Land of the nearly wed and nearly divested

According to the 2016 census, there are now 367,770 people in the Victoria census metropolitan area.  That is up some 6.7% from 2011, and a growth that is faster than the 4.4% we saw from 2006 to 2011.  One thing that Victoria has always been known for is that it’s the land of the “nearly wed and nearly dead”, with a much larger percentage of the population over 65 years old compared to the rest of Canada and BC.

While that saying is quite out of date (sorry to the more seasoned readers!) the vast majority of people in this 65+ age group do own real estate and chances are they’re not that active in buying more of it anymore.  Based on the newest census data, we can look at the complete picture as it currently stands.

To look into this further, let’s examine a paper out of the US from 2008 that examined the relationship between age and home buying behaviour.   In Aging Baby Boomers and the Generational Housing Bubble: Foresight and Mitigation of an Epic Transition, Myers and Ryu look at the impact of population on housing market trends, and discuss how the retiring baby boomers may unleash a multi-decade reversal of the trend of increasing house prices.   Well worth a read if you can access it, if not I will be discussing it further in future articles.   They examine what percentage of the population in each age group typically buy a house in any given year, and what percentage typically sell a house.   For all 50 states studied, it looked like Figure 3 below.

The highest buying rates were around 25 – 40 years old with a gradual decline after that, while selling rates stayed relatively steady until people hit 70 years old, when they start spiking.   In other words, people are net buyers (buying more properties than they sell) until about age 65.  At this point it turns around and people over 65 become net sellers of property.

They did find that this varies strongly by state.   For example, in lower cost states there was more buying earlier, while in higher cost states like California, people delayed their purchases until they were a bit older.   Also in retirement states like Arizona and Florida, older age groups continued to be strong net buyers due to retiree in-migration (Figure 4 below).  In some retiree states, people did not become net sellers until approximately age 75.

What is most similar to Victoria?  On the one hand we are a retirement destination, but on the other hand we are a very high priced market (closer to California and very unlike Arizona and Florida).  So while we can expect a retiree influx to prop up our home purchase rates in older demographics, we shouldn’t expect it to be as large as in Arizona, and we may even see retirees cashing out of Victoria to move to lower priced markets.

One thing we do know for certain is that the boomer wave is heading inexorably towards net seller territory and those numbers are increasing every year.   In the Victoria population, we can see that the net sellers category will be increasing heavily as the boomer wave crosses over 70.

We can already see a huge change in the last 5 years, with the percentage over 65 years old (likely net sellers) in Victoria going from 18% to 21% of the population.

So the natural demographics will be pushing us more and more towards an increasing percentage of the population selling more houses than they buy.   What exactly is that pressure and how many properties can we expect to see hit the market from demographic forces?   Did our growth in the 65+ category come from aging in place or from people coming here to retire?  Will the aging trend be counteracted by in-migration and an increasing number of younger people choosing to stay in Victoria as the economy diversifies?

No more time to dig into that tonight, but I’ll keep exploring this in future articles.  Is the surge in the older population a net positive or net negative for the Victoria housing market?

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131 thoughts on “Land of the nearly wed and nearly divested

  1. “I find it interesting that Oak Bay never reported the April 27 incident at Willows Beach in their April or May crime map (web site or newspaper). In April the reason was because of the “time lag,” now in May it’s probably because “April is over!”

    I also find it interesting that reported crimes in other areas of the greater Victoria area from a month ago are suddenly wiped out from the crime report stats online site.

    But with information at our fingertips, crime stats are easily accessible anyway online. One can always contact local police, talk to neighbors, and read local newspapers.

  2. If you can’t get a mortgage, you can’t buy a house. If half the mortgages are now shadow/private/subprime lending then this market is on it’s last legs. Brokers like this pleading for government to “do something!” is a pathetic joke.

    CLIENTS ARE STUCK AND BROKERS SCRAMBLING

    “Private lending rates increased and lending fees increased with LTV being decreased! Clients are stuck and brokers are scrambling to find options for their clients. Clients are placed in a very bad situation as they are in position of being sued since they cannot come up with the extra capital to close on alternative mortgages.

    Private first residential mortgage in the GTA is now at 8.99 to 9.99% RATE – 65% LTV to 75% LTV. You’ll obtain 80% if you’re lucky and be prepared to pay higher rate and fees. Fees are 3 to 4% on a first now on private – This is INSANE. In fact many private lenders are out of capital. Options are minimum! ”

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/government-need-make-some-drastic-change-ameera-ameerullah?mc_cid=f3bb5d902c&mc_eid=1c71249e28

  3. Gotta say I am surprised that the foreign buyers tax didn’t drive more people to Victoria. did seem like a logical theory

  4. Of course it ‘increased’ in Victoria as a % if the province. Vancouver numbers dropped off the charts, so even if nominal numbers stay the same and % of buyers in gvic stays the same it’ll increase as a total of sales in the province. Heck, it could have dropped in Victoria too and still been “up” by that metric.

    I believe it is actually excluding Vancouver but the sentence is so confusing I’m not 100% sure.

    Agree with the author that sentence is very awkwardly written. Mistakes happen no big deal.

  5. All this attention to “foreign buyers” is just so silly. If the politicians think they are going to douse the “foreign buyers” epidemic with their 15% or 30% buyers tax, they are clearly deluding themselves. These “foreign buyers” are cagey people. If they want to buy, they will find a way to buy, they will find a loophole, get a friend, relative with residency or something. These are the same people scurrying their money out of their countries by all means possible, circumventing the restrictions there, because they are desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.

  6. “You nailed it! That’s the problem with Victoria. Too many Albertans!”

    Well my wonderful friends in Victoria, here’s the problem. We have no pipelines, so we have no work. Almost 10% unemployment in Calgary. So we’re coming to Victoria to find work! Yes all us rednecks are coming to be your neighbours! Buy up whatever homes are left. So I guess you’ll just have to decide which it is….which you’d prefer…..pipelines or redneck lousy driver neighbours!

    @Vicbot
    “He finds that the people in Victoria are rude and have a lot of road rage.”
    Sure you got that right Vicbot? I can’t believe a Calgarian said that about Victoria.
    Here in Calgary we by far have the worst drivers on the continent and accompanying road rage! I’m in total disbelief that a Calgarian would even consider giving up that honour to any other municipality. I think 20% of Calgary drivers never even passed their drivers test, forged them or something. If he said that, then on behalf of all Albertans I humbly apologize to all Victorians because it clearly is not true!

  7. the author:
    I see what u r saying. And then 23.8 of province’s foreign transactions were in CRD. V. awkwardly phrased by prov.

    Lazy freelancer doesn’t read her sources and blames her poor reading comprehension abilities for her poor reporting.

    And even if her numbers were true, her numbers are from a sample size of a few weeks in a market the size of Victoria.

    sigh

  8. The 16.5% and 23.8% refers to the percentage of the province’s foreign buyers transactions that occurred in Victoria.

    Bahahaha.

    Of course it ‘increased’ in Victoria as a % if the province. Vancouver numbers dropped off the charts, so even if nominal numbers stay the same and % of buyers in gvic stays the same it’ll increase as a total of sales in the province. Heck, it could have dropped in Victoria too and still been “up” by that metric.

