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13.2.12

Top 5 cities on Vancouver Island to buy real estate...


Deciding where to buy real estate on Vancouver Island depends on a variety of factors. Victoria(345,000), Nanaimo(84,000) and Campbell River(31,000) are the largest cities.

Victoria was 2nd on the Money Sense magazine's Best Places to live in Canada list. (Average single family home: $589,000) Victoria is a big bustling city that still offers the laid back style us Vancouver Islanders love. I love Victoria, but the housing prices will have to adjust, as they have just become too expensive for the average family (as I predict they will in Vancouver) Sooke and Langford have become two of the quickest growing cities on Vancouver Island - both provide the amenities of being very close to Victoria, but providing a slower pace of life.


Nanaimo appeared 36 on the same list. Being a central city that boasts a wonderful waterfront, a bustling university and housing is a bit more affordable. The average single family dwelling sells at about $340,000.

An average single family home in Courtenay sells at about $336,000 - very close and comparable to Nanaimo housing, although their population is about 25,000 - Courtenay is turning into an outdoors hub for the Island - with Mount Washington a quick hop skip and a jump away. With Westjet providing non-stop flights to Mexico and other desirable destination I only see this area growing and growing.


The Cowichan Valley provides a more rural way of life and is the Napa Valley of Vancouver Island with the majority of the vineyards located here. The average home sells for about $340,000. With the university expanding in this area and having Victoria a mere hour drive away this is desirable for many people who cannot avoid the housing prices in Victoria but want to be close to Victoria.

Campbell River went through some tough times with the forestry downturn. I predict forestry will come back in a big way (it already is with Canada selling big time to more foreign countries and relying less on the USA) This will re-open mills and bring wealth and prosperity back to the region. The average single family home is approx. $240,000 which is the least expensive of all the cities on the list. Campbell River needs to invest in clean energy and technology in this city and it will be back in action!

9 comments:

Anonymous,  February 13, 2012 at 9:14 AM  

I agree with your choices & commentary completely! It bears saying, however, that some of the more affordable cities & towns present a challenge in finding gainful employment, and thus are less affordable than they appear. I was seriously exploring the options of living in either the Nanaimo area or the Cowichan Valley, but neither my partner nor myself could drum up any employment opportunities in either place - and this wasn't the case in Victoria. We did what we had to & paid the high cost of living in that city because it was where we could support it.

Anonymous,  February 13, 2012 at 3:33 PM  

Well I predict that Vancouver housing prices will go to the moon..............infinity and beyond!!!! I guess we will see:)

vireviews February 13, 2012 at 4:12 PM  

Employment can be more difficult in certain cities for sure, although lots of people will live in Duncan/Cowichan Valley and commute to Victoria - not my ideal situation but the housing is much more afforable!

wtbfl February 14, 2012 at 6:59 PM  

we have been trying to sell our home in Campbell River for over 8 months. The town has suffered from the loss of jobs. People have struggled in the community lost the mill and it had no other jobs for people forcing people to move away. While Campbell River is affordable there's not much there for working families

Anonymous,  February 19, 2012 at 11:35 PM  

No way is Victoria a big bustling city as you describe, it's just a large overated town with a pretty harbour front.

vireviews February 20, 2012 at 5:47 AM  

Thanks for your input anonymous - interesting perspective, however, some would still consider Victoria a big bustling city (compared to other cities on Vancouver Island)

Anonymous,  June 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM  

Agree with all and the order with the exception of Campbell River. I would put Parksville/Qualicum FAR ahead of CR.

Anonymous,  July 17, 2012 at 4:50 PM  

I live in Comox. I like being able to go north to CR and south to Qualicum. Qualicum is really only for retirees. We have an opportunity to develop more tourism here in the valley and alos maybe develop more tech jobs with our creative citizens. Note the metro valley pop is over 60000. Courtenay is only one part of the equation.

Anonymous,  November 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM  

Yes Comox and Cumberland are unique parts of the Comox Valley, which along with outlying rural areas make up total population over 65,000 and growing...

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