Real estate north of the Malahat saw swift sales and soaring prices last month, with sold signs just as easy to find as for sale signs.
According to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, November was a record month in terms of sales and inventory levels.
“We had our best November on record,” said Kevin Reid, president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. “We sold more homes in November than any previous years that we’ve got data recorded for.”
The average home is now priced at $540,000, an increase of four percent from a year ago and the number of properties for sale is also at a near-record low. The data is all part of brisk real estate sales seen across Vancouver Island this fall.
Reid said the coronavirus pandemic has driven a lot of activity in the market, with people retiring earlier than anticipated.
“We have all kinds of buyers that have pulled their retirement plans ahead,” explained Reid. “They were planning on retiring in the next few years and having the reality of the pandemic and how life can change in a moment. They’re rolling their plans ahead. They’re moving to the Island and looking for that island lifestyle.”
Reid says people are also learning how to work from home and vacating the cities and that could mean a growing tsunami of people wanting to live and ultimately moving to Vancouver Island.
Josh Wynia, an agent with 460 Realty, said Nanaimo is becoming an attractive place for more and more people, with its relatively affordable housing market.
“People are noticing it [Nanaimo]. How beautiful it is. [Nanaimo is] still quite affordable compared to other markets so it’s driving a lot of traffic here,” he explained.
Gaila Eddie and Ansley Evans are among those who want to move to Vancouver Island.
The two are from the Lower Mainland and say they want to move to Nanaimo because of its quality of life and more affordable housing.
“Inventory is pretty limited. Houses are coming on the market but offers are on quick and they’re gone,” said Evans.