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THE RESTAURANT SCENE IN VICTORIA

With the easing of Covid-19 related restrictions on restaurants, it is timely to look at the vibrant restaurant scene in Victoria. Following is a list of the current 20 top-rated restaurants in Victoria based on reviews posted on Trip Advisor. These range from those offering casual fare to those featuring a true epicurean experience. Check out the web sites for details.

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The Market Inventory

There were 1,012 properties (including lots and acreage) active on the VREB’s MLS® database for the Greater Victoria area (i.e., excluding the Malahat, Up-Island and the Gulf Islands) on July 1, 2021, down -49.0% from 2,067 a year ago.

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The Victoria Market

The real estate market in Victoria has been strong since the 3rd Qtr of 2020. With the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, sales plunged in the months of April and May, only to rebound sharply in the month of June. Since then, the Victoria real estate market has been on a record-setting pace. High demand coupled with a tight supply has placed extraordinary upward pressure on prices. However, there are signs that the frenzied pace that marked the past three Qtrs may be easing. (It should also be noted that the analysis in the following paragraphs, particularly the comparisons of sales figures between the 2nd Qtr of 2021 and the 2nd Qtr of 2020, should be viewed with a certain amount of circumspection given the unique situation in the beginning of the pandemic).

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THE PANDEMIC AND THE REAL ESTATE BOOM

In March 2020, the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic became evident. Lockdowns and various restrictions were implemented to minimize the adverse health effects of the virus. It was widely anticipated that the global economy would enter into a major recession with an associated negative impact on the real estate market, namely a “bust.”

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THE VICTORIA MARKET

After the initial shock of the impact of the Covid-19 virus on the economy in early spring, the real estate market in Victoria rebounded quickly in the summer and the momentum carried through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

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OUTLOOK 2021: CONTINUED STRENGTH

The real estate market was one of the few bright spots in the Canadian economy for 2020. The real estate market was soft in 2018 with year-over-year sales down nearly -5% and the average sale price of a residential property down -4.1%. The decline in housing prices, lower mortgage rates, continued population and economic growth, led many prospective buyers to return to the real estate market in the latter part of 2019 and early 2020. Some areas of the country experienced positive gains in prices and sales. After the initial shock
of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions and lock-downs in March and April, the real estate market found its footing and went on a record-setting pace for the remainder of 2020.

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ENJOY THE OUTDOORS

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer for BC, has encouraged people to get out and enjoy the outdoors. There are a number of places in the Greater Victoria area where one can escape the hustle and bustle of urban life and reconnect with nature.

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THE MARKET INVENTORY

There were 1,859 properties (including lots and acreage) active on the VREB’s MLS® database for the Greater Victoria area (i.e., excluding the Malahat, Up-Island and the Gulf Islands) on Oct 1, 2020, down -13.7% from the inventory level of 2,155 a year ago.

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THE VICTORIA MARKET

After two dismal months in March and April, the real estate market in Victoria continued a dramatic rebound in the 3rd Qtr of 2020. On the supply side, the number of listings was up from last year. However, even this increase did not meet the strong demand as sales activity reached levels well beyond last year.

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REAL ESTATE CONTINUES TO SURPRISE

In the wake of the economic impact of Covid-19, the performance of the housing market in Canada in 2020 has surprised many. Despite the rather dire forecasts of a number of market analysts, sales have not collapsed; in fact, prices have shown strong increases in many areas of the country.

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