NANAIMO — Home prices continue to soar around Nanaimo as demand far outweighs supply
Janice Stromar, past president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB), told NanaimoNewsNOW the record-setting house prices in Nanaimo show strong demand in a market considered reasonably affordable compared to cities like Vancouver and Victoria.
Stromar said any single-family home priced under $500,000 is “flying off the market in multiple offers.”
“It's still a very difficult market for people that don't qualify to buy a home greater than $500,000. The upper end of our market has started to stabilize a bit more, but we are still fully in a seller's market.”
She said the average sale price of a a typical three bedroom, two bathroom home in Nanaimo is more than $499,000, up 18 per cent from this time last year.
VIREB data showed the median sale price of a single-family Nanaimo home so far this year is $530,000, which is up more than 65 per cent from $320,000 five years ago.
Though the numbers don't paint a pretty picture, Stromar said they convey a skewed picture of the local market. She clarified there's been a large increase in sales of houses worth over $1-million. She said the benchmark rate of $499,000 doesn't include waterfront homes and large acreages.
Nearly 400 single-family homes changed hands in Nanaimo during the first four months of the year, down from the previous three-year average of 470.
Stromar said a dip in sales reflects multiple factors, such as stricter mortgage qualification rules and uncertainty surrounding the speculation tax.
VIREB data showed multi-family home sales are steady in Nanaimo, with 235 of those units sold in the first quarter of the year. It's nearly double what was sold in the Harbour City during the same period in 2013.
On Twitter: @reporterholmes
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