OUR VIEW: Values reinforce the status quo

North Saanich has the second-highest average house prices in Greater Victoria for 2015.

Thanks to a big, one-year jump in property value assessments in one place and a small decline in another, North Saanich continues to have the second-highest average house prices in Greater Victoria for 2015.

Oak Bay took over the top spot with an average assessment of $686,000, compared with $667,000 in 2014. In the School District 63 (Saanich) territory, assessments actually dropped $4,000 to $679,000, placing it third on the list.

At an average price of $681,000, North Saanich maintains its average property values from last year into the new one.

Sidney sits at 12th at $432,000 (slightly up from last year) and Central Saanich is seventh at $502,000 (unchanged).

These are averages from B.C. Assessment, of course. Individual property values may vary.

Being able to afford one of those properties on the Saanich Peninsula will also vary. As does the ability of someone working in the community to afford a home.

Faced with the reality of house prices on the Saanich Peninsula, 2015 will see a variety of people and groups exploring affordability. It’s one of the issues that has been talked about for years and the real question we must ask as we start this new year is: will there be any tangible solutions?

The previous North Saanich council had a go at the issue and changed its policies and regulations to allow for more small lot homes While considerably less than the average price, these new North Saanich homes still fall between the going prices of Sidney and Central Saanich. Additional units planned in Sidney vary in price point but hover around that 2015 average.

Both the area’s MLA and MP have been looking into attainable housing and plan more meetings in 2015. Local municipal councils have it on their strategic plans as well.

These latest numbers on property values seem to only reinforce the status quo, showing little headway has been made.

Opening new doors will be one of the toughest jobs this year and our guess is most people will be left waiting.

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