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Nanaimo’s economy ‘doing well’ with hot housing market

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While the housing market has not cooled, Nanaimo’s annual economy report says things are ‘looking good.’

Home sales and prices reached record levels, and new housing starts increased by 50% in 2021. The population in Nanaimo has started to get younger, with the 25-44 age group expected to grow faster than the 65+ group.

The average rent for an independent living space for seniors in British Columbia increased by 5.3% from $3,364 to $3,541 in 2021. 

In Nanaimo, rental prices increased by 7.7% due to ‘rental demand being faster than supply.’ Additionally, Nanaimo’s median, average and per capita income is projected to remain below BC over the next five years.

“The challenge for the city now is to keep up with the infrastructure to serve the needs of a younger demographic, whether that is more nightlife, recreation or housing. Fortunately, we are in the final phases of our integrated city plan, Nanaimo Re-Imagined and people have really stepped up to make their views known,” said Mayor Leonard Krog.

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The report says the unemployment rate is below the national and provincial averages at 6.1%. The demand for workers in Nanaimo has grown from 33% in 2020 to 45.2% in 2021. The highest postings by occupation were in the retail, healthcare and food services sector.

“Nanaimo’s economy is doing well, and as more and more people discover us, they are voting with their feet to live, work and invest here,” said Krog, “It is why we are pushing ahead with a re-imagined downtown streetscape, and it is why we are about to launch a new economic development group and have re-invigorated our tourism agency.”

The full report is available here.

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