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Bear Mountain condo sells for $3.65M, record for West Shore; more higher-end housing being built in Langford

A new standard for Langford, once considered the destination for affordable homes, and an indication that the work done atop Skirt Mountain is starting to pay dividends

A three-bedroom penthouse condominium on Bear Mountain, still more than two years away from being available for occupancy, has been sold for $3.65 million, a new record for condo prices on the West Shore.

The sale to a local buyer in the One Bear Mountain development is both a new standard for Langford, once considered the destination for affordable homes, and an indication that the work done atop Skirt Mountain by owners Ecoasis is starting to pay dividends.

“It’s been a long time since a multi-family condominium offering has been available at Bear Mountain and there has been demand for one,” said Ecoasis chief executive Dan Matthews.

One Bear Mountain, which hit the market in late October, sold 50 per cent of its 209 units over the first weekend. Peter Gaby, partner with DFH Real Estate, anticipates they will have sold 60 per cent of the building before the end of the year.

Matthews said the quick sale and high price is a reflection of Bear Mountain and a broader market that is starved for inventory.

“I would say Bear Mountain is certainly in a class of its own in the West Shore,” he said.

“It’s a reflection of the quality of the project, location and the work Ecoasis has done to make Bear Mountain one of the finest resort communities of its kind in the country.”

Ecoasis bought Bear Mountain resort and development lands atop Skirt Mountain in the fall of 2013.

The company has since invested heavily in the golf, tennis and outdoor amenities and re-started an ambitious residential building program.

Over the last two years the company has added four residential neighbourhoods with plans for another 180-unit development at the top of the mountain to be called Victoria Peak.

Completion of the McKenzie interchange and Bear Mountain Parkway, accessed via the Leigh Road/­McCallum intersection off the Trans-Canada Highway, has also brought the resort community closer to downtown Victoria by trimming several minutes off commutes.

Gaby said the Ecoasis work and the improved transportation have made the area more attractive to home buyers.

Most of the buyers have been local, though there has been interest from across Canada and a little from the U.S., he said. “Ecoasis has improved the image of Bear Mountain, there’s a lot more acceptance of it.”

Gaby said One Bear Mountain’s selling prices — from the low $700,000s to the $3.65 million penthouse — are an indication the West Shore has grown up quickly as a real estate market.

According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, the benchmark sale price of a single-family home on the West Shore, which includes Langford, Metchosin, Highlands and Sooke, was $912,700 in November. That’s about $200,000 higher than it was in November 2020. The benchmark price of a condo in that same market was $432,300 last month, up from $368,100 12 months earlier.

One Bear Mountain will be 18 storeys when completed in 2024. It is being built on the same footprint and some of the foundation that was poured for the Highlander condo project that was abandoned in 2008 amid the global financial crisis.

The developers behind it are Toronto based Terracap and Montreal’s 360 Pacifica, which have enlisted Victoria’s Campbell Construction to bring it to life.

Matthews said given the demands of the Greater Victoria real estate market it’s likely there will be other condominium projects at Bear Mountain.

Gaby estimates a crane will be in place for One Bear Mountain by February.

The penthouse’s sale price may be tops in Langford, but it is ranked ninth for the region among condo sales.

The most expensive condo ever sold in the region was at the Customs House project on Government Street, a penthouse for $10.8 million.