Peninsula, we have North Saanich, Central Saanich, and Sidney – these three are referred to as the Peninsula districts.

North Saanich

North Saanich has a population of 12,235 with an average household size of 2.4 (Stats Canada, 2021).

This is an affluent, rural area, with acreages and waterfront properties. The community-like neighbourhoods border agricultural land protected by the Provincial Agricultural Land Reserve. You will see many roadside flower stands and signs for fresh eggs and other locally grown food.

This area also enjoys proximity to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, and the International Airport located in Sidney, as well as many parkland trails for hiking, cycling and horseback riding.

Benchmark prices for a detached home in North Saanich range from $1,161,000, in the McDonald Park neighbourhood, to $1,634,900, in the Ardmore neighbourhood, and for June 2023, the benchmark condo price in this neighbourhood was $746,700.

Due to the rural characteristics mentioned, this district has both the largest collection of wealth and the lowest property taxes in the CRD.

Sidney

Nestled next to North Saanich is Sidney. Sidney is a small seaside town that embodies slow living with picturesque views, making it a beloved retirement location for many, with approximately 41% of its residents over 65 years of age.

Sidney has a thriving arts community and is home to the popular Sidney Street Market with over 100 local vendors.

As previously mentioned, this is also where the Victoria Airport is located.

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Sidney range from $834,600, in the South-West neighbourhood, to $1,095,500, in the South-East neighbourhood, and benchmark condo prices range from $568,200 in the North-East neighbourhood to $738,800 in the South-East neighbourhood.

Central Saanich

Moving down the Peninsula towards Central Saanich, we’ll see that rural, small-town character continued alongside an abundance of regional and provincial parks and garden spaces, including the renowned Butchart Gardens and Butterfly Gardens.

Much of the land zoned for Agricultural use is a part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, a provincial designation that prioritizes and protects the land for agricultural use.

You can take a 25-minute ferry ride from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay, giving you access to outdoor recreation and wildlife spaces across the Saanich Inlet.

Central Saanich has a population of 17,385 with an average household size of 2.4 (Stats Canada, 2021). Benchmark prices for a detached home in Central Saanich range from 1,010,100, in the Turgoose neighbourhood, to $1,191,200, in the Tanner neighbourhood.

Core Districts

Below Central Saanich we move into the Core Districts, starting with Saanich, the largest of the 13 districts, often talked about as Saanich East and Saanich West.

Saanich

Saanich has a population of 117,735 with an average household size of 2.4 (Stats Canada, 2021). Saanich is home to the University of Victoria and Camosun College, two of the largest post-secondary institutions in the CRD, as well as 170 parks, over 100 km of trails, 62 sports fields, 56 playgrounds, and 37 beach access points.

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Saanich East range from $1,018,800, in the Quadra neighbourhood to $2,154,000 in the Ten Mile Point neighbourhood. Benchmark condo prices range from $436,200 in the Maplewood neighbourhood to $1,243,800 in the Cordova Bay neighbourhood.

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Saanich West range from $756,700, in the Gateway neighbourhood to $1,593,200, in the West Saanich neighbourhood. Benchmark condo prices range from $414,200 in the Northridge neighbourhood to $673,000 in the Royal Oak neighbourhood.

Victoria

The Swartz Bay Ferry terminal in North Saanich to Downtown Victoria is about a 35-minute drive depending on traffic. Next to the City of Victoria we have Esquimalt to the West and Oak Bay to the East.

BC’s capital, the City of Victoria has a population of 91,867 with an average household size of 1.8 (Stats Canada, 2021). Victoria is a popular tourist destination, with plenty of waterfront walkways and the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada.

Each neighbourhood has its own charm, the sought-after James Bay neighbourhood is home to Fisherman’s Wharf, a community hub located alongside access to Dallas Road, which runs from Downtown Victoria to Cordova Bay.

Adjacent to Dallas Road is Beacon Hill Park, the Cameron Bandshell hosts a variety of free community events and activities, from live music to dance lessons to plant workshops.

Next to Beacon Hill Park is the vibrant Cook Street Village, where you will enjoy many thriving businesses and possibly spot a few resident peacocks.

