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Top Real Estate Markets on Vancouver Island

victoria vancouver island harbour scene

The Vancouver Island real estate market is one of the hottest in Canada right now. In our Nanaimo real estate market Q4 2021 guide, we shared some of the factors that are contributing to a historical seller’s market in the city.

Many of these factors are affecting real estate markets across the Island too.

Vancouver Island has seen a lot of interest from homebuyers and investors as a cheaper alternative to real estate in Vancouver

The mild climate and laid back atmosphere are two big selling points, as is the proximity to nature and growth of cities like Nanaimo and the Greater Victoria area. 

One of these fast-growing bedroom communities, Langford, led the province with a 5.2% annual growth rate in 2020 after building an astounding 37% of all housing in Greater Victoria.

But many areas are struggling to keep housing supply on pace with rising demand. Low inventory is the main challenge on Vancouver Island, and this has been driving up prices in many markets.

Here’s a city-by-city guide to the top real estate markets on Vancouver Island. Using data from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, we can compare markets directly based on single-family home benchmark price. 

Read on to find the best location whether you are an investor, first time home buyer, or something in between.

Parksville: Premium Home Prices With An Ocean View

Known as “The Jewel of Vancouver Island”, this quaint town of around 12,000 people is known for its incredible beaches on the sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island. 

It is close to other famed vacation spots like Qualicum Beach and Nanoose Bay, and is only a 30 minute drive from downtown Nanaimo. This makes it a great destination for young families and retirees who are looking for a small town feel. 

In September 2021, the Parksville-Qualicum area had a benchmark price year over year increase of 33% to $869,000. This increase puts it in the middle of the pack of Vancouver Island real estate markets in terms of growth,

Apartments (26.4%) and townhouses (42.8%) also saw significant year over year growth.

Island-Leading Growth In Langford

There are few cities in Canada that have seen the kind of transformation that Langford has in the past 20 years. What used to be a no-frills bedroom community has become the go-to destination for home buyers priced out of the Victoria market.

Today’s buyers see a rapidly densifying community on the West Shore with easy access to amenities like shopping, parks, and the Galloping Goose trail network.

Langford’s real average sale price crossed $1 million for the first time in March 2021, a figure that has continued to rise in the months since.

The caveat to these high prices in a formerly sleepy part of the Capital region is that a lot of housing supply is being built up in Langford. Developments like Belmont are increasing density in the region, and single-family homes and townhouses are sprouting up too. 

The time for scoring bargains has passed for the Langford real estate market, but the city still has high potential for real estate investing.

Deals In Duncan And The Cowichan Valley?

Duncan is a small city of 5,000 people in the Cowichan Valley that sits halfway between Victoria and Nanaimo on Highway 1. 

Like Ladysmith, Chemainus, and other small urban centres in the region, the city offers a laid-back, small town feel that is attractive both for homebuyers who are commuting to Nanaimo or Victoria for work, or anyone looking to get away from the business of these fast-growing cities.

The Cowichan Valley regional district also includes Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan, and growth in these communities has contributed to a hot market.

The Cowichan Valley single-family benchmark increased by 33% year over year this September, with an average of $755,000

However, apartments can be found at an average price of $324,100 (40.2% year over year growth), which is slightly cheaper than Nanaimo, the Comox Valley, and even Campbell River.

The proximity of Duncan to other urban centres means it is heating up fast, but there are still deals to be found for savvy homebuyers.

Vancouver Island: A Luxury Hotspot

The COVID-19 pandemic has made many desirable regions become luxury real estate hotspots. Vancouver Island, with its mild climate and relaxed lifestyle is a perfect example of this.

Waterfront properties have been especially popular, whether they be record-setting estates or swanky condos in small resort towns like Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

Much of this interest in luxury property comes from West Coast American buyers, but plenty of interest is coming from overseas as well.

The rise of the Vancouver Island luxury market comes to no surprise for buyers who have seen high prices on the Island for the past few years. It is a good sign for owners of high priced properties who could see themselves attracting bidding wars from eager buyers and investors.

Nanaimo Real Estate: A Red Hot Market

The Nanaimo real estate market stands out as one of the hottest on the Island. The strong sellers market is still in effect as single-family home prices increased 28.3% year over year to $745,400 in September 2021.

Although the market is experiencing low supply, there are still great opportunities in the city and surrounding areas. 

Want to learn more about the Nanaimo real estate market? Talk to a realtor with experience and knowledge of the area. Get in touch with Jeff King Real Estate today!