Vancouver Island’s economy is picking up according to a regional check-up by the Chartered Professional Accountants of B.C.
But the growth is weighted to the southern tip of the Island in Victoria.
“Last year, we saw an increase of 7,284 new residents, with 89 per cent of them settling in the Victoria and Nanaimo areas,” said Woody Hayes of Hayes Stewart Little & Company.
“Continued population growth and record low interest rates stimulated real estate sales.”
Another bright spot was tourism. “Increased tourism activity also added to the region’s economic growth in 2015. A lower Canadian dollar motivated more Canadians to have ‘staycations’ and also attracted higher numbers of American and international visitors.”
The region’s job growth rate was 1.5 per cent, which was on par with Southwest B.C. and above the provincial growth rate of 1.2 per cent. The labour market added 5,300 jobs in 2015, with the service sector making up the majority of the gains.