Market Trends


The Nanaimo and Area Housing Market, has been quite stable throughout the years.  It has gone up with the Nanaimo Home Trendsnational and provincial trends, but doesn’t seem to come down quite as fast and far as in other geographical regions of Canada.  Experts feel that this is largely due to steady influx of retirees coming here to escape the harsh winters they have experienced in other areas of the country.  They say you don’t have to shovel the rain! Once the market hits its threshold during a fast growth period, we can expect to see small adjustments to the prices rather than steep declines.  Nanaimo and other parts of Vancouver Island are still regarded as one of the best priced real estate markets, especially taking into account the beauty of the ocean views and the rainforests that it has to offer.

Trends and Market News

Vireb - News

Recent posts from Vireb (News)

Sales of single-family homes in April board-wide dipped by 13 per cent year over year but rose by 33 per cent from March. MORE
Posted: May 1, 2019, 10:10 pm
Sales of single-family homes in March board-wide dipped by 23 per cent year over year but were up 36 per cent from February. MORE
Posted: April 2, 2019, 3:52 pm
Sales of single-family homes in February board-wide dipped by 28 per cent year over year but were up 10 per cent from January. MORE
Posted: March 1, 2019, 10:41 pm
The mortgage stress test, also known as Guideline B-20, is taking a toll on housing sales throughout the province, and Vancouver Island is no exception. MORE
Posted: February 1, 2019, 9:27 pm
Sales of single-family homes in December dropped by 48 per cent from one year ago and were 44 per cent lower than in November. Annual sales of single-family homes in 2018 totalled 4,543, a 19 per cent drop from 2017. MORE
Posted: January 2, 2019, 11:07 pm
Sales of single-family homes in November dropped by 28 per cent from one year ago and were 21 per cent lower than in October. MORE
Posted: December 3, 2018, 11:36 pm
Sales of single-family homes in October were 11 per cent higher than in September but dipped by 16 per cent from October 2017. MORE
Posted: November 1, 2018, 8:57 pm
Sales of single-family homes in September dropped by 32 per cent from one year ago and 25 per cent from August 2018. MORE
Posted: October 1, 2018, 8:46 pm
Sales of single-family homes in August were seven per cent higher than in July but dipped by 14 per cent from August 2017. MORE
Posted: September 4, 2018, 9:42 pm
Prices of single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses continue to rise in the VIREB area despite cooling sales in some markets. MORE
Posted: August 1, 2018, 9:58 pm
Last month, 444 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 518 in May and 617 one year ago. The number of apartments changing hands last month dropped by 21 per cent. MORE
Posted: July 4, 2018, 9:05 pm
New real estate rules imposed by the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate will significantly change the way REALTORS® and clients work together. MORE
Posted: June 21, 2018, 4:06 pm
The benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area broke the $500,000 mark in May, rising to $507,700, a 17 per cent increase from one year ago. MORE
Posted: June 1, 2018, 9:46 pm
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) is pleased to announce that Ian Lindsay has been named VIREB’s 2017 REALTOR® of the Year. MORE
Posted: May 7, 2018, 9:37 pm
Sales of single-family homes in the VIREB area rose by 20 per cent month over month in April but remained static from one year ago. MORE
Posted: May 1, 2018, 9:31 pm
A sell-out crowd attended the 11th Annual VIREB Commercial Building Awards (CBAs) on April 19 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. MORE
Posted: April 25, 2018, 4:23 pm
Sales of single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses in the VIREB area dipped or remained static in March 2018. MORE
Posted: April 3, 2018, 10:07 pm
Approximately 450 REALTORS® and dignitaries gathered at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on March 9 to witness the installation of VIREB’s board of directors for 2018. MORE
Posted: March 20, 2018, 9:18 pm
Last month, 316 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 288 in January and 345 one year ago. MORE
Posted: March 1, 2018, 11:15 pm
Coming off the busiest December on record, sales in the VIREB area returned to seasonally normal levels in January. MORE
Posted: February 1, 2018, 10:39 pm