Victoria’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America, Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest commercial street in North America, and The Empress hotel is well known for its afternoon tea experience.

Downtown Victoria is also lined with bike lanes and boutique gyms each with their own sense of community.

From Downtown Victoria over the Bay Street Bridge we have the Victoria West neighbourhood, where the official beginning of the Galloping Goose Trail starts, a 55km trail that runs all the way from Victoria to Sooke.

Benchmark prices for a detached home in the City of Victoria range from $915,300 in the Central Park neighbourhood to $1,741,600, in the Rockland neighbourhood.

Benchmark condo prices range from $409,600 in the Burnside neighbourhood to $1,006,800 in the Rockland neighbourhood.

Esquimalt

Next to the Victoria West neighbourhood is the Township of Esquimalt, with a population of 17,533 and an average household size of 2.0 (Stats Canada, 2021).

The name ‘Esquimalt’ comes from a Coast Salish word meaning gradually shoaling water. The Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations, also known as Lekwungen-speaking peoples, have been stewards of the land from time immemorial and each Nation oversees community planning, programs and services, economic development, and sustainability initiatives within their communities.

Waterfront walkways lead in and out of Esquimalt, bordered by the coastline and the Gorge Waterway. Saxe Point Park is one of the best places to watch the sunset with meadow picnic spots and beach access.

The Canadian Forces Base is the largest employer in Esquimalt comprised of 1,500 buildings across 23 sites.

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Esquimalt range from $1,005,200, in the Old Esquimalt neighbourhood to $1,189,100, in the Kinsmen Park neighbourhood.

Benchmark condo prices range from $395,900 in the Rockheights neighbourhood to $616,000 in the Gorge Vale neighbourhood.

Oak Bay

Moving back over to the East of Downtown Victoria we have the District of Oak Bay, another one of CRD’s most affluent neighborhoods, with a population of 17,990 and an average household size of 2.3 (Stats Canada, 2021).

Oak Bay encompasses the area approximately inside Beach Drive and Foul Bay Road up to the University of Victoria, containing the Uplands Golf Club, Victoria Golf Club, Oak Bay Marina, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, and the popular Willows Beach, as well as other parks and beach access spots. Gonzales Hill Regional Park is the highest point of land on the south coast of Vancouver Island.

Oak Bay is known to have striking character homes and less housing density; the district did not have a program for permitted secondary suites until 2022.

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Oak Bay range from $1,450,300, in the Henderson neighbourhood to $2,660,300, in the Uplands neighbourhood. Benchmark condo prices range from $698,300 in the South Oak Bay neighbourhood to $967,200 in the Henderson neighbourhood.  

Back up to the west of Saanich we have the District of Highlands and the Town of View Royal, with the City of Langford and City of Colwood further west of those.

Saanich to View Royal are considered the Core Districts, with View Royal as the gateway to the Westshore districts.

View Royal

View Royal has a population of 11,575 with an average household size of 2.3 (Stats Canada, 2021).

South-east View Royal is bordered by Esquimalt Harbour and the Portage Inlet, while its north-west area encompasses a significant portion of Thetis Lake Regional Park, 921.73 hectares of land with over 40km of recreational trails.

View Royal is where you will find the Victoria General Hospital and the CRD’s only casino.

The benchmark price for a detached home in View Royal is around $1,076,200; benchmark condo prices range from $493,700 to $629,200.

Westshore

Highlands to Sooke are considered the Westshore districts.

Highlands

The District of Highlands is a rural residential district, with a population of 2,482 (Stats Canada, 2021). More than one-third of the Highlands is protected parkland. Residents are typically environmentally conscious and community-focused, with an appreciation for the natural environment as part of their lifestyle.

Gowlland Tod Provincial Park is a popular spot overlooking the Tod Inlet. 

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Highlands range from $1,445,800, in the Bear Mountain neighbourhood to $1,611,900 in the Eastern Highlands neighbourhood.  

Colwood

Moving down to the City of Colwood, with a population of 18,961, you’ll notice the difference in density from Highlands to Colwood (Stats Canada, 2021).

Colwood is home to the iconic Hatley Castle and Royal Roads University, a leading post-secondary institution in Canada.