    Suited her angle on the story as she (wrongly) interpreted it.

    Will the article be updated with the proper data line you supplied? My money is on no. Increase from 4.8 to 5.2 isn’t sensational. It’s quite possibly variance and not an increase at all. Really doesn’t help with the whole, “The foreigners are flocking elsewhere” angle.

  9. The author of that article replied to me.
    https://twitter.com/Goldiein604/status/874097013595398144

    My opinion: report was misinterpreted.
    The 16.5% and 23.8% refers to the percentage of the province’s foreign buyers transactions that occurred in Victoria.

    However that is not what the sentence in the article “In Victoria, purchases by foreign nationals went from 16.5 per cent to 23.8 per cent after the tax” says.

  10. Anyone can find the source?

    The values for Victoria from 2010 through 2014 are the exact same values as the stats Canada ones, so they had to come from there:

    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil107a-eng.htm

    I ran the 2014 number through the BoC inflation calc and it didn’t match up, so no clue where they got 2015-2017 (2017 It isn’t over yet so it seems absurd to list a value).

    If they are using some actual data, it seems strange to use​ one source for some of the values and a different for others.

  11. What I’m most interested in is where they got the incomes data.

    I’ve never found good up to date income data through statscan… Anyone can find the source?

  12. The Vancity report also makes some pretty silly statements such as: “The data Landcor provided for this study bears out these trends. In the seven months since the property transfer tax on foreign purchases took effect, average monthly sales of detached homes fell in all but one of the municipalities
    this report considers compared to the seven months before the increase (Sidney, on Vancouver Island, was the exception).”

    Well no duh, Spring/early summer sales are always much higher than late summer/fall sales.

  13. I don’t think they do, they say “When all housing types are factored in, the Vancouver resident can expect to put 48.6 per cent of their income toward housing, according to the Vancity report, which used data provided by Landcor Data Corp.”.
    So the Landcor data was for the Vancity report, not for the foreign buyers percentages.

    For the foreign buying piece they say “The numbers of purchases by foreign nationals significantly dropped in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Burnaby, according to provincial data attached to the report. However, in that same period, foreign nationals made headway in markets that didn’t have the tax. In Victoria, purchases by foreign nationals went from 16.5 per cent to 23.8 per cent after the tax.”

    Seems to me they are using the provincial data (Land Transfer Office) which is the same data I use. I tweeted the author to see what she has to say about it.

  14. I agree a lot of the bad reputation Langford has is because people from Victoria don’t venture out beyond the odd store in the westshore if at all.

    If Langford didn’t have Costco we’d never go there. What other reason is there to go there? Glen Lake perhaps…? The flea market? The good stuff is past Langford, and the rest is in town.

    That said I don’t feel that strongly about it one way or the other. We live in Gordon Head and it is at least as bad as Langford, just older. Amusing how Introvert looks down his/her nose at Landford from the suburban wasteland of Gordon Head.
    Doesn’t matter to me. I don’t really really think proximity to shops is the be-all end all of a neighbourhood.

  15. Leo S, the article was based on a Vancity report, which used data from Landcor Data Corp & provincial gov’t. Is it possible to check into that at all?

    It seems they collected data on Victoria as well:
    “Lions Bay, Oak Bay, Delta, Bowen Island, North Saanich, Squamish and the township of Langley also rank among the least affordable municipalities in the region, based on median price and income.”

    They’re also quoting David Ley & Josh Gordon, so it looks like they did their research.

  16. In Victoria, purchases by foreign nationals went from 16.5 per cent to 23.8 per cent after the tax.

    I’d say they have data that I don’t, but they reference the provincial data, and their numbers are complete nonsense.
    First of all, before the tax was 3.77% foreign buyers in Victoria (average 55 foreign buyers/month), after the tax (6 months), the average was 5.04% (or 45 buyers/month). So the percentage went up, bu the actual number of foreign buyers went down.

    So where could they possibly have gotten 16.5% and 23.8%? Even if they had the stats for Victoria proper that is extremely unlikely to be correct since it would mean almost every single sale to a foreign buyer in the whole region was in Victoria proper.

  17. Charlie,

    I hope the 30% tax is the first thing the NDP/Greens do and send corrupt Christy and her developer cronies out the door and blow this bubble up for good.

    Langford, is also known as Gangford for a reason with it’s bike gang connected with you know who. Not to mention all the other criminal elements that live out there.

    Bear Mountain is nice but lots slapped so tight together and way overvalued regardless of some of the views. Tried driving from Costco the several lights to Canwest Mall and it took over 20 minutes and no accident etc. Just a joke of a set up.

    People drive 40 in Victoria because most of the streets are designed for it, especially since every side street has a basement dweller and makes the road single lane. Thinking you can speed around Victoria is only an idiots idea.

    As JD said, the town has grown too fast. Road ragers like Bearkilla have definitely increased and need to be neutered to control their fits.

  18. You see this is what I’m talking about. Leo, do you know how to use a map? Oh wait Victoria resident therefore no you don’t. Cup of coffee lol. My god.

  19. Where do Langford residents go for a cup of coffee or for a small bag of groceries or for a nice meal on a patio? Langford is missing the sense of community that good urban planning provides with small villages like Fernwood or Oak Bay Village or Cook Street Village.

    Langford is all sprawl.

  20. Hawk,

    I like to separate the “currently happening” from the “if this happens”. From multiple sources, statistical and data analysis, the TO residential real estate market last month experienced a remarkable decline in sales and selling price, with a concurrent drastic increase in listings. Frightening stuff. If the dramatic decline continues over the summer, then technically, Toronto has crashed. Once Toronto crashes, the correction in Vancouver, which has been occurring steadily since spring of 2016, will be accelerated into a crash.

    Now in the “if this happens” category….

    A province-wide 30% Foreign Buyers Tax I think will have a tw0-fold effect. Foreign buyers will be deterred from paying 300K on a million dollar purchase, and foreign buyers will buy less RE. But also, the local perception will change because most will realize that 30% is a lot, and most will believe that the foreign purchasing will decline. I think the 30% FBT has a better chance of becoming a reality than not, I hope the NDP/Greens make this happen. And, if the increase of the FBT occurs in BC in the next few months we might see a race to the bottom between Vancouver and Toronto. Edmonton and Calgary, with a RE market currently running on fumes, will go down hard. And of course, Victoria.

  21. “I agree a lot of the bad reputation Langford has is because people from Victoria don’t venture out beyond the odd store in the westshore if at all. ”

    For most people in the core Langford is (a) big box shopping, (b) a speed bump on the way to either the west coast or up island. No wonder it doesn’t get much respect.

  22. Nope the problem with Victoria is too many Victorians. As for Langford I don’t live there. Too many people who used to live in Victoria for me. Anyway it’s 100% true what I say. People from Victoria cannot drive or read a map and hate leaving their little areas. Pathetic. You know a Victoria driver right away. Clown car, driving 40.

  23. “I just had a phone conversation with someone that move to Victoria a year and a half ago from Calgary. He finds that the people in Victoria are rude and have a lot of road rage.”