BCREA Blog

Why REALTORS® don’t have to worry about including a clause in a contract of purchase and sale that specifies that a buyer won’t be held liable for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT).
Posted: March 22, 2019, 4:21 pm
Whether you're a REALTOR® conducting business on Vancouver Island, or northern BC, understanding what invasive species are found in your area is the first step in helping your client avoid the associated risks.
Posted: February 27, 2019, 9:49 pm
We are looking for several REALTORS® and other professionals to sit on our Board of Directors and help set the organization’s strategic focus, engage in meaningful discussion about the future of the profession and provide direction to BCREA’s CEO and staff on priority projects.
Posted: January 8, 2019, 10:28 pm
There are a lot of myths out there about REALTORS®, real estate transactions and money laundering. Unfortunately, the public has nowhere to go get unbiased information about REALTORS®’ roles in identifying criminal activity.
Posted: January 4, 2019, 11:05 pm
FPTP? Pro-rep? These strange terms are related to the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform, which is underway until November 30. Please take the time to learn about the different models and then to submit your voting package.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 7:46 pm
British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) invites BC’s REALTORS® to tell the government how the ban on limited dual agency (LDA) has impacted them through our online survey. The government is listening. We need your stories to share. The survey closes on Tuesday, November 27 at 5 pm.
Posted: November 15, 2018, 7:36 pm
On October 17, it became legal for Canadians to grow cannabis in their own homes. Still, just because it is legal, it doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Read more on the implications for homeowners and buyers, and questions REALTORS® may receive from clients who want to grow cannabis.
Posted: November 9, 2018, 6:38 pm
Changes to the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) return are now in effect. These changes are expected to provide the BC Government with better tools to ensure property buyers are not evading taxes they owe and increase evidence of true real estate ownership.
Posted: September 17, 2018, 5:16 pm
As you know, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia is preparing to implement the rule changes to eliminate limited dual agency and require additional disclosures. Those changes take effect on March 15, 2018, and the decision to change the rules came from the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate, which has oversight over the Council.
Posted: January 18, 2018, 7:47 pm
On December 13, the federal Minister of Finance announced a plan to simplify changes to the Income Tax Act. For the 2018 tax year, several categories of business owners will be exempt from the new rules on income sprinkling.
Posted: January 11, 2018, 6:18 pm
According to a recent study, purpose-built rental apartments often bring low returns, but these projects continue to be in demand.
Posted: January 4, 2018, 9:50 pm
On November 22, the federal government released its new National Housing Strategy. The strategy commits $40 billion over ten years through federal funding, provincial and territorial grant matching and low-interest loans.
Posted: December 15, 2017, 5:19 pm

REALTOR Safety Blog PostSafety is important for all REALTORS®. The nature of the job means you work outside of regular hours, at many different locations and often alone. The real estate profession has always been quick to adopt new technology to help with sales and client relations, so it's no surprise that technology's also being used to improve safety.

Apps designed for personal safety aren't new, but many recognize the unique nature of the real estate profession and specifically target REALTORS® as their audience. A few are even designed by BC REALTORS®, who know the risks of the profession first-hand.

These apps automate some of the best safety practices—like setting check-in times with family and friends, making your location known and having the police on speed-dial. Some apps even offer special devices that serve as panic buttons for emergencies.

Other REALTOR® safety apps argue that this "after-the-fact" approach isn't good enough, and opt for a more preventative approach by using a mutually-beneficial buddy system, where monthly subscribers make themselves available to each other for hosting open houses or meeting clients.

If you haven't put much thought into your safety, these apps can streamline the process. A wide variety of REALTOR® safety apps are available through all smartphone app stores, but ultimately you're responsible for choosing the one that's right for you. It's hard to put a price on safety and, while the prices for these apps vary from one-time purchases to monthly rates, the least you can do is make sure you have a contingency plan in place for emergencies.

