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Why is it so Hard to Find a Home?
Average rent for apartments and townhomes went up 40% – 60% across Vancouver Island from 2015 TO 2021. Benchmark prices for single family homes more than doubled. 


Vancouver Island’s growing population has spurred significant investment in residential construction. Between 2016 and 2021 there were over 28,000 dwellings added to the housing stock on Vancouver Island.Just over half of the additional dwellings were in the Capital region, almost a quarter were in the Nanaimo regional district, and the remainder were distributed across the Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Strathcona and on the west coast.

Despite the strong growth in housing, growth rates in the housing stock were below population growth rates in most areas. This put upward pressure on rental rates and real estate prices. Between 2015 and 2021 average rental rates for apartments and townhomes were up by between 40% and 60% across the region, while benchmark prices for single family homes more than doubled. In the Capital region, benchmark prices rose by approximately $470,000 while in Port Alberni benchmark prices rose by over $275,000. In other areas benchmark prices were up between $375,000 and $450,000 over the period.

A significant portion of the growth in real estate prices occurred between 2020 and 2021. Prior to this (2015-2019), benchmark prices were up by approximately 60% in most regions. As the COVID pandemic progressed, increased savings coupled with record-low interest rates and a transition to remote work fueled demand for housing on Vancouver Island. While demand was increasing, inventories fell to 21-year lows as fewer resale properties came on the market. This led to dramatic price increases.


1 Statistics Canada. Census 2021 and Census 2016.

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