    That made me laugh because ever since I was a kid in Victoria, people have often said, “Did you see that crazy driver? Wouldn’t you know, Alberta plates.”
    They have reputations around here 🙂 I heard it again yesterday.

  24. Langford has done a good job of paving paradise…. I grew up there and it’s best asset has always been nature. Someone said it earlier, it might be awesome when they demolish everything and build again….
    Victoria has an urban core that is a destination. The people living there? Probably all aholes. I live there. Gordon Head? Puke. Fernwood? Great village, great old houses and streets. Still too many crack heads. Oaklands? Zzzzzzzz. Oak Bay? Way to snobby. ESQ? Too sketchy. View Royal? Now that’s the place to be….

  25. You do not move here for the people or great jobs. It’s the outside and activities.

    If you want to meet people get a dog. Dog people here like other dog people.

    In general outsiders are not trusted or liked until they break some sort of barrier.

  26. Bear

    I understand your need to defend Langford since you live there. There are very nice pockets but there are a lot of omg what was the plan here. The council is very business/developer friendly which is good and bad.

  27. Well Bearkilla, I just had a phone conversation with someone that move to Victoria a year and a half ago from Calgary.

    He finds that the people in Victoria are rude and have a lot of road rage.

    The City has just grown too big too fast.

  28. I agree a lot of the bad reputation Langford has is because people from Victoria don’t venture out beyond the odd store in the westshore if at all. Most of Victoria residents live this weird sheltered little life where they stay in their little bubble area and think they’re worldly. I’ve never met a worse group of people than Victoria residents. Pure garbage. Worst people anywhere.

    This was the main reason for a flat market for so long. Vancouverites were aware of Victoria but resisted moving until they just couldn’t resist the money. I’ve talked to countless Vancouverites who moved to Victoria and hate it because of the people. Just really sad. Very sad.

  29. Globe and Mail posted an article claiming:

    ..foreign nationals made headway in markets that didn’t have the tax. In Victoria, purchases by foreign nationals went from 16.5 per cent to 23.8 per cent after the tax.

    Say what? A quarter of buyers in Victoria foreign? Where did they get those numbers from?

    Maybe they mean Victoria proper (not greater Vic), but even then it doesn’t add up.

    Leo, what’s your take?

  30. Golden Head has its share of pyros and perverts in the parks so…

    Incidentally, Pyros & Perverts was the name of Hawk’s high school band.

    Oak Bay is not short of land, it is simply committed to trophy homes for the very rich.

    What’s your point?

    Eventually Oak Bay will have to redevelop into higher density buildings as the cost of running the City becomes overwhelming to the typical taxpayer.

    No, more like those in Oak Bay who can’t afford the taxes will have to leave to make way for those who can.

    They’ll change their minds with high house taxes.

    No they won’t. I know this will blow your mind, Just Jack, but some people can afford a $10,000 annual property tax.

  31. Charlie,

    Garth stated Victoria will “take it on the chin” when the foreign buyer tax goes province wide. If it doubles to 30% it will be disaster.

  32. The RE industry likes to promote the idea that BC NDP/Green “are bad for the economy” is because those parties want to stop RE industry donations flowing and bribing their way into Liberal government policies.

    Victoria RE is affected by Toronto & Vancouver, and a lot of other things like BoC, bond markets, foreign buyers who see the Cdn$ as cheap (US, China, etc).

    It was actually Liberal leader Gordon Campbell who had a Climate Action Plan & Christy quashed it for no reason economically. (self-interested “advisors” like Rennie filled her ear with RE)
    http://www.straight.com/news/918991/martyn-brown-irony-christy-clarks-demise
    “Many … viewed Clark’s abandonment of B.C.’s globally lauded climate action plan as a hare-brained error. It was as environmentally reckless as it was politically short-sighted.”

    Also, no government in Western society is as bribed as the Liberal gov’t, as this New York Times piece explains:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/world/canada/british-columbia-christy-clark.html?_r=0
    or
    http://www.news1130.com/2017/05/05/will-money-arrogance-cost-christy-clark-election/
    Former premier Gordon Campbell’s long-serving chief of staff, Martyn Brown, describes this system of “influence-buying” as “chronically deceitful” and “coercive to the core.” And it has also opened the door wide, other critics say, to global capital on a massive scale.
    The Liberal party has been pulling in donations from oil giants from Malaysia and Singapore who happen to be seeking government approvals for LNG projects; from Texan oil companies seeking provincial pipeline approvals; from the world’s biggest fish farms seeking marine tenures (some in threatened marine ecosystems, like Clayoquot Sound), plus a long list of numbered and shell companies of obscure origin.

    or
    https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/04/10/BC-Liberal-Falsehoods-Scandals-Whole-List/
    117 BC Liberal Falsehoods, Boondoggles and Scandals

  33. The big man, Garth Turner, on “This Week in Money – HoweStreet.com”.

    Vancouver and Toronto Real Estate and Your Bottom Line. BC NDP/Green Policies Negative for the Economy?

    Five more consecutive months of decline similar in magnitude to what Toronto just experienced in May and Toronto will have seen as big a decline in residential real estate as the US did last decade. And if this occurs in Toronto, there is no way that Vancouver real estate does not crash as well.

    And if Vancouver crashes Victoria is going to be fine? Not likely. Watch the market in Toronto over the summer very closely.

  34. Even though Victoria is very very tame compared to other cities (friends from South Africa call it Marshmallow Land), I find it interesting that Oak Bay never reported the April 27 incident at Willows Beach in their April or May crime map (web site or newspaper). In April the reason was because of the “time lag,” now in May it’s probably because “April is over!”

    But this is what all municipalities do, as well as businesses anywhere – Victoria, Van, Kelowna, etc. They think it’s better to quietly drop the outliers in the data, otherwise people focus only on the negative. Probably you’d have to sort through the data or news yourself to understand the extremes.

  35. Condo listings at their highest of the year. Why would anyone want to pay $700 sq ft and higher to live around this shit show ? I’ve lost track of all the new developments around there. Good luck getting them out of there now.

    Neighbours of Johnson Street complex fear for safety

    People who live and work next to a low-barrier supportive housing complex at 844 Johnson St. say they are concerned for their safety after a resident of the building allegedly fired a pellet at a passing car, shattering a window.

    http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/neighbours-of-johnson-street-complex-fear-for-safety-1.20528898#sthash.HFxCWEM6.dpuf

  36. Brilliant article.
    Well researched, well presented.

    Thanks for keeping content fresh.

  37. @wolf/barrister/etc

    https://viatec.silkstart.com/articles/download-2014-greater-victoria-technology-sector-economic-impact-study

    their industry numbers had around 20k jobs in the CRD in 2014. There has been significant growth since then. But of course, easy come easy go.

    It’s interesting that we mention HP Advanced Solutions. I have a number of friends that work there. Since 2014 they’ve grown by another 25%(though they’ve been sold again and are now no longer associated with HP) and now have 500 staff. Also if you look at their job board they currently have around 25 vacancies. Besides part time call staff, all their jobs are union and generally fall into the 70-90k/yr range.

    And as far as tech goes, consider this: we only have daily direct flights to two American cities Seattle and San Francisco. And it’s not connecting travel that fills those SFO flights.

