VIREB – Weaker Housing Market Persisting

VIREB July 2, 2019 – Weaker Housing Market Persisting

NANAIMO, BC – Sales of single-family homes in June board-wide dipped by seven per cent year over year and were 11 per cent lower than in May.

Last month, 408 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 458 the previous month and 437 in June 2018. Sales of apartments dropped by 29 per cent year over year while townhouse sales were down by 32 per cent from one year ago.

The mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) continues to hurt housing sales throughout British Columbia, including Vancouver Island. Although the B.C. economy continues to be highly supportive of housing demand, the negative shock to affordability and purchasing power created by the stress test is making it extremely difficult for some buyers, particularly millennials, to enter the housing market. Even when prospective buyers can afford monthly mortgage payments, they are unable to qualify because Guideline B-20 has eroded their purchasing power by as much as 20 per cent.

Weak housing demand has also contributed to an increase in total active residential listings across the province. In the VIREB area, inventory of single-family homes in June rose by 20 per cent from one year ago (1,334 to 1,597). Active listings of apartments climbed by 14 per cent (308 to 352) year over year while townhouse inventory decreased by three per cent (196 to 191).

Prices in the VIREB area continue to rise despite a somewhat lacklustre market. The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $514,400 in June, a four per cent increase from one year ago and slightly higher than in May. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $304,300 from one year ago, a six per cent increase and marginally higher than May’s sale price. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $446,800 last month, up by six per cent over June 2018 and a bit higher than in May.

Regionally, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $434,900, an increase of four per cent over June 2018. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $518,200, up by three per from one year ago. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $471,400, an increase of slightly less than two per cent from June 2018. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by three per cent to $559,300 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by three per cent to $589,500. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $318,300 in June, a nine per cent increase from one year ago.

Trend-wise, VIREB’s housing market has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced. Kaye Broens, 2019 President, states that buyers are very price conscious and pursuing their home purchases cautiously, while sellers are finally realizing that they need to price their homes competitively to garner interest and a sale.

“Whether you’re a buyer or seller, obtaining the services of a local REALTOR® is crucial,” says Kaye Broens, 2019 VIREB President. “We have access to tools and market analytics that allow us to determine an optimal selling price for your home and help you find a house that fits your needs at the right price.”

VIREB – Sluggish Spring Housing Market Continues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 3, 2019 Sluggish Spring Housing Market Continues

NANAIMO, BC – Sales of single-family homes in May board-wide dipped by 12 per cent year over year but rose by 11 per cent from April.

Last month, 459 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 412 the previous month and 519 in May 2018. Sales of apartments dipped by seven per cent year over year while townhouse sales increased by 19 per cent. The British Columbia Real Estate Association reports that on a seasonally adjusted basis, sales in the VIREB area are close to 2014 levels, and current market conditions are expected to continue into the fall.

The mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) continues to hurt housing sales throughout British Columbia, including Vancouver Island. Although the B.C. economy continues to be highly supportive of housing demand, the negative shock to affordability and purchasing power created by the stress test is making it extremely difficult for some buyers, particularly millennials, to enter the housing market. Prospective buyers who can afford monthly mortgage payments are unable to qualify because Guideline B-20 has eroded their purchasing power by as much as 20 per cent.

Weak housing demand has also contributed to an increase in total active residential listings across the province. In the VIREB area, inventory of single-family homes in May rose by 22 per cent from one year ago (1,217 to 1,482). Active listings of apartments climbed by 18 per cent (287 to 339) year over year while townhouse inventory decreased by five per cent (197 to 187).

Despite decreased demand, prices in the VIREB area are still rising, although those increases are softening. The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $512,500 in May, a four per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $300,700 from one year ago, a six per cent increase. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $445,500 last month, up seven per cent over May 2018. Regionally, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $428,900, an increase of four per cent over May 2018.

In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $518,400, up by five per cent from one year ago. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $469,400, an increase of two per cent from May 2018. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by two per cent to $557,500 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by three per cent to $587,100. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $314,100 in May, a seven per cent increase from one year ago.