More information from the Canadian Real Estate Association:

Posted: December 7, 2017, 3:46 pm
As of November 27, 2017, the BC Government will require a new version (version 29) of the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) return. The following new information will be collected by lawyers and notaries when completing the PTT return:
Posted: November 21, 2017, 10:37 pm
In July 2017, the federal government announced far-reaching changes to the Income Tax Act that would affect private corporations.
Posted: November 2, 2017, 8:49 pm
On October 17, the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced new restrictions on uninsured mortgages.
Posted: October 27, 2017, 4:56 pm
In early September, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate published draft rule to real estate practice. This action flows from the June 2016 Independent Advisory Group report.
Posted: October 24, 2017, 8:15 pm

iStock-667617622The federal government plans to legalize non-medical cannabis by July 2018. In response, provincial and territorial governments are now considering how they’ll manage their responsibilities. 

The BC government’s Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat is consulting with the public, with a deadline for feedback of November 1. One of the top issues identified by the Secretariat is personal cultivation.

BCREA’s response urges the government to create a framework to deal with properties used in drug production. When a property has been involved in producing drugs, people can be exposed to serious health and safety risks resulting from mould, chemicals and electrical fires. These properties also often become stigmatized, which can result in financing and insurance challenges.

BC currently has no provincial standards for remediating and certifying properties that have been used to produce drugs. There’s also no consistency for learning about a property’s history of drug production.

BCREA recommends that the government develop a centralized, consistent process for remediation of buildings used in drug operations. Specific to the government’s consultation, BCREA recommends that personal cultivation take place outside, and that a registry be created that’s tied to the property, rather than the individual.

Read BCREA’s submission and learn more about BCREA’s recommendations here.

To read the government’s discussion paper for this consultation, and to give your feedback, click here.

Posted: October 19, 2017, 10:50 pm

iStock-469758358A home is an important part of the enviable quality of life many British Columbians seek. REALTORS® hear this every day from their clients all around the province.

BCREA’s pleased that the new provincial government has identified housing affordability as an important concern, and the Association offers recommendations to ensure British Columbians have access to safe and appropriate housing options.

BCREA’s five-pillar approach includes timely recommendations to:

  • adjust the Property Transfer Tax,
  • assist consumers with housing costs,
  • encourage the creation of more rental housing,
  • densify urban areas, and
  • promote best practices among local governments.

The Association advocates for these recommendations with all elected officials, including through the 2018 Budget Consultations.

 Complete information is available at www.bchousingaffordability.ca, and by following BCREA on Twitter and Facebook

Posted: September 27, 2017, 4:42 pm

KS85433On September 6, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate announced draft changes to the Rules under the Real Estate Services Act. Stakeholders and the public have 30 days to respond, and the final rule changes will be released after the October 6 consultation deadline.

The most significant proposed change is a ban on limited dual agency, where a licensee represents more than one party in a real estate transaction. The only exemption to this ban is for underserved, remote communities with few licensees. The draft rules also include new measures for disclosing remuneration and other information to clients.

BCREA’s position and actions on the draft rules
BCREA welcomes the enhanced disclosure proposals, but is concerned that a ban on limited dual agency would negatively impact consumers. If a consumer can’t work with a REALTOR® they know and trust, they may choose to have no representation at all, leaving them at greater risk.

BCREA is meeting with the Office of the Superintendent, the Real Estate Council of BC and the Ministry of Finance to discuss the impacts of the draft rules. We’re also working with legal experts, the real estate boards and licensees to better understand the possible impacts and prepare our submission to the government’s consultation. With the information available now, BCREA intends to advocate for exemptions for commercial transactions and long-standing client relationships, as well as a longer implementation period, to allow enough time to fully educate REALTORS® and consumers. We will submit our response before October 6, and provide more information as it becomes available.  

BCREA has also compiled a list of frequently asked questions with the information we know so far. 

Visit our website for more information on BCREA’s position.

The consultation: actions for REALTORS® and consumers
In the meantime, licensees are asked to complete the Office of the Superintendent’s survey on the draft rules, which can be found on their website. The survey is open until October 6.