The family-friendly vibe of Colwood, economic development, and new waterfront construction make it an attractive neighbourhood for many. 

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Colwood range from $864,300, in the Hatley Park neighbourhood to $1,251,000, in the Royal Bay neighbourhood.

Benchmark condo prices range from $385,100 in the Royal Roads neighbourhood to $680,800 in the Lagoon neighbourhood.  

You may have heard the expression “Colwood Crawl” which is referencing the traffic commute to and from Downtown Victoria to Colwood and Langford.

The drive from Downtown Victoria to Downtown Langford can be done in under twenty minutes but can take up to 40 minutes during rush hour traffic. Now, this doesn’t sound too bad when you consider average drive times in other metropolitan areas of Canada, but because traffic is otherwise not a noteworthy characteristic of living in the CRD, the commute has earned a reputation.

Langford

In the 2021 census, Langford was the fastest growing municipality in BC and the third fastest growing in Canada.

It’s no surprise people are drawn to Langford, the city has been welcoming to new development and is known for its best-of-both-worlds lifestyle, with thriving urban amenities and abundant access to outdoor recreation, including forested and lakeside trails.

The rise of suburban developments and new construction has made Langford a more affordable option, with many young families and relatively new businesses.

The City of Langford has a population of 46,584, with an average household size of 2.4 (Stats Canada, 2021).

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Langford range from $778,600, in the Langford Proper neighbourhood to $1,449,600, in the Bear Mountain neighbourhood (which is split between Langford and Highlands).

Benchmark condo prices range from $507,600 in the Langford Proper neighbourhood to $608,400 in the Florence Lake neighbourhood.

There are many pre-sale opportunities and community-centered new developments in Langford, and the City of Langford has its own pilot program to help qualifying residents with financial assistance towards their downpayment, the Langford Attainable Home Ownership Program.

Metchosin

That leads us to the District of Metchosin and the District of Sooke. These areas have their own microclimates, so they get more rain than the districts to their east, for Metchosin about 42 inches a year and for Sooke about 54.7 inches, relative to Victoria which gets about 37.8 inches a year.

Metchosin is an especially rural district, with residents who appreciate living among the abundance of natural environment. Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park includes one of the few sandy beaches on southern Vancouver Island, a salt marsh, and Sitting Lady Falls.

Metchosin is also where Bilston Creek Farm is located, a lavender farm we’ve highlighted in the past.

The District of Metchosin cares about preserving the heritage of the area, including the diverse ecosystems, old growth trees, and older buildings and homes.

The 2021 census reported the population at 5,067, with an average household size of 2.5 (Stats Canada, 2021). 

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Metchosin range from $1,289,300 to $1,537,900.

Sooke

Sooke has a population of 11,583, with an average household size of 2.4 (Stats Canada, 2021). Like Metchosin, Sooke is known for an abundance of nature and outdoor recreation.

It’s about a 40–50-minute drive from Downtown Sooke to Downtown Victoria depending on traffic. The Galloping Goose Trail is a bikeable option.

When you consider the community in Sooke alongside the environment and housing prices, it’s no surprise that many people gravitate towards Sooke, even if they’re working in the core districts, as the commute is worth their lifestyle.

Strategic goals laid out by the District of Sooke’s Community Economic Development Committee include attracting businesses and organizations that contribute to a circular economy, protect natural resources, and provide protection from climate risks, and prioritize social, environmental, and economic co-benefits, in addition to supporting existing businesses and organizations with continued growth.

Benchmark prices for a detached home in Sooke range from $746,700, in the Kemp Lake neighbourhood to $957,300, in the Sunriver neighbourhood. Benchmark condo prices range from $403,200 in the Billings Spit neighbourhood to $587,700 in the Sooke Village Core neighbourhood.

Your Resources

We hope you found this blog post and video informative and uplifting!

We are always happy to have a conversation to learn more about your goals and how we can help, no matter what stage you’re at.

Thank you for your support.

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Contact us to book a buyer or seller consultation.

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Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) CRD Maps.

Thank you for being here,

Alex Hughes* and Ricki-Lee Jewell, Victoria, BC Real Estate Agents

*Personal Real Estate Corporation

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