Trend-wise, VIREB’s housing market has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced. REALTORS® are reporting some multiple offers on lower-priced properties, but higher-end homes are moving more slowly than they did in the sellers’ markets of 2016 and 2017. Regardless of market conditions, however, well-priced properties sell more quickly.

“When fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be far more strategic, which is why the advice of a local REALTOR® is so crucial,” says Kaye Broens, 2019 VIREB President. “We’ll conduct a comparative marketing analysis using recent sales data to determine an optimal selling price for your home.”

Broens adds that buyers also benefit from the expertise of a REALTOR®. “We can help you find a home that fits your needs at the right price.”

VIREB – Buyer Aspirations Suffering Due to Mortgage Stress Test

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 1, 2019

Buyer Aspirations Suffering Due to Mortgage Stress Test

NANAIMO, BC – Sales of single-family homes in April board-wide dipped by 13 per cent year over year but rose by 33 per cent from March.

Last month, 412 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 475 in April 2018 and 308 the previous month. In the apartment and townhouse categories, sales dropped by three per cent and 24 per cent, respectively.

The mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) continues to wreak havoc in the Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Lower Mainland housing markets, which is spilling over, albeit more slowly, onto Vancouver Island. While the B.C. economy continues to be highly supportive of housing demand, the negative shock to affordability and purchasing power created by the stress test is making it extremely difficult for some buyers, particularly millennials, to enter the housing market. Prospective buyers who can afford monthly mortgage payments are unable to qualify because Guideline B-20 has eroded their purchasing power by as much as 20 per cent.

Weak housing demand has also contributed to an increase in total active residential listings across the province. In the VIREB area, inventory of single-family homes in April rose by 22 per cent from one year ago (1,056 to 1,289), the highest it’s been since August 2018. Active listings of apartments climbed by 16 per cent (260 to 301) year over year and townhouses by 23 per cent (162 to 199). Whether rising inventory levels will be enough to lower prices and make housing more affordable remains to be seen.

However, despite decreased demand, prices in the VIREB area are still rising, although those increases are softening. VIREB REALTORS® are seeing price reductions on higher-priced homes while demand is still relatively strong for houses in the $400,000 to $550,000 range.

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $517,800 in April, a five per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $325,900 from one year ago, an eight per cent increase. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $429,700 last month, up 10 per cent over April 2018.

Regionally, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $421,000, an increase of four per cent over April 2018. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $509,600, up by six per cent from one year ago. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $480,700, up five per cent from April 2018. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by three per cent to $560,800 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by four per cent to $582,500. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $307,700 in April, a nine per cent increase from one year ago.

Trend-wise, VIREB’s housing market has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced. Balanced markets offer buyers more choice and more room to negotiate. Sellers need to curb their expectations but, in turn, buyers must also be willing to pay a fair price.

“We’re seeing many sellers who want to list their homes at 2016 and 2017 prices, expecting to get the same amount of money their neighbour did two years ago, which isn’t realistic,” says Kaye Broens, 2019 VIREB President. “On the other hand, some buyers are questioning the fair market value of a home they’re interested in and choosing not to purchase, which is counterproductive.” -

Housing Sales Continue to Be Hampered

VIREB – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 1, 2019

Guideline B-20 Continues to Hamper Housing Sales NANAIMO, BC –

Sales of single-family homes in March board-wide dipped by 23 per cent year over year but were up 36 per cent from February.

Last month, 309 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 399 in March 2018 and 227 in February. In the apartment and townhouse categories, sales dropped by 10 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.

Housing sales have weakened throughout most of the province, which the British Columbia Real Estate Association largely attributes to the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20). While the B.C. economy continues to be highly supportive of housing demand, the negative shock to affordability and purchasing power created by the stress test is expected to continue preventing many buyers, particularly millennials, from entering the housing market.

In the VIREB area, the stress test is helping reduce demand for higher-priced properties and pushing buyers towards less expensive homes. In turn, this is compressing the lower end of the market.

