OUR VIEW: Buying a home still a sensible thing to do

We say: Home ownership continues to be a sound investment

A lot of numbers get trotted out every year at this time as the assessment authority releases its annual evaluation of the price of property around the province.

We’re given an astronomical dollar amount representing the total worth of so many theoretical average homes.

Of course, for most of us, any number in the billions is as useful as the number of stars in the sky and grains of sand at the beach. Perhaps the best thing we can take away from B.C. Assessment’s latest statistics is that Vancouver Island is a solid place to invest in for individuals, families and people looking to do business here. Buying a home for the vast majority of people should be first and foremost about having a place to live. It is the single biggest expenditure most people will ever make, especially for those of us living in B.C.’s southwest.

And while housing prices here are exceptionally high, there is some comfort in knowing our region has a few exceptional factors in its favour.

Over the last few decades, property values here have risen dramatically, dipped slightly and stayed relatively flat for extended periods of time.

The latest figures from B.C. Assessment seem to confirm that homeownership is a relatively stable place to put your money.

That said, there are warning signs emerging that real estate across the country is showing signs of a classic bubble, according to a December report by economists with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. It should concern anyone thinking they can continue to reap huge profits by flipping properties.

However, for the majority who are not land speculators, the long-term ownership of a home continues to be a sound investment.

– Black Press