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Summer real estate boom continues for Greater Victoria amid pandemic – Times Colonist



The Greater Victoria real estate market continued a summer boom, as sales and prices spiked again amid the pandemic.

August data from the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service shows 979 properties changed hands during August, the exact number that sold in July. That’s 1,958 transactions over a two-month span, nearly 600 more than the 1,367 properties that sold over the same months a year ago.

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“This is not a trend … this is our market at this moment in time during a unique situation,” Sandi-Jo Ayers, president of the real estate board, said in a statement Tuesday.

“It is a challenging time to define what is happening in the market given so many factors that don’t exist in a normal year.

“We have been surprised by the pace of the summer market and are grappling with the evolving socio-economic effects of the pandemic and how these underlying factors will influence our fall real estate market.”

The benchmark value for a single-family home in the Victoria core area‚ which includes Oak Bay, Saanich, Esquimalt and View Royal, jumped 4.7% to $889,200 in August compared to the same month last year. The average price, however, was slightly lower than this July’s value of $909,700.

The benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria core was $513,900 in August. It slipped by 0.8% from a year ago and was down 3.2% from the July value of $530,800.

Price increases were higher in other areas.

The benchmark price for a single-family home on the West Shore hit $694,200, nearly 10 per cent higher than a year ago. The benchmark condominium price there is $418,900, up 5.8% from August a year ago.

Houses on the Peninsula were at $833,800, up 5.5% from last year, while condos were at $478,400, down slightly from July 2020 and from August a year ago.

The condominium market in the region saw a huge boost in sales last month, up 29% from August 2019, with 262 units sold.

There were 2,584 active listings for sale at the end of August 2020, 8.9% fewer properties than the total available at the end of August 2019 and a 2.6% decrease from the 2,653 active listings for sale at the end of July 2020.

“Our business has changed a lot in recent months,” said Ayers. “Realtors have adapted to health and safety requirements and much more technology is being leveraged to facilitate all aspects of the housing transaction.

“We can also see that though demand is up, there are fewer listings on the market, which increases demand on desirable properties even more. This is why we saw a lot of competition and multiple offers over the summer.”

Ayers is unsure if the trend will continue into the fall.

“That will depend on how much new inventory comes into the market and how our community continues to manage the impact of COVID-19,” she said. “This is an evolving and nuanced market.”

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, representing all the areas north of the Malahat, reported 1,101 sales last month, a 39% increase from August 2019.

A total of 547 single-family homes (excluding acreage and waterfront) sold in August, a year-over-year increase of 35%. Sales of condo apartments rose by 43% year over year while townhouse sales increased by 19%.

Board president Kevin Reid said in a statement that the housing market rebounded from the COVID-19 downturn far more quickly than expected. Pent-up demand, low interest rates and persistent supply shortages are fueling the recovery, he said.

Active listings of single-family detached properties (excluding acreages and waterfront) totalled 1,081 in August, while there were 427 condo apartments and 221 row/townhouses for sale last month.

The benchmark price of a single-family home hit $533,300 in August, an increase of 3% from the previous year, but 2% lower than in July. The year-over-year benchmark price of a condo rose by 5%, hitting $312,000 but down marginally from July.

For the Malahat and area, the benchmark price of a single-family home last month was $610,200, a 7% increase from August 2019. In Campbell River, the benchmark price hit $455,600, up 2% over last year. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $537,300, up by 3% from one year ago. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $480,200, an increase of 1% from August 2019. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by 3% to $575,100, while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 3% to $608,300. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $329,100, a 4% increase from one year ago. For the North Island, the benchmark price was $221,000, an 11% increase from last year.

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Don’t be a stranger! Sooke real estate agent won’t shy away from your questions – Sooke News Mirror



When you’re buying your first house, you’re likely to have a thousand questions. You may even ask the same questions more than once. The same goes for selling — whether it’s your first sale or your fifth, you’ll likely ask the same questions over and over.

Most real estate agents can answer your questions the first time you ask, but it takes a special kind of ‘people person’ to treat you with genuine compassion the fourth time you ask.

“I want my clients to feel comfortable reaching out to me for anything, even if they’ve asked me before,” says Paula Wensley, a real estate agent with Macdonald Realty Ltd. “My goal is to reduce stress for my clients so they don’t lose sleep — they’ll probably lose sleep anyway, but I can do my best to make the process easier.”

Find the right fit

Paula is relatively new to Sooke but she’s no stranger to southern Vancouver Island, having lived in many Island communities over the years. That local knowledge comes in handy when helping clients find their forever-home.

“I’ve had some amazing experiences with clients who weren’t happy with where they lived, but didn’t know where to move,” she says.

They’d describe their personalities, lifestyles and goals, and ask Paula ‘Where can you see us? What community would suit us?’ Using her knowledge of local communities and her talents for connecting with clients, she’d make a recommendation.

“One client reached out a year after they’d moved in just to say thanks. She said ‘we wouldn’t have found this community without you.’ It’s amazing to have that kind of impact.”

3rd generation in real estate

Paula comes from a family of real estate agents including her grandpa, dad, uncles and cousins, so she draws from a wealth of experience beyond her years. Before real estate she worked as a property manager and commercial sales assistant, so she’s seen the industry from all sides.

“I try to offer a fresh approach — I’m up to date on new negotiating techniques and other strategies,” she says.

Paula finds she connects well with clients who prefer a bit more time and attention to their individual needs. If you have a unique situation or just want a little extra help with your listing, Paula will give you her full attention.

“I don’t see myself in sales, I see it as a service. It’s not just a conveyor belt of clients.”