Weakened housing demand has also contributed to an increase in total active residential listings across the province. In the VIREB area, inventory of single-family homes in March rose by 20 per cent from one year ago (976 to 1,172) while active listings of apartments climbed by 20 per cent (237 to 284) year over year and townhouses by 24 per cent (148 to 183).

However, despite decreased demand, prices in the VIREB area continue to rise over last year, although increases are expected to soften in the coming months. The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $510,800 in March, a six per cent increase from one year ago and up slightly from February. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $319,800 from one year ago, an eight per cent increase but down somewhat from the previous month. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $414,700 last month, up eight per cent over March 2018 and slightly higher than in February.

Regionally, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $417,200, an increase of eight per cent over March 2018. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $507,100, up eight per cent from one year ago. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $471,500, up five per cent from March 2018. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose four per cent to $554,300 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by four per cent to $577,300. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $299,400 in March, up eight per cent from one year ago.

Month over month, Campbell River, Parksville-Qualicum, and Port Alberni saw modest reductions in their benchmark prices while Comox Valley, Duncan, and Nanaimo recorded small increases.

Trend-wise, VIREB’s housing market has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced or near balanced. Balanced markets offer buyers more choice and more room to negotiate, while sellers will need to curb their expectations.

“Seller optimism regarding the value of their home is contributing to a sharp disconnect between buyers and sellers,” says Kaye Broens, 2019 VIREB President. “We’re seeing many sellers who want to list their homes at 2016 and 2017 prices, expecting to get the same amount of money their neighbour did two years ago. Unfortunately, that just isn’t realistic.”

Mortgage Stress Test Taking a Toll on Housing Sales – Benchmark Prices Rise

Mortgage Stress Test Taking a Toll on Housing Sales – Benchmark Prices Rise

Vancouver Island, BC – The mortgage stress test, also known as Guideline B-20, is taking a toll on housing sales throughout the province, and Vancouver Island is no exception. Sales of single-family homes in January dropped by 28 per cent from one year ago, albeit they did rise by 23 per cent from December 2018.

Last month, 209 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 170 in December and 290 one year ago. Apartment sales were 20 per cent lower than in January 2018, while 34 townhouses sold last month compared to 33 the previous year.

Inventory of single-family homes in January rose by 32 per cent from one year ago (987 compared to 748) and was nearly five per cent higher than in December. Active listings of apartments climbed by 38 per cent (219 to 303) year over year and townhouses by 60 per cent (103 to 165).

The 2018 housing market behaved as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Guideline B20 eroded the purchasing power of some prospective home buyers by as much as 20 per cent.

Despite lower demand, however, year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise board-wide, up around nine per cent from January 2018. Price increases in individual markets ranged from five per cent in Nanaimo to 17 per cent in Port Alberni. Modest month-over-month price reductions occurred in Campbell River, the Comox Valley, and Parksville-Qualicum while prices in Duncan, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni increased slightly from December 2018. The yearover-year benchmark prices of apartments and townhouses board-wide increased by 11 and 10 per cent, respectively.

VIREB’s housing market has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced or near balanced. On the street, REALTORS® are reporting fewer multiple offers, with many buyers taking more of a wait-and-see approach. Some are waiting until spring in the hope that inventory goes up and prices come down. Balanced markets offer buyers more choice and more room to negotiate, while sellers may need to curb their expectations.

“Right now, many sellers still want to list their homes at 2016 and 2017 sale prices, and that just isn’t realistic,” says 2019 president Kaye Broens. “When fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be far more strategic, which is why the advice of a local REALTOR® is so crucial. We’ll conduct a comparative marketing analysis using recent sales data to determine an optimal selling price for your home.”

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $504,500 in January, a nine per cent increase from one year ago but a slight drop from December. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $318,800, up 11 per cent from last year and slightly less than in December. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $407,600 last month, up 10 per cent over January 2018 but down slightly from December.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $412,300, an increase of 12 per cent over January 2018. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $498,000, up nine per cent from last January. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $469,400, up 10 per cent from January 2018. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose five per cent to $541,700 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 12 per cent to $579,800. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $302,700 in January, up 17 per cent from one year ago. – 30 -

PARKSVILLE, B.C. STUDENT EXPERIMENT GOING INTO SPACE

Student Experiment Going Into Space
PARKSVILLE, B.C., Canada – January 14, 2019) It’s official! A science experiment designed by five École Ballenas students will go into space. This summer, when the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 13 to the International Space Station (ISS) launches, an experiment, titled Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicagosativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflight, will be on board.

