The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Releases Their 2019 Buyer Profile

Posted: Jun 17, 2020

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) has released its 2019 Buyer Profile, which provides the data of who, what, and where of residential property purchases made north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.
The report is based on the survey responses of 1,378 VIREB home buyers, and includes details such as where they moved from, what they bought, and why they purchased. The report also summarizes home characteristics for VIREB’s overall board area and the various sub-areas within its boundaries. These include Campbell River, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, Parksville-Qualicum, Port Alberni-West Coast, North Island, and the Gulf Islands.
According to the press release from VIREB, the 2019 demographic trends are similar to past years. Owner-occupiers continue to be the primary buyers in the VIREB area, with 83 per cent of those who bought last year intending to live in the home. Downsizing accounted for 12 per cent of home sales, while two per cent of purchases were investment properties and recreation homes.
Single-family detached homes represented the majority of sales in 2019, at 54 per cent, with apartments accounting for 13 per cent of purchases and townhouses garnering eight per cent of total home sales.
Despite a weaker housing market last year, home prices posted gains throughout the VIREB area. In 2019, 20 per cent of homes purchased were under $300,000, 49 per cent were under $450,000, 76 per cent were under $600,000, and nearly 90 per cent sold for under $750,000. Only three per cent of properties in the VIREB area sold for more than $1,000,000.
The percentage of first-time buyers in 2019 was 19 per cent in Campbell River, 13 per cent in the Comox Valley, 12 per cent in the Cowichan Valley, 19 per cent in Nanaimo, and 22 per cent in Port Alberni-West Coast. Among the Gulf Islands, first-time buyers accounted for 23 per cent. Just five per cent of purchasers in the Parksville-Qualicum area were first-time buyers, not surprising due to the region’s popularity among retirees. Overall home purchases for retirement purposes came in at 57 per cent, down two per cent from 2018 but virtually the same as in 2016 and 2017.
VIREB’s complete 2019 Buyer Profile includes many other insights and is available here on The accompanying infographic is here.
Please note that this blog entry was published more than three months ago. Some details may be outdated.


Vancouver Island real estate is just one click away, find your perfect property at


Office Phone: 250-338-5466

Courtenay, British Columbia