I’m not sure there’s anything to celebrate about the news that Greater Victoria posted near-record real estate sales last year, as the title of the article in your Jan 12 issue seems to imply. The only people celebrating these high sales figures are the real estate agents who profited from the high sales volume and the huge increase in prices we saw last year.
VREB past-president David Langlois attributes the high sales volume and price increases to high demand and low inventory. His solution is to increase the supply of homes, particularly single detached dwellings, which are in greatest demand and fetch the highest prices.
I would suggest that instead of encouraging more urban sprawl such as what we’ve seen in Colwood and Langford in recent years, we need more attached housing such as apartments, condos and townhomes, which are more affordable and require less land per unit. As well, many municipalities are adopting growth strategies that embrace densification and regional nodes which allow for greater, more efficient use of public transit and reduce the need for car trips within the region. With the effects of climate change making news almost daily, we need to do everything we can to reduce our carbon emissions.