“We’re very fortunate to be part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP),” enthused Gillian Wilson, Assistant Superintendent, School District 69 (Qualicum). “The experience is preparing today’s learners for tomorrow’s
world. It has been an unprecedented applied learning opportunity that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math.

Thanks to over $18,000 of funding, made possible by the Karen and Fred Green Fund (held at Vancouver Foundation) and Magellan Aerospace, over 400 students across the school district learned about the microgravity environment of space and created science experiment proposals.”

A local panel of judges reviewed experiment proposals, developed by students in grades 4 to 12, and chose three for submission to the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) based in Maryland U.S.A. The experiment proposals included:
• Will Mold Grow Differently on Bread in a Microgravity Zone?
Arrowview Elementary School. Written by Emily Anderson, Avalon Carey, Liam Einarson, Ethan Gamble, Joshua Gauvin, Evin Izdebski, Novie Pratte, Damien Roberts, Karli Taylor and Jacob Waitson.

• The Growth Rate and Pattern of Bacteria (Bacillus Subtilis) in a Microgravity Environment École Ballenas Secondary. Written by Amanda Litton, David Downey, Caitlin Holme, Connor Litton, and Nasuka Nakazawa.
• Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflights
École Ballenas Secondary. Written by Marco Loffredi, Victor Kamel, Robert Lachance, Alexander Marshall and Filipe Pereira.
From the submissions, the SSEP Step 2 Review Board chose Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflights to be conducted on the International Space Station.
“Students, who proposed the chosen experiment, are busy making preparations,” explained Carl Savage, Science Teacher and SSEP Community Program Director, School District 69 (Qualicum).

“They are working to refine their experiment and equip two micro labs; one lab will journey to the ISS and the other will remain on Earth. While astronauts
are conducting the Alfalfa Sprout experiment in space, Ballenas students will be conducting the same experiment at school.” Adding to the excitement and “real-world” experience, students plan to raise funds to view the ISS launch at
Kennedy Space Center in Florida and present their findings at the SSEP National Conference in Washington D.C.
ABOUT THE STUDENT SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIMENTS PROGRAM
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is an initiative of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), located in the United States, and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, which works internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp, PBC and NanoRacks, LLC, which are working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the

International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

Craig Bay residents donate food, cash to Salvation Army Food Bank

 

The Parksville strata members donated more than 2,300 pounds of food and $15,000

  • Craig Bay residents stepped up in a big way, donating more than 2,300 pounds of food and $15,000 to the Salvation Army Food Bank.

The annual food drive is organized by a committee of six Craig Bay residents; Penny Rutherford, food drive co-ordinator, Jane Peverett, Joan McCully, Maureen Maitland, Karen Eakins and Gloria Hall.

This is the committee’s fifth year organizing the food drive that was started six years ago by Craig Bay resident Patricia Hogarth.

Housing Market in 2018 Performed as Expected

Housing Market in 2018 Performed as Expected

NANAIMO, BC – Sales of single-family homes in December dropped by 48 per cent from one year ago and were 44 per cent lower than in November.

Last month, 170 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 304 in November and 328 one year ago. Apartment sales in December were 65 per cent lower than in December 2017, while the number of townhouses sold in December dropped by two per cent from one year ago. Annual sales of single-family homes in 2018 totalled 4,543, a 19 per cent drop from 2017. However, this reduction reflects the market returning to more normal levels after the robust housing markets witnessed in 2016 and 2017.

Inventory of single-family homes last month rose by 23 per cent from one year ago (941 to 761) but dipped by 12 per cent from November 2018. Active listings of apartments rose by 20 per cent (225 to 270) year over year and townhouses by 59 per cent (93 to 148).

