Real estate trends for Vancouver Island
Historically low inventory along with low interest rates are keeping housing prices up across the Island.
According to the latest statistics from the Vancouver Island Realty Board (VIREB) for August 2021, active listings of single-family homes and town/rowhouses are 50 per cent lower than this time last year and condo apartment inventory is down 61 per cent. All of which means it’s tricky times for buyers!
Following are more stats from VIREB.
The Comox Valley real estate market
As with the rest of the Island, the Valley has seen a significant increase in prices, but not inventory, over the last year. In fact, the average price of a single-family Comox Valley home has risen to the second-most expensive in the region north of the Malahat. The year-over-year benchmark price in the Valley rose by 32 per cent to $772,800 this past August (and that doesn’t include acreages or waterfront properties).
Other Island real estate – August 2021
The board-wide benchmark price of a single-family home outside of Greater Victoria reached $740,900 in August – a 33 per cent increase from last year at this time and even slighter higher than the previous month. The most expensive area in the region for a single-family home is Parksville-Qualicum, with a benchmark price increase of 35 per cent to $863,800. While the lowest benchmark price for a single-family home of $394,400 in the North Island, that still is a year-over-year increase of 52 per cent from last August!
Campbell River’s benchmark price reached $650,800 in August, up by 33 per cent year over year. The Cowichan Valley benchmark price hit $733,600, an increase of 32 per cent from August 2020. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by 29 per cent to hit $741,900. And Port Alberni reached $492,400, up 43 per cent year over year.
What’s can we expect heading into fall?
Short answer? Expect more of the same.
According to Ian Mackay, 2021 VIREB President, “Because the real estate sector is driven by supply and demand, we expect that prices will continue to rise unless demand drops or listings increase.”
Even with a fall election and the various major parties’ focus on housing affordability, in the short term, not much will change. “Without a tangible plan to build more homes, we’re concerned that election promises will fall far short of what’s needed and do little to improve affordability,” notes Mackay. “Building more homes isn’t the easy solution, but it’s the key to making housing more affordable.”
To that end, BCREA, VIREB and other real estate boards continue advocating with policymakers at regional and provincial levels to accelerate the development process so municipalities can expand supply more briskly and meet demand.
In the short term, buyers need to be available to move quickly and work with an experienced local realtor to get in on listings as soon as possible. Sellers, on the other hand, can enjoy the enviable position of being in the driver’s seat for the next few months...or more.