After the rules are finalized
It’s not yet clear exactly when the Office of the Superintendent will finalize the rules. All we know right now is that the expected implementation date is January 15, 2018.

Shortly after the final rules are released, BCREA will communicate with member boards and REALTORS® to explain and contextualize the new rules. At the same time, BCREA will update all course content (including Legal Update and other relevant PDP courses), so learners will receive the most up-to-date information. Finally, we will amend our standard forms, as necessary, so REALTORS® will have accurate tools for their day-to-day work.

Posted: September 22, 2017, 11:05 pm
Some conflicts between REALTORS® and strata managers are due to not knowing the other's roles and responsibilities. To try to get that straight, BCREA worked with strata manager and owner organizations on a brief description: Strata Transactions: Roles of REALTORS® and Strata Managers.
Posted: September 21, 2017, 4:04 pm
Do Personal Real Estate Corporations need to register with WorkSafeBC? This question has come up a couple of times recently, so here's the answer: it depends.worksafebc_logo
Posted: September 12, 2017, 8:19 pm

house calculatorThe federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is considering changing residential mortgage insurance underwriting practices. One of these changes would require a qualifying stress test for all uninsured mortgages, which could negatively impact housing affordability.

Homeownership is an important achievement for many Canadian families. Requiring all uninsured mortgages to have to qualify for a higher mortgage rate than can be negotiated between borrowers and lenders may put homeownership out of reach in some markets. This may particularly impact first-time buyers who often face additional struggles securing financing.  

Plus, the housing market is still adjusting to recent changes. Over the past eight years, the federal government has implemented seven rounds of measures to tighten mortgage lending rules. The most recent were regulations affecting mortgage lending introduced last fall, which added to housing market uncertainty among buyers and sellers. Also, the Bank of Canada increased its prime rate by 25 basis points in July 2017, and many economists predict the rate will rise again in October. These changes compound the previous seven housing policy measures.

Making more changes now could imbalance local markets across the country and has the potential to negatively impact the Canadian economy. Particularly in British Columbia, where homebuyers face the highest provincial Property Transfer Tax in the country, any tightening of underwriting policies can put homeownership out of reach.

BCREA encourages the government not to make fundamental changes to the national housing finance system at a time of rising interest rates. This recommendation is echoed by the Canadian Real Estate Association, as well as the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

The government’s public consultation period on this proposal closes August 17, 2017. For more information on the consultation and to make a submission, visit the government's website.

Read BCREA’s full submission here.

This submission is part of BCREA’s ongoing advocacy work to ensure REALTORS® voices are heard by governments and that housing affordability is protected.

Posted: August 16, 2017, 7:53 pm
The federal government has proposed several changes to the Income Tax Act that could affect personal real estate corporations in BC. Until October 2, the government is accepting feedback on its proposals, which will impact a wide variety of Canadians.
Posted: August 10, 2017, 4:32 pm

Explaining-idea-186023388_2122x1415The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate could soon propose a ban on limited dual agency. Limited dual agency occurs when a real estate licensee acts in a limited capacity for both the buyer and the seller. This ban was recommended in June 2016 by the Independent Advisory Group, which examined real estate practice.

For more than a year, BCREA, real estate boards and REALTORS® have worked hard to explain the potential negative consequences of a complete ban.

 This comes down to the consumer’s right to choose. If the government completely bans limited dual agency, it’s saying that consumers aren’t capable of making their own decisions. Such a ban will prevent people from working with professionals they know and trust, and with professionals who have knowledge about specific types of real estate (like islands or resort properties) or specific areas of the province.

 Shouldn’t people who buy and sell real estate—who are already making large, important decisions—be able to choose for themselves who can represent their interests?

 To be clear, BCREA supports strong consumer protection and high standards of professional practice, and the vast majority of BC REALTORS® walk that walk every day. REALTORS®️ believe consumer protection is paramount. With full disclosure and independent professional advice, consumers can make informed choices in choosing their REALTORS®.

 For BCREA’s response to the IAG report, click here

Posted: July 24, 2017, 8:54 pm