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 CA 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 $556,820 in 2018 (Source: VIREB).  In May 2019, the average price of a new single detached home in Nanaimo was $689,380 in Vancouver CMA it was $2,462,507 and Victoria CMA it was $1,288,700 and BC average was $1,834,651 (CMHC).

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.

Source: Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Source: BC Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association, MLS Stats

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 2018.  The graph and table below profiles the average rents and vacancy rates for various types of rental accommodation in Nanaimo.

Source: CMHC

The rental vacancy rate for the Nanaimo region had been declining steadily since the spring of 2013.  In the fall of 2017 the vacancy rate increased for the first time from 1.5% to 1.6%.  The number of private apartment units available for rent increased between 2017 and 2018 bringing the vacancy rate to 2.5%.  Various municipal initiatives including legalizing secondary suites have helped increase the rental supply.

Source: CMHC

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 in the Nanaimo region was 3.0% in 2018, compared to 2.2% in 2019.  Demand for seniors’ housing was mainly supported by a growing senior’s population.  216 new units were added to existing supply in 2018.  Rising demand also led to average rent increases during this period.

Source: CMHC

Source: CMHC