Q: Vancouver-based, we are considering buying a house with suite in Nanaimo as an investment. What is the Nanaimo market like  today, what area would you recommend and does Nanaimo allow secondary suites?

A: Because I don’t work in the Nanaimo market I can only offer general advice. The Nanaimo market is up 1% in the number of sales at May 31 of this year, the single family dwelling average price is up 14% for the month at $388,497 and the median price (half sales above, half below) is $365,000. Secondary suites are certainly permitted – Nanaimo is a university town after all – but they are a function of zoning and not available in all areas. For individual details you need to connect with a local REALTOR – I’m happy to recommend one, just contact me directly – and they will set you up on a ‘private client service’ email that will deliver suitable listings to you directly.

The overall Vancouver Island market – north of Victoria – is exceeding last years’ sales and average prices are up 12%. Depending on area, those prices range from a low of $234,658 in Port Alberni to a high of $408,549 in Parksville/Qualicum.

Welcome to the islands.