Real estate values in Nanaimo were on a consistent incline from at least 2014, building momentum at the end of the decade and continuing with intensity into the first months of 2022. There was at least a 3% increase from the final months of 2021 into Feb 2022.

Then suddenly in March, people stopped asking to view the listings. I remember it well because I had just listed a house and there was very limited response, and my seller clients were disappointed to say the least! But, it wasn’t my fault – agents across town were saying “Suddenly it’s crickets out there…”

Explanations usually focus on the war in Ukraine, continued supply chain issues, and the aggressive interest rate hikes that characterized 2022. Whatever the cause, the effect has been that there are far fewer buyers, and/or that buyers are FAR more cautious.

Despite this, prices continued to increase somewhat until about June. Since then, they have trended downward, losing perhaps a year’s worth of growth (so, prices are still high in comparison with 2020 which was a big year for growth in the Mid-Island).

Another big factor is the flood of listings since mid-2022. A lot of sellers are competing for a reduced pool of buyers; price expectations are reduced drastically from just a few months prior!

So what is next?

Predictions are that we will continue to see downward trends in the broader economy, especially as there appears to be no end in sight for the labour shortages, and energy disruptions. I would argue that Canada continues to be well-positioned globally, and Nanaimo continues to be a destination – so I certainly don’t predict doom and gloom for our seaside community – quite the contrary in fact.

Will be interesting to see what spring 2023 will look like.

Posted by Gerry Thomasen on
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