EDITORIAL: Housing prices, balanced market a sign of confidence for Port Alberni

Port Alberni’s real estate market has quietly been breaking some records…

Port Alberni’s real estate market has quietly been breaking some records over the past couple of years, and buyers are taking note.

In 2017 the Valley set a record for the number of homes sold in a year. Although numbers were down in 2018, housing prices as a whole were among the highest in history, with a single family home selling for an average $335,754. The supply of single family homes in larger metropolitan centres is on the wane as condominiums enjoy a resurgence, so people looking for a little space can still find that on Vancouver Island.

It’s important to note that real estate at Sproat Lake doesn’t play into these statistics—Realtor Chris Fenton in the Fenton Report notes that the waterfront homes of Sproat Lake have their own listing, so their higher prices do not skew numbers from the rest of the Alberni Valley.

The market is finding its own balance between supply and demand, and according to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, that’s a positive.

We asked in an informal poll whether people would recommend coming to Port Alberni solely on the basis of housing prices. Some said housing prices would be ‘the cherry on top’ with outdoor lifestyle and small city life being the real draws. Others cautioned against the high residential tax rate, crime and lack of employment as being negatives to weigh against good housing prices. Some commented it was a good deal for those able to retire—especially if people from Vancouver can sell higher and bring some extra cash with them.

Those of us living in Port Alberni should still take rising housing prices as a sign of confidence: despite its challenges, people are still deciding that our city is a great place in which to live.

Now, what can we do to keep it that way?

— Alberni Valley News

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