  38. I find it easier to understand the Sales to Listings ratio if you invert it to a New Listings to Sales ratio. A 50% sales to listings ratio represents 1 new listing for every home that sells or 1:1

    Not all listings sell. Some will be cancelled, some will be priced too high and will expire. That means for inventory to increase there will have to be more than a 1:1 ratio. This isn’t an exact science with a precise ratio. It is more of a transition. What I have found for inventory to steadily increase the New Listings to Sales ratio would be above 1.5:1 As a Sales to listings ratio that would be about 60% and lower.

    A New Listings to Sales ratio between 1.5:1 and 2.5:1 is indicative of a balanced market. That would be a sales to listings ratio between 40 to 60% and stable prices. A higher ratio that 2.5:1 would be an onslaught of listings and that would be a buyers, soft or bear market usually with falling prices. Other indicators of a bear market would be Months of Inventory in excess of 8 months and the average days on market in excess of 90 days. For those that were buying real estate in the late 80’s and 90’s that’s what the market indicators were showing.

    To understand what is happening in any market segment be it condos or houses in the core you have to be aware of how these three indicators are trending from month to month and where the market is in its cycle. Are we at the beginning of the market with rising prices and increasing sale volumes or near the end with flattening prices and falling sale volumes.

  39. LeoS – “@Andy. The leftovers generally get cancelled or the listings expire. Those are the overpriced properties”

    At what sales/new listings % do we start seeing listings increase?

  40. People bought in oakbay not to have their density change.

    They’ll change their minds with high house taxes.

  41. JD yep that why the taxes are the way the are and only going to get worse. Politically goodluck in changing things. People bought in oakbay not to have their density change.

  42. CS

    Not a zoning issue but title conveyance. Good luck getting around that unless all the neigbours agree.

  43. …as I said there is little raw land in oakbay that is available to develop.

    Eventually Oak Bay will have to redevelop into higher density buildings as the cost of running the City becomes overwhelming to the typical taxpayer. Oak Bay could become the West End of Greater Victoria.

  44. At Gwac

    “Broadmead and uplands are a perfect example of wasted land.”

    Yes, and could be fixed by zoning bylaw changes.

  45. CS as I said there is little raw land in oakbay that is available to develop. Broadmead and uplands are a perfect example of wasted land.

  46. …Besides, we’re being told by our bank clients to shave another ten or fifteen points from that before submitting the report.”

    Can’t happen or I should say it isn’t suppose to happen and poor Thomas the appraiser is contravening the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s appraisal standards. However Thomas may be a member of another organization that lenders recognize and that organization might not require appraisers to certify that they have not been influenced in their value estimate.

    According to the AIC, if a lender/client is influencing the value or direction in value then the appraiser has to decline the assignment. If Thomas is accepting mortgage assignments knowing that the lender wants a lower value, then if Thomas is a member of the AIC, he is potentially facing disciplinary action.

    And that’s good because if Thomas is doing this, then someone should boot him in the ass.

    If the lender wants to do this then the lender should just lower their loan to value ratio.

  47. CS – that’s fine, so we have quite a few more decades to wait for Langford to shed that ‘hole’ reputation to reinvent itself. There’s nothing wrong with it’s natural setting it’s just that they did such a bad job developing the place so fast with not much thought towards the future. I think a ‘Mickey mouse’ planning student could’ve done a better job!

    That said, let’s see if I can think of some good aspects of the westshore…Langford did a fine job with it’s ‘high street’ – Goldstream Ave that actually really looks great at Christmas (but that’s about it). Langford has a few attractive small lakes. They could’ve done such a better job playing off some of these natural gems. Colwood has a bit more of an attractive appeal, esp. with Royal Roads and the lagoon being there. They need to do something with ‘Colwood Corners’, and obviously Royal Bay is on it’s way to being built out (hope you like cookie cutter w/ a view). Metchosin is beautiful, but so much for accommodating any new comers… Sooke – too far away down headache highway.

    I think Victoria’s core will always have action going on as for one thing it’s the seat of gov’t. It won’t die. Places that might die include Mayfair mall (why on earth are they undergoing that massive transformation when everyone’s switching to online shopping?)

  48. @ Luke

    “CS… How did Langford earn the name Langhole? Probably because of poorly thought out fast tracked planning that they could’ve done so much better and then your opinion of how it’s the place to be in the future would’ve held more weight.”

    That’s no problem, Luke. Which are the greatest cities in the world? London? Paris? In the Eighteenth Century both were a shambolic collection of slums, palaces and great estates. Then they were largely torn-down and reconstructed as great imperial cities.

    The worse Langhole is today, the easier it will be to tear much of it down and redo it in a style more appr0priate to an economic power house.

    Anyhow, the future of the West Shore has little to do with its urban planning, and it is not comparable to Vancouver suburbs like Surrey. Vancouver’s economy centers on downtown, which to quote Trikipedia is: “the nation’s gateway to the Pacific Rim, a major port, and the main western terminus of transcontinental highway and rail routes. Major economic sectors include trade, film, natural resources, technology and tourism.”

    The economy of Victoria’s core is very different: it’s tourism, government, universities and hospitals, plus a few little tech firms.

    That’s not enough to draw tens of thousand from the West shore, or to justify billions for rapid transit to funnel people to the core. Thus, the economic core is migrating, the process driven in large part by the Colwood Crawl which encourages the relocation of both work and workforce Westward.

    The only competition the West Shore has is from the Saanich Peninsula. But The Saanich municipalities are like Oak Bay, too concerned about the deer and the geese and preserving the landscape of yesteryear, to worry much about economic growth. In fact, is there any municipality in the core, or on the peninsula that has an economic development plan other than to encourage a few small tech cos. to open a nice clean quiet office?

  49. @ gwac

    “Population has plateaued in Oakbay because there is no raw land.”

    No way.

    There’s a tear-down on Uplands Road, with 1.2 acres of land that cannot be subdivided.

    There’s a mile of OB Avenue that could be developed to accommodate ten thousand condo dwellers.

    There are acres on the waterfront that could be rezoned to provide for multiple family dwellings in mansion-style apartment buildings with public access to the waterfront.

    Oak Bay is not short of land, it is simply committed to trophy homes for the very rich.

  50. @Andy. The leftovers generally get cancelled or the listings expire. Those are the overpriced properties

  51. When I look at the stats for SFHs (not including waterfront/acreage) over the last 12 months, the % of new inventory sold each month ranges from 68-91%, averaging 81% with 1,097 homes not selling in that time frame.

    So if there is consistently about 20% of inventory left over each month or an extra 1,097 homes over a year, why are we having such an inventory crisis? Shouldn’t inventory consistently grow if it’s not being used up each month? Where is all that unsold inventory going? Appreciate any clarification, thanks.

  52. Tech is a big impact. My real job is talking to those companies every day so I know there are many of them and they are in a pretty big hiring mode.
    That said Victoria is very startup heavy and lots of startups are doing some pretty vague stuff with questionable value. I suspect relatively sensitive to the economy.

  53. That viatec list barely scrapes the surface of tech in Victoria. Without even googling I can think of three other companies in Vic, collectively employing about 150 people that aren’t on that list. And I actually know next to nothing about the sector.

