residential home prices

There is a wide range of housing choices in Nanaimo, from waterfront estates to condos. Because of the mountainous terrain, many properties offer spectacular views and all residents have access to the waterfront from public access paths.  

As the city grows the mix of housing is changing, with a proportional decline in single family residences and an increase in multi-family housing types.  In total, there were 44,965 dwelling units in Nanaimo at the time of the 2016 Census, an increase of 7.3% from 2011 when there were 41,900 dwelling units in the city. 

An average single family detached home in Nanaimo was $518,449 in 2017 (Source: VIREB).  In March 2018, the average price of a new single detached home in Nanaimo was $611,109 in Vancouver CMA it was $2,303,373 and Victoria CMA it was $1,063,422 (Source CMHC Q1-2018).

Housing in Nanaimo is more affordable in comparison to near urban centres such as Victoria and Greater Vancouver.  Nanaimo housing costs are approximately a quarter that of Vancouver and roughly half that of Victoria.

Real estate sales are handled by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB).  There are approximately 340 real estate agents that serve the Nanaimo market. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board also provides statistical information about the real estate market in Nanaimo and other communities on Vancouver Island.

rent and vacancy rates

The 2016 Census indicated that 30.2% of Nanaimo residents rent the dwelling they live in, while 69.8% own their home. 

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) conducted their annual rental market survey of Nanaimo in October 2017.  The table below profiles the average rents and vacancy rates for various types of rental accommodation in Nanaimo.

The rental vacancy rate for the Nanaimo region has been declining steadily since the spring of 2013 (8.3%) per graph above.  In the fall of 2017 the vacancy rate was 1.6%, while one year earlier the vacancy rate was 1.5%.  Low vacancy rates and rising rents signaled the market for new rental development projects which lead to greater construction activity.  Various municipal initiatives including legalizing secondary suites have also increased the rental supply, however that supply is not reflected in the reported vacancy rate.

commercial lease rates

Prime commercial real estate in Nanaimo is available at low lease rates when compared with  communities of similar size in BC. Nanaimo lease rates are significantly lower when compared with Victoria or Vancouver for each class of commercial space.  

seniors' housing

The overall vacancy rate for standard space in senior’s residences homes in the Nanaimo region was 1.7% in 2017, compared to 2.8% in 2016.  Demand for seniors’ housing was mainly supported by a growing seniors’ population, and a strong resale market which made it easier for seniors to sell their homes and move into independent living facilities.  Rising demand and operating costs increased the monthly rents for independent living spaces by 13.7%.