Houses for $5,000; an interesting piece of Nanaimo’s Real Estate past.


I was visiting some clients of mine who had bought their home through me about this time last year. The home in question is an older home, which though not in bad shape was due for some renos to clean it up a bit, which is what these clients did over recent months among other things.

While I was there, I noticed something on the wall, a page from a newspaper that had been framed. It just looked like an ordinary page from a newspaper at first glance, clearly I was missing something about it, so I asked something like “What’s this?” The answer: “Oh, we found that inside the walls when we did the renos. It’s dated 1961, see?”
At which point I realized that the prices in the ads were really cheap and that the drawing of a lady in one of the ads was pretty old fashioned, even kitsch.

“Wait… you should see this… we found another page that has all sorts of real estate ads on it. It’s in the computer, because we scanned it.”

And then they showed me the scanned document you can view below. Some of the ads show the address of the property, and the houses are still there. If you or someone you know owns it, you might be interested to know what it sold for back in the day. Most of the houses are between five and ten thousand dollars! My favourite is the 8 acres of land in Cedar for $4,400.

The thing I’ve been wondering, but don’t have the answer to (beyond a wild guess) is how the value of these homes at the time compared to the average cost of living and average income in Nanaimo at the time. I notice the ads for used cars that are a couple of years old are about 1/2 or 1/3 of the price of the cheaper houses. Maybe houses were much more affordable at the time or cars were much less affordable or both.

Here’s a link to a PDF version (larger and zoomable) or click each image below to view:

Nanaimo Real Estate Listing from 1961





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