After Busy December, Home Sales on Vancouver Island Return To Normal in January

Posted on Feb 3, 2018

Sales in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area returned to seasonally normal levels in January after experiencing the busiest December on record. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) has released its monthly sales report, showing sales returning seasonally normal levels in January after the busiest December on record. Higher interest rates and the new mortgage stress test are expected to erode purchasing power for some buyers in 2018.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in B.C. is still thriving due to the province’s strong economy. However, some economic headwinds in the form of higher interest rates and Guideline B-20 – also known as the mortgage stress test – are forecast for 2018. BCREA expects economic growth in the province to slow this year, expanding at a respectable 2.8 percent, but lower than we have seen in some time. Rising interest rates will erode affordability for some home buyers, and Guideline B-20 could reduce the purchasing power of conventional mortgagors by up to 20 percent.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $379,600, an increase of 22 percent from the previous January. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $463,700, up 17 percent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $418,600, an increase of 15 percent compared to January 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 19 percent to $514,400 while the ParksvilleQualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 14 percent to $519,700 from one year ago and dip slightly from December 2017. The cost of a benchmark home in Port Alberni reached $259,100, up 20 percent from one year ago.

Excerpt from VIREB Press Release on Feb. 1, 2018.

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Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Releases 2016 Buyer Profile

Posted on Jun 26, 2017

The 2016 Buyer Profile provides statistical information summarizing “home characteristics” for VIREB’s overall board area within its boundaries. These include Duncan-Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, Port Alberni-West Coast, Parksville- Qualicum, Comox Valley, Campbell River, North Island, and the Islands.

At 81.5 per cent, owner-occupiers continue to be the primary buyers in the VIREB area.

In 2016, 26 per cent of homes that sold were under $250,000, 51 per cent were under $350,000, and 68 per cent sold for under $500,000, Only 1.4 per cent of homes in the VIREB area sold for more than $1 million dollars.

At 58 per cent, single-family detached homes represented the majority of purchases in 2016, with condominium apartments accounting for 10 per cent of purchases and townhomes garnering 7.2 per cent of total home sales.

In terms of aggregated buyer origin, home purchasers break down as follows:

  • 31.6 per cent from Vancouver Island;
  • 41.6 per cent from elsewhere in British Columbia (Vancouver and the Fraser Valley make up 27.8 per cent of that figure);
  • 24.2 per cent from elsewhere in Canada; and
  • 2.6 per cent from outside of Canada.

Receive up-to-date information on building permits, tenders, proposed developments and construction news for the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Port Hardy, Powell River and more locations on the North Island at

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Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Releases New Buyer Profile

Posted on Jun 30, 2011

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board has released its 2010 Buyer Profile, tracking where people are coming from, what Vancouver Island homes they’re buying, and why.
Statistics provided are for the overall VIREB area, and for each individual Zone (Duncan/Cowichan Valley, NanaimoPort Alberni/West Coast, Parksville/QualicumComox ValleyCampbell River, North Island, and Islands areas).
6,272 letters were sent to residential buyers obtained from the MLS database for 2010. 1,582 responses were completed and entered into a database, from which the Buyer Profile was developed.
Cameron Muir, Chief Economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association, said the VIREB Buyer Profile reveals interesting demographic trends.
“Statistically this year’s Buyer Profile is very similar to last year’s with 16% of the buyers buying their first home and 41% were buying for retirement.”
Low mortgage rates and attractive pricing were key drivers again for 2010’s buyers.
“Mortgage rates are not expected to increase much over the summer and when the increases begin, they are expected to be gradual,” Cameron added.
VIREB president Jim Stewart said, “This document reinforces why people move here: lifestyle, affordability, accessibility and all of the other amenities that make Vancouver Island such a great place to live.”
96% of sales transactions were homes purchased as a principal residence, with just 2% as investments or rentals, signaling little speculation in the market.
The Buyer Profile also shows the popular home characteristics from the MLS database with the highest frequency. The most popular was a single-family detached unit (representing 60% of all sales,) with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a double garage and a vinyl exterior, with ocean or mountain views.

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Vancouver Island Housing Starts on Par with Five-Year Average

Posted on Sep 12, 2010

Victoria Accounts for Half of Vancouver Island’s Housing Starts in August

There were 329 housing starts across urban Vancouver Island centres recorded by Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) in August 2010. This is an increase from July 2010 and it is on par with the five-year average for August.

The most active Urban Vancouver Island residential construction market in August was the Vancouver Island apartment condominium market. In Victoria CMA there were 160 apartment condominiums that started construction in August, this number represents nearly half of all August housing starts recorded across Urban Vancouver Island. Single detached homes accounted for over 80% residential construction activity on Vancouver Island (outside of Victoria CMA) which consists of Duncan CA, Nanaimo CA, Parksville CA, and Courtenay CA.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of total housing starts dipped to 183,300 units in August. In British Columbia, August’s seasonally adjusted rate of urban housing starts moved higher to 25,400 units, from 20,100 units in July.

Excerpted from

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Inter-Provincial Partnership Completes Online Resources

Posted on Jul 5, 2010

Technical Manual allows Water Balance Model users to “follow the numbers”

The British Columbia Inter-Governmental Partnership (BCIGP) and the Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership (ALIDP) have completed the Water Balance Model Technical Manual.

This manual is an online text that is navigable and organized in a way which allows users to understand a variety of aspects of the Water Balance Model in varying degrees of detail. The user can drill down into data variables, equations and other components of the system.

To learn more and access the online manual visit Technical Manual enables Water Balance Model users to “follow the numbers”.

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