Along with Kamloops, Coquitlam, St. Albert, and Terrace, Nanaimo has been picked by Western Investor as one of the top five centres in Western Canada they believe hold the most potential for real estate returns through 2017.
An oceanfront port city, Nanaimo has the potential to become the pressure valve for Lower Mainland housing and export growth.
Building permit values, averaging $30 million per month this year already eclipse those of larger Lower Mainland suburbs.
House prices, are a third that of those in Metro Vancouver, and fat-passenger ferry service is on the horizon to augment BC Ferries and air links to the big city.
Tourism is a growing force, with BC Ferries traffic up 6 per cent this year to 4.4 million passengers and Nanaimo air passengers up nearly 12 per cent. In August, hotel occupancy rates topped 90 per cent..
With research from Jacob Parry