Snapshot: Vancouver

A look at the real estate market in Canada’s most livable city

In 2014, Vancouver landed on The Economist’s list of the world’s most livable cities. Not only did it make the distinguished magazine’s annual ranking – it came in at number three just behind Melbourne and Vienna, making it the most livable city in North America. Vancouver’s high marks for stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure make it a top choice for anyone considering a move to The Great White North.

As you might expect, settling down in one of the world’s most livable cities doesn’t come cheap. In fact, Vancouver is Canada’s most expensive housing market and happens to be the second most unaffordable housing market on the planet after Hong Kong. In January, the average home in Vancouver cost $827,558, and home prices went up 1.5% in February – Canada’s highest gain that month. 200417203-001

As with most cities, Vancouver varies in its real estate price points depending on where you’re looking. The most desirable neighborhoods are located in Vancouver’s downtown, to the west of downtown, and over the bridge to the North Shore. These are also the most expensive places to buy a home. Moving a little farther out to areas such as Burnaby or Port Moody is more affordable. Do a quick search in these outlying neighborhoods and you’ll find two-bedroom condos for around $200K and modest homes starting at $700K.

There are currently over 2,500 homes for sale in Vancouver. Here’s a sampling what you can expect to find in the local real estate market right now.

Single-Family Homes

 $889,900 – This two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,980-square-foot home is currently one of only two single-family homes in the area listed under $1M. [view here]

$19.8M – This seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom Point Grey home boasts views of the water, mountains, and city. [view here]


 $305,000 – This two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 803-square-foot condo is located in Vancouver’s Collingwood neighborhood on the east side of the city. [view here]

$7.48M – This corner unit has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking cityscape views. [view here]


If you can look past Vancouver’s steep home prices, you’ll find that British Columbia’s largest city has a lot to offer its residents. For starters, Vancouver is absolutely gorgeous. Plus, its location on the Pacific Ocean gives Vancouver a mild climate, by Canadian standards, and make it a fantastic city for enjoying the outdoors year-round. Popular activities include cycling, golf, sailing, hiking, canoeing, skiing, and snowboarding.

Those who prefer to explore the cultural side of this diverse city will find plenty of opportunities to do so. Art abounds in Vancouver, and it’s also a major center for Canadian music. Notable events include the city’s annual Fringe Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival. Residents and visitors can also taste every corner of the world at Vancouver’s many distinguished and ethnically diverse restaurants.

Vancouver Economy

 Unemployment rate: 6.6%

Median household income: $71,140

HPI estimated home sales price: $649,700

Average list price: $670,300

*Data taken from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Statistics Canada, and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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Kate Kasbee
Kate Kasbee is a blogger and freelance copywriter living in Los Angeles. She has a background in real estate marketing and has also written about a variety of subjects including pet care, how to adopt a vegan diet, and technology. Prior to living in sunny California, Kate spent eight years in Chicago where she lived in nine different apartments in five different neighborhoods. Though she’s not quite done exploring, Kate dreams of planting her roots and owning a home with creaky floors and plenty of land for starting an organic farm.
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