Moving To Victoria: a Guide for Newcomers

I love Victoria because it’s just the right size. It’s large enough to attract high quality concerts and events, small enough that you can walk down the street and have a chance of running into someone you know. Large enough to have a rich and vibrant diversity, small enough to feel safe walking the streets at night. Large enough to have a great selection of restaurants, coffee shops and recreational activities, small enough to get virtually anywhere in the greater Victoria area within 30 minutes (most places under 15!). Access to larger centres like Vancouver and Seattle is easy via ferry or float plane. Victoria is a coastal community with many beaches, parks, and excellent recreation nearby.

It also has a great climate! Victoria, blessed with some of the warmest winters in Canada, rarely sees any snow. Something not many people know is that Victoria is drier than Vancouver, just to the north. The majestic Olympic Mountains to the south of Victoria in Washington State, besides providing a stunning view, block out most of the storm systems. Victoria is warm, mild and dry for most of the year.

Victoria is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off the coast of British Columbia. It is well-known for its warm climate, beautiful gardens, panoramic views, and well-preserved, walkable neighbourhoods.

I enjoy introducing our wonderful city to others and work with relocation companies like BGRS.  

Although we refer to Greater Victoria as "Victoria", the area is made up of many municipalities and the actual city is fairly small within the overall region.  
The City of Victoria has a population of 80,000 people living in over 47,000 homes, while the Greater Victoria Region has a population of over 344,000 and 167,000 homes.  

No matter where one moves to in Victoria, it’s like living in a park. The region is crisscrossed with green belts, dedicated bike paths, and public parks, making for a supremely high quality of life.

Victoria Neighbourhoods

Greater Victoria is comprised of 13 municipalities, including the City of Victoria itself. Others include Saanich, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood, Langford, Highlands, Metchosin, Sooke, Central Saanich, North Saanich, and Sidney.

Potential taxes and legislation a buyer should be aware of…


Individuals selling their residence within 12 months of acquisition will now be taxed as business income and be ineligible for either the 50 per cent capital gains rate or the principal residence exemption. There are exemptions for life events such as a divorce or death. 



The general property transfer tax applies for all taxable transactions. The general property transfer tax rate is:

-1% of the fair market value up to and including $200,000
-2% of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000
-3% of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000
-Further 2% on residential property over $3,000,000

If the property is mixed class (such as residential and commercial), you pay the further 2% tax on only the residential portion of the property.
If the property includes land classed as farm only because it is used for an owner’s or farmer’s dwelling, up to 0.5 hectares will be treated as residential property.

Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
Have either:
Lived in B.C. for at least a year immediately before the date you register the property
Filed at least 2 income tax returns as a B.C. resident in the last 6 taxation years immediately before the registration date
Have never owned a registered interest in a property that was your principal residence anywhere in the world at any time
Have never received a first time home buyers' exemption or refund
and the property must:

Only be used as your principal residence
Have a fair market value of $500,000 or less
Be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller
You may qualify for a partial exemption from the tax if the property:

Has a fair market value less than $525,000
Is larger than 0.5 hectares
Has another building on the property other than the principal residence




Be located in B.C.
-Only be used as your principal residence
-**Have a fair market value of $750,000 or less**
-Be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller
You may qualify for a partial exemption, if the property:
-Has a fair market value greater than $750,000 and less than $800,000
-Is larger than 0.5 hectares
-Has another building on the property other than the principal residence

New principle residence home up to $450k.  Rebate from the standard 5% GST.

2% for foreign owners and satellite families
0.5% for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are not members of a satellite family
The speculation and vacancy tax applies based on ownership as of December 31 each year.

Non-Resident Sellers

Home Buyers Toolbox
CMHC  Home Buying Step by Step​ -

CMHC Condominium Home Buyers Guide -

CMHC Affordability Calculator​ -

CMHC Newcomers to Canada -

Gov’t Canada First Time Buyers Tax Credit -

Get In Touch

Andrew Plank

Mobile: (250) 360-6106


Office Info

Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty

110-4460 Chatterton Way  Victoria,  BC  V8X 5J2 

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