It’s a very interesting time to be working in the real estate industry on Vancouver Island.
Island residents have been getting used to the idea that this peaceful West Coast region is in demand since before the COVID-19 pandemic, but real estate is becoming even more of a hot commodity as the market continues to heat up.
Buyers are increasingly looking for smaller cities with high quality of life where they can enjoy the benefits of working remotely. We are also experiencing a seller’s market with historically low inventory.
What can we expect as we close out 2021? Will prices continue to rise upwards, or is there any chance buyers can catch a break in the coming months?
Read on to learn from the latest industry reports and gain some insider knowledge about Nanaimo real estate.
The Market At A Glance
Housing inventory remains at historic lows on Vancouver Island, and especially in Nanaimo. Sales activity has been slow in the past several months, and Nanaimo house prices are rising as buyers feel the pinch.
The average price for single detached homes in Nanaimo in August 2021 was $829,411, which was a 27% increase from the previous year. Increases around this level were consistent across the Island, and Port Alberni saw the largest boost with a whopping 32% increase to $494,500.
Active listings for single detached homes throughout the Island dropped 50% in August 2021 compared to 2020 according to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.
Developers and local real estate boards continue to advocate for ways to boost the development process, but there is no quick fix to this supply issue. These market conditions will hold through the end of 2021.
Other News On The Island
Summer 2021 in British Columbia saw another devastating wildfire season in the interior region. There were more wildfires of higher severity, which could lead buyers to look to Vancouver Island as a safer alternative for vacation properties and second homes.
Another plan for a high speed foot passenger ferry between Nanaimo and Vancouver came to light this September. Long term residents in Nanaimo know the “high speed ferry song and dance” by heart, but that doesn’t mean investors will stop trying.
The population of Nanaimo has surpassed 100,000, and sky high living costs in Vancouver make our pretty harbour city an option for many workers who wouldn’t shy away from a daily ocean commute.
There’s no reason to get too excited yet, but this venture from Conqora Capital Partners is something buyers and sellers in the Nanaimo real estate market should keep an eye on in the coming year.
Mayor Leonard Krog has expressed his hopes that the service could be in action as early as spring 2022, and Conqora has already signed an agreement to operate with the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
These events are something for residents and hopeful buyers to watch. Although they won’t drive real estate prices independently, they could become a part of the narrative for the Vancouver Island real estate market.
Projections For The Rest Of Q4
The Bank of Canada is keeping interest rates low for now, but a rate hike will be on the horizon when more economic recovery is measured.
The 2021 federal election featured plenty of campaign promises for housing affordability, but any changes to the status quo are still years away.
Prices in Nanaimo are expected to continue to shoot up in the final months of 2021. An increase of 9% for all property types is projected for Q4 of 2021. This puts Nanaimo above other hot Canadian markets, including Victoria and Vancouver.
2022 And Beyond
Beyond 2021, Vancouver Islanders (and Canadians) should be optimistic. High vaccination rates in British Columbia could signal further growth in the economy as restrictions are dropped.
This is especially promising for international travel, something that drives the economy of many regions of Vancouver Island. The return of international visitors and their spending dollars are good news for local businesses, the labour market, and homebuyer confidence further downstream.
However, the Nanaimo real estate market will still be restricted by supply issues, and prices will likely continue to rise. With a large number of listings needed to “balance” the market , there is a long way to go before home prices fall.
Sellers should look ahead to 2022 and beyond with optimism. Thinking of making some renovations or repairs before putting your home on the market? Now might be the right time to roll up your sleeves.
If you are interested in buying or selling in the Nanaimo real estate market, you will want to work with a realtor that knows the market better than anyone.