Nanaimo's September Market Update

Last month witnessed noteworthy developments in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area's housing market, with 324 single-family homes sold. This figure reflects a 7% surge compared to the same period last year, when 304 homes were sold, but a noticeable decline of 21% from the preceding month of July 2023, which saw 414 transactions. Condo sales in August reached 85, marking a substantial 29% year-over-year increase but a 13% dip compared to the previous month. Meanwhile, townhouse sales totalled 77 units in the past month, marking an impressive 51% growth since the previous year but a 10% drop from July.

For the month of August, the Nanaimo real estate market makes up just over 25% of single-family, 34% of condo and 35% of townhome sales across the VIREB area. While the average single-family home price decreased by almost 2% year over year, the increase to the average home price from July to August was over 3%, signalling that the current real estate market is trending upwards. The number of new listings from August 2022 to 2023 remained almost identical. Combining this statistic with the decrease in the average home price indicates that while there was a 17% increase in the number of transactions occurring in the month of August, the market is priced lower than last year. This is attributed, in part, to the housing market, which began to cool in July of 2022. It is also important to note that historically, Nanaimo sees a slight decline in the market in August as families are getting ready for back to school and enjoying the last few weeks of summer. This typically runs into September, and the average home price stays very close together before bumping back up again for the month of October. 

In the Third-Quarter Housing Market Forecast from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), it was observed that the B.C. housing market displayed remarkable resilience throughout 2023. Despite the impact of significantly higher interest rates, home sales and prices remained robust. BCREA has projected that the VIREB area will conclude the year with 8,300 unit sales, with a further forecast of 8,800 units in 2024. The housing market in the province experienced a robust rebound in the spring, following a temporary pause by the Bank of Canada in January.

 Furthermore, due to persistently low inventory levels, prices continued to rise through much of 2023, even amidst lower-than-average sales. In August 2023, the board-wide benchmark price (MLS® Home Price Index) for single-family homes stood at $770,500. This represents a slight decrease of 2% compared to the previous year but a marginal increase from July. Condo apartments reflected a benchmark price of $397,900 last month, marking a 1% decrease from August 2022 and a slight dip from July. The benchmark price for townhouses in August was $560,400, nearly mirroring the price from the previous August and slightly lower than July.

Zooming in on specific areas, the Cowichan Valley saw a 2% decrease in the benchmark price, which stood at $781,300, compared to August 2022. Nanaimo experienced a 2% year-over-year drop in the benchmark price, reaching $799,200, while the Parksville-Qualicum area recorded a 1% increase, with the benchmark price rising to $896,200.

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