Vancouver Island home sales are expected to climb because of an increase in population, forecasts a new report by a local financial institution. 

Brian Yu,  senior economist with the Central 1 Credit Union says the city is looking at an increase of roughly 20 per cent in the number of sales this year.

Central 1 is a trade association representing a number of member credit unions in B.C. and Ontario including the VanCity Savings Credit Union.

Yu said the population in Victoria has increased by about one per cent over the past year.

He suspects it's partly because expensive housing prices in areas like Vancouver are driving people out.

"A number of Metro Vancouver buyers are uprooting, potentially cashing out on their existing homes and going to the Island," he said. 

Yu says numbers gathered from Statistics Canada show more people are moving to Victoria from other parts of Canada too.

Part of it could be due to a recovery in the capital's job market where there has been an increase in public service job postings, he said. 

The report — which uses a variety of data sets including land title transfers to forecast housing activity in B.C. — expects Vancouver Island homes sales to climb by three per cent in 2017 before steadying. 

With files from the CBC's On The Island.


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