According to CMHC’s report on October housing starts, municipalities in the CRD have produced 3,256 new homes vs 3,477 last year. Langford leaped from 882 to 1,549 while Victoria tanked from 899 last year to 325 so far in 2018.
Victoria’s red tape and high costs have always been a challenge and are expected to get significantly worse under a recently elected council. Langford, on the other hand, has the region’s best reputation for efficiency and certainty resulting in the greatest volume of housing and therefore, affordability. Recently elected mayors in Saanich and Colwood have been promoting investment in their communites, and Victoria council’s actions are likely to drive more interest to those municipalities. Victoria councillor Geoff Young was one of the few opposing the “decommodified housing” initiative supported by anti-development councillors Isitt, Loveday, Potts, Collins and Dubow. Young said, “Increasing the power of the state over my life is not something I’m anxious to achieve.” In addition, he accurately indicated market forces already at play will likely do more to mitigate prices and increase rentals more than anything council can do. Young said, “I predict, frankly, by the end of the new term we’ll all be able to say how successful we’ve been in slowing down the increase in housing prices and increasing vacancy rates — no matter what we do — because, in fact, interest rates are rising and vacancy rates are rising.”