Although interest and prices are on the rise, one of the most notable trends on Vancouver Island is the limited supply of housing.
During one of the least pleasant summers we have had here in British Columbia – full of heat waves, moths and forest fires like we’ve never seen before – part of the province has generated a lot of interest from housing seekers.
From top to bottom, Vancouver Island has seen a significant increase in real estate searches on REW.ca this summer, as month-to-month queries continue to increase rapidly.
Interest in property on Vancouver Island is not limited to applicants for housing on the island itself. Many residents of Metro Vancouver are also interested in cities like Nanaimo and Victoria.
After a summer full of indoor fires, Vancouver Island looks more appealing than ever to Lower Mainland residents looking for vacation properties and second homes.
Decrease in supply
Although interest and prices are rising, one of the most notable trends on Vancouver Island is the limited supply of housing.
There were 51% fewer homes on the market in August 2021 on Vancouver Island than the year before, with major cities like Victoria having 57.8% less inventory.
According to the British Columbia Real Estate Association, sales are returning to normal as supply hits record levels. This is a trend taking shape across Canada, with all major political parties running for election promising to deal with the lack of supply.
For those already living on Vancouver Island, the recent increase in research activity should come as no surprise. Vancouver Island is less crowded, less densely populated, and arguably just as beautiful as Vancouver.
Residential home prices also continue to be more affordable on Vancouver Island than in Metro Vancouver. Last month, the average residential price for a home in Metro Vancouver was $ 1,174,176, compared to $ 695,085 on Vancouver Island in general and $ 875,711 in Victoria.
While the average residential price for a home on Vancouver Island in general and Victoria in particular is lower than the provincial average in British Columbia, prices continue to rise steadily.
In the past 12 months, no region in British Columbia has experienced a greater percentage increase in house prices than Vancouver Island, as residential house prices jumped 29.5% from a year to year. Outside of Vancouver Island, Kamloops and Chilliwack are the only other regions to have seen price growth of more than 20%.
What might be most surprising to investors and housing seekers is the growing interest in Vancouver Island’s less populated cities. You would expect Nanaimo and Victoria to drive more queries to REW, but there is equal search growth in smaller markets like Parksville, Ladysmith, and Sooke. Of the 10 largest cities on Vancouver Island, all 10 saw an increase in search queries on REW this summer.
An unprecedented start to 2021 still has British Columbia on track to set all kinds of records this year, and although sales have slowed, increased interest in areas like Vancouver Island could indicate that demand is still on the rise. With limited supply and still low interest rates, we could see prices continue to rise on Vancouver Island over the next several months.
In a recent interview with the Vancouver Real Estate Podcast, REW President Simon Bray pointed out three markets other than Vancouver Island that stood out on the housing search platform, generating considerable interest from housing seekers across the province.