Living in Victoria, BC puts me in one of Canada’s top five competitive real estate markets. The Victoria market has been influenced by significant interest from across Canada, the United States and China. As such, since 2008, the market environment is highly competitive and very lucrative with explosive growth. I wanted to be in the market to both build equity and asset growth, to bolster my retirement savings. But young people have been struggling to get into the market.
Since late 2018, the market has been cooled by new federal government mortgage stress-test rules, a new provincial tax targeting foreign speculators, stronger rules governing down payment funds (to combat money laundering) and large amounts of inventory in both the condominium and townhouse segments. All of which combined to create a more volatile market with many buyers taking a “wait and see” approach, until the new rules settle.
In 2016, I borrowed $25,000 from my RRSPs under the ‘First Time Buyers’ program. A person is considered a First Time Buyer if they have not owned real estate in the last five years. I had an eight year ‘rental’ period that included a divorce and a relocation across the country. Using the borrowed RRSP funds as both my down payment and for the other expenses, I set off to begin participating in the real estate market. I will record each transaction here, along with the financial factors involved.