  54. Soon John Dollar will have this problem. As per Garth the GTA appraisers are having to downgrade valuations to get the mortgage deal done. Amazing how fast the market can change. Major credit tightening in process.

    “Thomas has been an appraiser, he tells me, for thirty years, mostly in the east end of the GTA. He called to say his job just turned into a living hell because what a house is worth today is not what it was worth a week ago.

    “The real estate board says prices fell 6% last month,” he says, “but I’d say it’s more like 15%. Besides, we’re being told by our bank clients to shave another ten or fifteen points from that before submitting the report.”

  55. “In Greater Victoria, the affluent tend to congregate in the places mentioned above, and that is very unlikely to change in the short-, medium-, or long-term, in my view.”

    Funny how a nerd considers himself affluent because of a credit bubble that is near its end.

    Esquimalt is a much nicer place these days. I wouldnt live there but they have spruced the place up and even has a Red Barn.

    Golden Head has its share of pyros and perverts in the parks so it’s no better than any other hood these days.

  56. What about the people under 25? Aren’t they net buyers? Wasn’t that when a bunch of baby boomers bought their homes?

    Maybe baby boomers bought their homes at that age, but the average first time home buyer in Canada is well north of 30..

  57. average age of death was 75, that includes everyone who died that year – infant mortality, suicide, workplace death, heart attacks at 55, overdoses, etc.

    Sure, but still more reflective of reality than life expectancy at birth which is what is usually cited.

    Average age of death of someone living in their home who has already made it to 70 will be much higher, definitely in their 80s.

    Definitely. What you are looking for is the actuarial tables. I’ll write a followup article on this next week, but in short, about 50% of people alive at 65 will make it to 85.

    This is how you can reconcile the age of death stat with the stat suggesting most people in their 80s are still living in their homes.

    No those two things are 100% independent. The stat about people in their 80s living in their homes only looks at living people. The ones that are dead are not included.

  58. @Barrister. Because you need more credentials to land a job that gets you a sufficient salary to qualify for enough debt to get a home to start a family. Not by choice for many I’d imagine.

    Saying that tech is the next big thing here is akin to saying Fernwood is up and coming. Saying it over and over doesn’t make it so. Those American tech companies in Vancouver are heading back south if the Republican agenda pushes through.

  59. Tech companies that don’t focus on software development often include manufacturing – but I agree there’s a fuzzy line – it probably depends on how much electronics are involved. Tech companies can do their own in-house manufacturing, or outsource that to other local companies or Asia. Sometimes it’s a mix of both, eg., a company that designs firmware for chips that run on circuit boards, and the circuit boards have to be manufactured locally for testing, but the chips are manufactured in Asia.

  60. Wolf:

    I suspect that a far greater percentage of people under 25 are still in school than at least the first half of the baby boom. People are also starting families later in life.

  61. islandscott:

    You are right about what HP does but that is where the lines become blurry as to what is really a tech company. I just want to be clear that I am not arguing for or against. I am just trying to get a clearer picture.

    I also suspect that some people are far too harsh on the west shore. I think that if you are raising a young family it has a lot to offer.

  62. The downtown Eastside sadly is more like the zombie apocalypse (and I feel bad for those folks)

    I could be wrong, but Esquimalt reminds me of New West or Steveston (?), used to be very industrial, but is changing with more condos & some homes with views.

  63. What about the people under 25? Aren’t they net buyers? Wasn’t that when a bunch of baby boomers bought their homes?

  64. HP Advanced Solutions is not really just a distributor of HP products. They employ a lot of development people and contract many of them out. They also run the provincial tax system.

  65. Vicbot:

    Thank you for the list of 25 tech companies. Reading the list it is obvious that the issue is how you define a tech company. For example Viking Air is not a tech company but a manufacturing company,
    I know that it is a bit of a blurry line but that list strikes me as stretching the envelope more than a little. HP Solutions is on the list but the company is not based here nor does it develop here. It basically has a distributor of its product here.

    But thanks for the list it is certainly the best info that I have run across so far. The list is a bit of a two edged sword. It supports that there is some tech here in Victoria but it also makes one think that there claims for a growing tech industry might be widely exaggeratted.

  66. Esquimalt = the downtown Eastside

    I don’t think so but I know many, usually from Oak Bay, that do.

  67. James never change. You are too funny.

    Those broken down cars are still around. Probably the same ones.

  68. Langhole has that nickname because people in Victoria are generally so far up their own ass that they treat everything as inferior. That and you used to drive through there counting the number of broken down cars on people’s front lawns.

  69. What I’m suggesting is that Victoria, will lose its core to the West Shore. Then the old core will simply become a sort of museum of early 20th Century life — or a mausoleum.

    My bet is that Victoria, Oak Bay and many parts of Saanich East will continue to command a huge premium relative to the West Shore in perpetuity.

    In Greater Victoria, the affluent tend to congregate in the places mentioned above, and that is very unlikely to change in the short-, medium-, or long-term, in my view.

    Think Surrey. Way more happening there than 20 years ago. Vibrant community. Lots of growth. But the premium to live in west side Vancouver is as high as ever.

    Yup.

  70. I think that Hawk is under the impression that people read his posts.

    Bless.

    Jerry, don’t ever change!

  71. Looking at that graph, all I can think of is that, on average, about 70% of 100,000 people (so 70,000) in the 60+ demographic will die in the next 15 years (higher %s for older people obviously, but that’s the simple math). How will the market deal with that?

  72. Very interesting when comparing vic hoods to van hoods. I wonder if people from Van look for a similar area to there’s when they move here. Also gives you an idea of future value or perceived value as Victoria area grows over the next decade or 2.

  73. CS… How did Langford earn the name Langhole? Probably because of poorly thought out fast tracked planning that they could’ve done so much better and then your opinion of how it’s the place to be in the future would’ve held more weight. Not sure how they can fix past mistakes there now ? Unfortunately, since they did such a terrible job building out the place way too fast without proper thought of how to make it more attractive, we are left with the unattractive hodge podge burg that it is now. It’s only growing so fast because it’s simply the only more affordable place left in CRD.

    As for comparing Vic hoods to Van hoods… I think Langford is a lot like Surrey or Langley and to me Saanich is more like Burnaby/ Coquitlam. Kits is definitely Fairfield, Fernwood like Mount Pleasant and Oak Bay much like the west side. James Bay like the west end, but we did do the ‘ hood comparisons already a while ago. Esquimalt or View Royal have no comparable in Van though, do they?

  74. The Langford of 2030 will have more attractions more people more businesses and far more vibrancy than now. But Oak bay and Victoria will still command a premium.

    Think Surrey. Way more happening there than 20 years ago. Vibrant community. Lots of growth. But the premium to live in west side Vancouver is as high as ever.

  75. Word of the day for those who like to use half baked or dubious statistics to support an argument for or against the housing market:

    Mathemagical.

    Love it!

  76. CS

    Ask most people if they had 1.5 to 2m where they would buy a house. I bet Oakbay is top of the list. May not make sense but even though they could get more for 1m elsewhere. Falling population only means less people living in each house. Kids are gone.

    Population has plateaued in Oakbay because there is no raw land.

    In general on any given day Oakbay is well kept.