The 2018 housing market behaved as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Government policy-side measures introduced to cool the market, such as the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20), eroded the purchasing power of some prospective home buyers by as much as 20 per cent.

Despite lower demand, however, year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise board-wide, up 10 per cent from December 2017. Price increases in individual markets ranged from seven per cent in Nanaimo to 20 per cent in Port Alberni. Small month-over-month price reductions from November to December were posted in Duncan, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni. The year-over-year benchmark prices of apartments and townhouses board-wide increased by 12 and 13 per cent, respectively.

Decreased demand and additional inventory are helping VIREB’s long-running sellers’ market transition to one that is balanced or near-balanced. However, “micro markets” are omnipresent in many communities, favouring sellers for moderately priced properties and benefitting buyers for higher-end homes. Overall, however, REALTORS® are reporting that they are negotiating fewer multiple offers, with many buyers taking more of a wait-and-see approach.

“Realistically pricing your home is important in any market, but when fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be far more strategic,” says Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President.

McClintock also notes that property assessments, which were recently issued, complicate the pricing process for sellers who may not realize that the assessed figure is based on the previous year and does not reflect a home’s current value. The expertise of a REALTOR®, who will conduct a comparative market analysis using recent sales data, is hugely beneficial when determining an optimal sales price.

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $506,300 in December, a 10 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $319,000, up 13 per cent from last year. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $411,500 last month, up 12 per cent over December 2017 but down slightly from November.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $414,600, an increase of 13 per cent over December 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $508,100, up 10 per cent from last December. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $466,600, up 10 per cent from December 2017 but down two per cent month over month. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose seven per cent to $538,300 but dropped by two per cent from November. The Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 11 per cent to $580,500 while the cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $299,000 in December, up 20 per cent from one year ago but down four per cent from November.

Prices Continue Rising Despite Moderating Sales

 

NANAIMO, BC – Sales of single-family homes in October were 11 per cent higher than in September but dipped by 16 per cent from October 2017.

Last month, 385 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 347 in September and 458 one year ago. The number of apartments and townhouses changing hands last month dropped by eight and 21 per cent, respectively.

This year’s housing market is behaving as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Government policy-side measures introduced to cool the market, such as the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) and higher interest rates, are taking their toll on housing sales throughout the country.

On the positive side, the provincial economy is still doing well, and the British Columbia Real Estate Association expects housing sales to make a modest recovery during the next couple of quarters. Further, Vancouver Island has so far been somewhat immune to the effects of Guideline B-20 because the broad demographic trend in our area includes baby boomers and retirees who do not typically need mortgages.

However, an additional government policy that could reduce that insulating effect is the future speculation tax. Although it currently applies only to Nanaimo and Lantzville, the tax could discourage some potential buyers from relocating to Vancouver Island, particularly those who purchase a home well ahead of retirement.

Despite lower demand, prices in the VIREB area are still rising year over year. However, the board-wide benchmark price of a single-family home did drop slightly from September, and modest month-over-month price reductions on single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses did occur in several zones.

Decreased demand and stabilizing inventory are helping VIREB’s long-term sellers’ market evolve into one that is more balanced. Inventory of single-family homes in October was up slightly from one year ago (1,175 compared to 1,138) but down eight per cent from September. There were 322 active listings of apartments in October, up seven per cent from 2017 while the supply of townhouses rose by 28 per cent year over year. Multiple offers have slowed, and buyers are taking more of a wait-and-see approach, which means some sellers will have to curb their expectations.

“Realistically pricing your home is important in any market, but when fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be prudent when determining a sale price,” says Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President. “Overpriced homes take longer to sell, so it’s a good idea to consult a local REALTOR® who can help determine the optimal price for your property.”

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $508,200 in October, an 11 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $313,500, up 16 per cent from last year. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $411,800 last month, up 13 per cent over October 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $408,100, an increase of 14 per cent over October 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $501,400, up nine per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $475,700, up 12 per cent from October 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose nine per cent to $548,000 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by nine per cent to $570,200. The cost of a single-family home in Port Alberni rech $300,300, up 18 per cent from one year ago.