Follow Paula Wensley on Facebook for her latest insights on the tight real estate market, and visit to browse current listings from Mill Bay to Sidney to Sooke. Get in touch by calling 250-388-5882 or at

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Real Estate Transactions: Exclusive Use Servitudes Deemed Invalid – Real Estate and Construction – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts



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While exclusive use clauses remain common in leases, they can no
longer be drafted in the form of servitude agreements in

In April 2020, in the case of Société
immobilière Duguay Inc.
v. 547264 Ontario
1, the Court of Appeal of Quebec
ruled in favour of dismissing a Superior Court
judgment2, thereby granting an application for
declaratory judgment and striking off “exclusive
” clauses drafted in the form of servitude agreements
restricting the types of business that could be carried out on a
property. As a result, this case puts an end, in commercial
transactions, to the use of servitude agreements to protect certain
exclusive businesses or commercial uses from third parties in a
given location.

Exclusive use clauses have long been included in leasing
agreements, such as those in shopping centers, to define the
permitted uses of the leased property and prohibit or limit one
tenant from carrying on the same type of business or
principal use” as another tenant. The bottom
line is to protect the market within a property and ensure the
commercial success of all tenants. The Civil Code of Quebec
(C.C.Q.) does not currently define or regulate such clauses
directly; these are usually the result of negotiations between the
landlord and the tenants. Exclusive use clauses have also been used
in commercial real estate transactions, in the form of servitude
agreements. Under Quebec civil law, Article 1177 C.C.Q. defines a
servitude as “a charge imposed on an immovable, the
servient land, in favour of another immovable, the dominant land,
belonging to a different owner

The Duguay matter is the most recent case in which the
Quebec courts had to determine whether exclusive use agreements in
commercial real estate transactions were valid in civil law. In
this case, the Respondents owned a shopping centre and various
contiguous or nearby lots, which they leased for commercial
purposes. In 1998 and 2000, the Respondents sold two of those lots
to a third party for the purpose of opening a clothing store. The
notarized deed of sale included a servitude agreement stipulating
that the buildings of the shopping centre owned by the Respondents
could not be used to carry on business activities that would
compete with those of the buyer (i.e. a family clothing store),
while the properties acquired by the buyer could not, for their
part, be used for the principal business activities then taking
place at the Respondents’ shopping centre and on the
neighbouring lots they owned (i.e. a grocery store, drugstore,
movie theatre and department store). In 2012, the two properties
were sold by the initial buyer to the Appellant, with the new deed
of sale providing that both properties remain subject to the
exclusive use servitudes set out in 1998 and 2000. Following this
subsequent sale, the Appellant asked the Superior Court to declare
that the “servitude agreement” was not enforceable and to
order its striking out on the grounds that it did not constitute
servitudes, but rather, personal obligations.

The Court of Appeal found that, since the purpose that the
Respondents claimed to be pursuing through these exclusive use
agreements, namely to promote the commercial diversity of their
shopping centre, served largely to ensure that the businesses in
the shopping centre they owned were not subject to commercial
competition, they could not be construed as constituting valid
servitudes under the C.C.Q. The Court of Appeal found that the
rights flowing from these agreements do not relate to the
Respondents’ real estate property, but rather to the
Respondents’ financial and commercial interests.

As a result, although the exclusive use servitude agreements
could be deemed creative in commercial real estate transactions,
the Court of Appeal of Quebec ruled in favour of the Appellant,
finding that such agreements restricting commercial use do not
constitute valid servitudes, as they do not encumber the dominant
land as required by Article 1177 C.C.Q., but only apply to the
servient land. According to the Court of Appeal, these stipulations
must be characterized as personal obligations binding on the first
buyer and the Respondent but not the Appellant as the subsequent
buyer. Moreover, the Court of Appeal found that the Respondents had
not demonstrated that the Appellant agreed to undertake these
agreements as personal obligations when purchasing the


1 Société immobilière Duguay inc. v.
547264 Ontario Limited, 2020 QCCA 571

2 Société immobilière Duguay inc. v.
547264 Ontario Limited, 2018 QCCS 2099 (CanLII)

Originally published by August-September 2020 issue of
Canadian Lawyer InHouse magazine

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Real Estate and Construction from Canada

Construction Dispute Resolution In Ontario

Miller Thomson LLP

The Canadian Construction Documents Committee (“CCDC”) forms of contract provide for a dispute resolution process that is generally contained in Part 8 of the contract.

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LACKIE: There are signs of a softening real-estate market – Toronto Sun



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How could house-poor Canadians, already saddled with alarming levels of consumer debt, manage their way through this, let alone out the other side?

But they did. And it was, quite frankly, astonishing.

According to CMHC, Canadians deferred $1 billion worth of mortgages per month during the pandemic, while the Canadian Bankers Association reports that more than 760,000 Canadians either skipped a mortgage payment or took advantage of a deferral program.

As of Sept. 13, more than $78 billion had been paid out to Canadians in the form of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Yet, by the time the emergency lockdown restrictions started to relax, the real estate market was in full swing.

The June and July sales figures broke records set a year earlier, and the Toronto market spread its heat to the suburban and rural markets. In cottage country, properties were selling with multiple offers just hours after hitting the market.

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Could this really just be the result of pent-up demand? Of fundamental changes in consumer appetites? A hunger for more space, more land, less density?

There were tons of theories.

Maybe all along we haven’t fully appreciated the level of demand, I wondered.

Maybe people weren’t as hurt by lost earnings as one might have expected?

Maybe the busy summer was the combined effect of insatiable demand met with people hustling to get set up to more comfortably ride out the fall’s all but guaranteed second wave.

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