  77. @ gwac

    “Other areas in Langford use their property as a dumping area. No pride.”

    Same in Oak Bay. Old mattresses and sofas dumped at the edge of Uplands Park. Beer cans and candy wrappers tossed over my fence by Oak Bay Tea Party goers at the weekend (maybe slobs from Langford! But I doubt it.)

  78. @ Caveat emptor:

    “Not quite”

    OK!

    But faster! Langford up 20.9% in five years versus 6.7 for Greater Victoria, with Oak Bay’s population falling.

  79. CS

    I love Bear Mountain. If I could live up there and never have to come down through Langford it would be perfect. It has things that people with money want. Also people take care of their property there. Other areas in Langford use their property as a dumping area. No pride.

    There will always be areas of Lanford/westshore that are expensive because of what they offer. My point is that will not take away from the today core in the future.

  80. I think that Langford is like Burnaby/Coquitlam in Vancouver, and Oak Bay/Fairfield is like Kits/Kerrisdale. Gordon Head is like Point Grey.

    They all have unique qualities – all will grow.

  81. @ Gwac

    “there will always be those areas that command a higher price due to being near things people like… having a 12000 sq ft lot vs 3k to 4k or not having neighbours that have shit all over their property.”

    Are you suggesting that on Navigators Rise, where houses cost several million a piece, people shit all over their property? Seems unlikely to me.

    As for being near what they like, most people, given the option, like being near their work, and certainly not a Colwood Crawl away from their work.

    And if the population continues is brisk migration West, then the economic center of Victoria will move the same way, which means the jobs will move West also. Jobs will then become a West Shore magnet, and other things people like, including decent coffee shops, entertainment and recreational facilities, etc. will move West too. And always, the West shore will have better access to the surfing beaches and other recreational facilities of the West Coast.

    Of course the core municipalities may wake up one day and try to do something to shore-up the economy of the dying core. But mostly Oak Bay will be a place where folks agitate against any development whatsoever, especially if it is of a commercial character; unleashed dogs will continue destroying Uplands Park, an exquisite remnant of a natural temperate savanna and Oak Bay’s most valuable single asset; and the municipality will maintain its idiotic zoning bylaw that prevents someone with a tear-down on half an acre or more in the Uplands from building anything but a trophy mansion, quite likely owned by a non-taxpaying foreigner. Which, I suppose, makes Municipal government simple, nothing to do really, except host the Oak Bay Tea Party once a year, prune a few trees, and put up some galvanized steel poles with “block watch signs” and the like.

  82. “The warning from Capital Economics echoes similar sentiments earlier this week from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. One of the main risks facing Canada’s growing economy was a potential “disorderly” correction in “overheating” housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, said the OECD.

    “Such a correction would reduce residential investment, household wealth and consumption. A sufficiently large shock could even threaten financial stability,” it said.”

    Good link gwac, it’s inevitable the party has come to an end, and the kool aid is now starting to run dry. I’m thinking there will be a correspondence with the stock market later in the year or into early next year as well. Too much hype and growth expectations that can’t be met.

    Toss in Trump & gang going to jail/impeachment by year end and things could quite disorderly on a global scale.

  83. Local

    I do not believe anyone`s prediction there are just to many variables involved.

    I look at 3 for my own personal view

    Government in power and whether they are economy friendly
    interest rate direction
    employment

    For Victoria I am on hold/neutral because of NDP uncertainty. Their spending may be pro housing in Victoria short term. Just not sure.

  84. @ Gwac,

    If you don’t mind, I’m curious what you think of Madani’s prediction in your link.

    He’s made them before, and of course, was quite inaccurate. I would say the situation now is worse than before, but I also think there’s room for it to get worse still. If this all continues, I don’t think it will need an external shock to initiate the downturn. The question is, is that now. I’m really not sure.

  85. In other words, tiny Langford, which accounts for less than one tenth of Victoria’s population, accounts for half of Victoria’s growth.

    Not quite
    2011-2016 Greater Victoria grew by 23200. Langford grew by 6100, so it accounted for about 26.5% of the regional growth. Victoria City accounted for 25% of regional population growth (5800 people)

  86. Leo – be careful with the statistics. If (in 2005, as the page you cited – that was 12 years ago, note) average age of death was 75, that includes everyone who died that year – infant mortality, suicide, workplace death, heart attacks at 55, overdoses, etc.

    Average age of death of someone living in their home who has already made it to 70 will be much higher, definitely in their 80s. This is how you can reconcile the age of death stat with the stat suggesting most people in their 80s are still living in their homes. I’m not sure if we can get this stat; it would require seeing the full distribution of the dataset.

  87. CS

    The core may get extended because of population growth but there will always be those areas that command a higher price due to being near things people like or having a 12000 sq ft lot vs 3k to 4k or not having neighbours that have shit all over their property.

  88. I’m not expecting any kind of a baby boomer retirement wave starting a mass sell off of real estate, or passing on any substantial amount to their kids for home purchases. I am in the millenial demographic and my baby boomer parents still have a mortgage or 2 on their home and spend their money on themselves. They plan on staying in their home for a long time… and so do their peers. Boomers are an active population, they’d rather build up their patios and improve their kitchens and bathrooms than downsize. I read recently that there is over 1 million ’empty bedrooms’ in Ontario as a result of boomers NOT selling the family SFH after they retire and the kids move out. Too bad that withholds family homes from the market and their kids are delaying starting families because they can’t find an affordable home to raise them in. Don’t ask for grandkids if you’re not willing to put a for sale sign on your lawn.
    As for family help with downpayments, I have a lot of peers in my age group buying homes right now and very few are getting help from parents. Inheiritances seen to be coming from 90 year old grandparents or their estates, not from the boomer parents taking out loans on their properties. I don’t excpect boomers to hold onto money into their 90s like their parents did either.
    Government encouraging anyone to age in place is going to have a very detrimental effect on replenishing housing stock for younger families. I find it quite ridiculous we have so many incentives for the elderly to keep chugging along at home without consideration for what that does to overall housing stock numbers. My grandpa in Alberta qualifies for 2k/yr from the government based on his age to pay someone to do maintenance on his home and cut the lawn. Seniors in Victoria can defer property taxes for a decade, based completely on their age and nothing to do with their net worth, and invest those funds at better rates elsewhere.
    It’ll be refreshing when the boomer demographic actually starts dwindling in numbers and governments at all levels stop pandering to counter-productive age-based policy and write up housing plans that benefit younger generations. Of course, we have to vote in greater numbers too if we want our concerns heard.

  89. Leo, true 🙂 but we have to look at the data beyond the means or averages – and the combo of the boomer bulge & millennial bulge.

    a) Canadian Boomers include those born in 1966, so the youngest of them are 51 now.
    That’s a long time before they reach the traditional “net selling” age group.
    On top of that, more boomers want to stay in their homes than aging people before them.

    b) This 2015 study shows “reaching the age of 85 is no longer exceptional. Today (2001 data) 30% of men and 50% of women reach this age … in 2015, 67% of those aged 85 and over are women; in 2060, women will make up only 57% of this cohort.”
    http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1045&context=pclc_rpb

    eg., so potentially in 30 years we’ll have 2/3 of 50% of today’s boomer population actively living in their homes past 85, and more in the future due to technology, medical, & gov’t incentives, while the millennial bulge also works its way through the system.

  90. @ gwac

    Re: Langford

    “To me there just does not seem to be a master plan other than just allow building”

    Nothing obvious, as one drives through, that’s for sure.

    “Just like any other big city. The core has limited land and building extends further away from the core. The value surrounding the core does not go down. ”

    What I’m suggesting is that Victoria, will lose its core to the West Shore. Then the old core will simply become a sort of museum of early 20th Century life — or a mausoleum.

    In that connection, the Colwood Crawl is a West Shore asset. Folks move to the West Shore because there are still some cheap, or at any rate cheaper, SFHs there. Then, because of the Crawl, they disconnect from Victoria as fast as they can, job if possible (and easy if self-employed), and very quickly, shopping and entertainment. Look out for better coffee shops and entertainment in Langhole soon.

  91. An interesting analysis Leo S. Would be interesting to look at the demographics by area. Bet Langford/Langhole has the best demographics in terms of youth, and hence, presumably, buyer demand. Oak Bay, which is literally dying with a population not only aging but shrinking, presumably has the worst.

  92. CS

    Just like any other big city. The core has limited land and building extends further away from the core. The value surrounding the core does not go down. It continues to increase because that is where people continue to want to live who have more money. The ocean, university, parks, near DT but far enough away not to have to deal with the issues. That does not disappear.

    I think Langford needs to step back and look at the development that is happening and make sure long-term they are going to be in a good position. To me there just does not seem to be a master plan other than just allow building.

  93. So Greater Victoria is growing at about 1%, or 3700 people per year, whereas Langford, or Langhole as some like call it, is growing at 5% or about 1700 people per year.

    In other words, tiny Langford, which accounts for less than one tenth of Victoria’s population, accounts for half of Victoria’s growth.

    That confirms my contention that Langford is the place with a future in terms of demand for real estate and potential property price appreciation, not Gordon Head or Oak Bay where any stall in the market will likely lead to sharp declines in property valuation.

    And anyone who takes Introvert’s view that I am offering a view from “fantasy land” should take a look at 2209 Navigators Rise, a mere 4000 square footer on a 9000 square foot lot, with an asking price of $3,218,888. I doubt even the Uplands of Oak Bay can match that price on a land square foot basis.

  94. If StatsCan shows that 2/3 of people in their mid-80s are still living in their homes, then we’re not going to see a big inventory rise in the next few years due to aging.

    And how many people in their mid 80s indicated their address as the cemetery?

    Answer: About 50%.

  95. Barrister, here are the biggest 25:
    https://www.viatec.ca/articles/the-latest-viatec-25-companies

    At some point you’ll have to read the Viatec web site in more detail.

    @Leo, “It means that more people in that age group are selling a house in any given year than buying one.”

    Yes I get that. But my point are that inventory is not the same thing as net selling, and also that the data used was out of date. If StatsCan shows that 2/3 of people in their mid-80s are still living in their homes, then we’re not going to see a big inventory rise in the next few years due to aging.

  96. I don’t see the current data pointing to 70 years old as a tipping point. It’s more like mid-80s.

    I think you are misunderstanding what net selling means. It doesn’t mean everyone starts dropping dead. It means that more people in that age group are selling a house in any given year than buying one.

    Based on the US data, for most states, about 1 in 100 people in the 70-74 age group buy a house every year. So for that group to become a net seller, more than 1 out of 100 must sell a house (and not rebuy) in that year. Death rate is about 2% in that age group every year.

    Also if you look at mean age of death, it is more like 75 currently.
    Life expectancy is less relevant to predicting death rates for current seniors. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/life-expectancy-hits-80-4-years-statistics-canada-1.739030

  97. Vicbot:

    I randomly tried about ten companies on the site and all of them seemed like small startups. A number of them had the same address on Fort Street.

  98. Immigration needs to be a factor is all of these analysis. Canada takes in a lot of people.

    Retirees may move to a warmer client but be there more than 183 days and you lose your healthcare. Whether they sale and rent or buy something smaller not sure. Most I have seen have keep their house and only spend 3 or 4 months away.

  99. Barrister, try this page for company profiles (there are 350 you can search on by letter):
    https://www.viatec.ca/companies?current_page=1&sort_type=featured&filter=%7B%22nothing%22%3A+%22nothing%22%7D&asset_type=company&display_type=default

    Leo S, check the papers like TC or even Wikipedia for the newlywed phrase:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria,_British_Columbia
    (maybe people made up their own at UVic since the 80s 🙂 )

    “The driver of net selling is death. People’s preferences are a secondary factor at best.”

    I see what you’re saying that there’s net selling in older age groups, but people are living into at least their mid-80s, so I don’t see the current data pointing to 70 years old as a tipping point. The data shows it’s more like mid-80s.

    To be honest, I wonder if people in their 30s think 70 is “very old, almost withered and falling over.” It’s just not the case. With the Canadian Baby Boom until 1966, that’s another 30+ years of a boomer bulge. There are probably going to be other things contributing to higher inventories.

  100. I suspect, in terms of real estate, that the question is whether the baby boomers are retiring in greater numbers than they are dying off. Or more accurately, are Canada’s retirees moving to Victoria in numbers that replace the death rate.

  101. Barrister – I think it would be pretty hard to gauge the exact size of the tech sector. Not all companies like to align themselves with Viatec so their numbers are likely under represented. Not sure where accurate numbers would come from. I worked at a local software company for 5 years before moving to government a while ago. I don’t think you can exclude government from being ‘in the tech sector’. There are lots of medium to large software development efforts within government. Much of the coding type work is contracted out to Victoria/Vancouver shops, but project manager and business analyst type work often stays in house (or with direct hire type contractors).
    I also know of a couple tech companies in Victoria who try to keep their existence in Victoria secret. I only know of a couple, but there may be more.
    One other observation, it can be hard to fill certain tech positions at government union rates. This is one reason so much work gets contracted out. I would think if the tech sector was not healthy, those jobs would fill easily.

  102. The driver of net selling is death. People’s preferences are a secondary factor at best.

    Also we have massive wait lists for assisted living and residential care and there are several projects being built right now to expand availability of this. Doesn’t seem like there is any shortage of demand there.

    In general, no one has ever wanted to move from their own home to a nursing home if they could help it. The point is they are forced to. Wanting to age in place is not a new phenomenon. Increased life expectancy allows people to stay in their homes longer, but eventually they will die or be forced into assisted living, that is the important factor.

    I’d suspect between 70-75 is when Victorians end up becoming net sellers.

  103. I always heard it as nearly wed because of the university. Students don’t tend to be married, and it used to be that graduates left Victoria for job opportunities so wouldn’t be here to marry.

  104. Vicbot:

    I am probably missing it but the Viatech page does not seem to contain much in the way of solid facts as to to the size of companies.

  105. Barrister,

    It seems to be top secret info so it keeps the tech story/media pump alive for the city coffers. I’m sure many are making good bucks who are established but I would bet many more are scraping by on borrowing private money to stay afloat.

  106. “I think that Hawk is under the impression that people read his posts.”

    Obviously you do Jerry.

    Going by the 2011 Oak Bay census and updating the groups, it’s about 30% plus are over 65. The bulk of the group in the 65 to 75 range could easily decide to cash out now and buy a nice condo for half the price. Even Oak Bay condos have taken some $50K slashes lately.

  107. Just as an update I was saddened to learn that my friend in Toronto has decided to move the company to Austin, TX, rather than to Victoria. He is the son of an old friend of mine , who has passed on many years ago, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for him. For personal reasons I would have loved to have had him move the company to Victoria. But I am also saddened for Canada that this very successful company is leaving.

    I have asked this before, and the numbers may not exist, but does anyone know how many salaried employees there are in the tech companies in Victoria? I am not talking about people who work as tech support in government or other companies but who actually work in a tech company. It is just that I keep hearing about how tech companies are the future of Victoria but there does not seem to be any real numbers to support how large the sector actually is in Victoria. I am trying to separate actual running companies from the flock of start ups that are operating out of mom’s basement.

  108. Well, I was thinking that nursing home living wasn’t exactly garnering great press these days. And the availability of private in-home care has never been better.

    https://www.google.ca/amp/news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/ontario-nurse-pleads-guilty-to-string-of-nursing-home-murders-using-insulin-to-kill-her-patients/amp

    http://www.carp.ca/2014/02/27/majority-seniors-living-home-statscan-study-reveals/

    Edit – thx, Vicbot, you said it better than I

  109. Leo S, yes great analysis! One key question is the age when people become “net sellers of property” – and things have changed a little since 2008 when Myers & Ryu made their predictions.

    Harvard published a 2015 study that showed that most boomers intend to age in place (if they had a house, they’ll stay in it), and nursing home use has declined:

    http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/housing-a-growing-population-older-adults#overlay-context=
    “With options of in-home care expanding over the past 20 years, nursing home use has declined, even as the older population has grown. The need for in-home care will only increase. ”

    StatsCan 2016 data also shows 1/3 of people >85 years old live in seniors care homes, with >50% of those over 100. But 2/3 still live in their own houses or apartments.
    http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/as-sa/98-200-x/2016004/98-200-x2016004-eng.cfm

    From what I’ve experienced with my parents (nearing 90), the BC gov’t actually encourages people to age in place as long as possible because of long waiting lists at both hospitals and care homes. Most of the home owners I’ve known 70 years old or more are still living in their house, with singles or people from other parts of Canada living in condos/townhouses. Also the older they get, the less they tolerate change.

    (Advances in heart meds in the last 10 years makes this possible)

    From StatsCan, the top cities with people over 85 are: (Rank, Muni, Total population, seniors, %)
    1 Sidney, B.C. 11,670 1,130 9.7
    2 Qualicum Beach, B.C. 8,945 725 8.1
    3 Côte-Saint-Luc, Que. 32,450 2,345 7.2
    4 Saint-Charles-Borromée, Que. 13,790 895 6.5
    5 Oak Bay, B.C. 18,095 1,130 6.2
    6 Parksville, B.C. 12,515 775 6.2
    7 White Rock, B.C. 19,950 1,205 6.0
    8 Westlock, Alta. 5,100 305 6.0
    9 Osoyoos, B.C. 5,085 300 5.9
    10 Creston, B.C. 5,350 315 5.9

  110. a 2008 study using data from, presumably, a few years earlier, might be a bit dated in terms of health

    The main effect causing net selling is life expectancy. I agree that you can add about 3-4 years to all ages based on increases in life expectancy since the study data (1995-2000)

    I doubt people are staying in their homes longer. The idea that people want to stay in their homes until they die has always been there. And I’m not sure how working later would affect it. Whether you die on the golf course or die at work, same effect.

  111. Leo:

    Thank you for these fascinating numbers. It was pointed out to me by one of the neighbors who runs the CRD pension fund that the Canadian baby boom started a few years later than the US boom and ran a few years longer. The baby boom seems to have really gathered steam in 1952 in Canada while it was 1946 in the US. I have not seen the numbers so I am not sure of that. If that is accurate than we are just starting to see the effects of retirement. Maybe when you are researching the numbers you might stumble over the accuracy of this.

  112. Interesting post. But I think you need to be a bit cautious drawing too many cause-effect conclusions. For one thing, a 2008 study using data from, presumably, a few years earlier, might be a bit dated in terms of health and labour assumptions. Plenty of people are still working (often part time, to be sure) into their late 60s and early 70s. (Anecdote – my dad is 79 and signed a contract 2 years ago to work until he’s 82). I wonder if we shouldn’t add 2-5 years to the net seller ages to match increased life spans, longer working lives, and trends of people staying in their homes longer.

  113. many people may just age in place until the very end

    Of course. But people don’t start selling their homes at ever increasing rates after age 70 because they are choosing to. Most of that is from death or forced moves into care facilities. People in the US want to stay in their homes just as much as they do here.

    All the money in the world doesn’t change that.

  114. One thing to think of is that many people may just age in place until the very end… which these days can easily be approaching or even exceeding 100. Some will have to go into care facilities, but many will be able to avoid that and remain in their homes. There’s plenty of these types in Oak Bay, for ex. Many become attached to their homes and so, why move?

    We have excellent medical facilities here to keep everyone ticking longer and longer than ever before… that’s also one of the reasons this area is very popular with the older crowd, combined with so many ‘things to do’ geared towards them, and incredible weather (for Canada). This area is, also, becoming much more popular with the younger crowd more recently as well and why not?

    We should also consider how in the coming decades there will be a ton of inheritances going to some of those younger as well. The biggest transfer of wealth ever, between the older and younger generations is now starting to take place… and this will continue for some decades, enabling some young to get that foothold on the much prized SFH in the core. With people living longer than ever before however… 80 is the new 70, and 90 is the new 80. So those inheritances may get spent, go to charity and taxes (esp. if Canada expands Inheritance taxes), or take longer to come through.

    That said – there will be those who want to ‘cash out’ and leave that empty nest, that they’ve perhaps lived in for decades already. Sooke or Chemainus or QB look inviting, perhaps, when one doesn’t have to commute. The kids have flown the koop and perhaps even left town, so they may be looking further afield, but perhaps wanting to remain on the island.

    I find, however, looking at how many other humans live, many are not at all transient, esp. homeowners who are often ‘homebodies’. Esp. as they get older. After all, home is where the heart is, people have made their networks and friends here so why leave? This is the same reason we didn’t see a massive flood of people from Van, though their numbers did increase last year (there are always going to be exceptions). It’s apparent to me, many humans out there do not like change and will not want to move regardless of what prices do. What might compel to them to move, actually, and what could be happening for some right now is if their much loved Victoria changes in such a profound way as to make it so they no longer like it the way they used to… and so on they move… I’ve seen this happen in many other places and Victoria is only just starting to undergo rapid change.

    Great article Leo, and certainly some food for thought in that one… so many variables involved.

  115. Yes very interesting read. I can definitely see Vancouver falling into this categorization of net sellers after the age of 65 but I think Victoria would be sort of a combination of Arizona and California and the net sellers age would take place later into the early 70’s perhaps.

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