The little piece of heaven that’ll cost you an arm and a leg
In the rest of Canada, everyone has a story about a friend who went out to Vancouver for a vacation and never came back. That’s because once you’ve stepped into this urban paradise, you’ll never want to leave. You might have to, though, because rents are higher than a stoner on Vancouver weed (now in ample supply at your local dispensary). It’s too bad because everything else here is in harmony: natural beauty and urban conveniences, solid jobs but work/life balance, fun and peacefulness. The only thing out of whack is the huge demand for housing and the lack of supply, driving the prices up. But if you can afford your own cloud in this slice of heaven, it’s yours for the taking – and so worth it… even at these prices.
By now, you’ve probably heard that the housing market in Vancouver is tough. So the question is: is it as bad as everyone claims? The short answer is… no. It’s worse. The city has declared that there’s a housing crisis, implementing new regulations around offshore ownership and short-term rentals in hopes of getting more units on the market. In spite of those steps, it’s almost impossible to find housing at affordable prices. What do you do about it? Step one, cry. Step two, cry again. Step three, make a plan. Give yourself plenty of time to locate and look at units, consider getting roommates, and ask for help from friends who live in the city. With enough time and elbow grease, you’ll sort your housing situation out – and it’ll be worth all the work.
Typical housing type:
Apartment buildings of all sizes.
With the challenges in the Vancouver housing market, it may be worth getting a real estate agent. Not only will an agent know all the tips and tricks for getting a deal, but they may have the connections to get you access to places that aren’t even on the market.
The market, at a glance
Average rent prices in Vancouver:
Avg. rent compared to other Canadian cities
Vancouver is 112% higher than the Canadian average
Let’s point out the elephant in the room right off the bat… If you’re hunting for a cheap rental, Vancouver is going to be a challenge. You’re pretty much limited to housing for students and shared places in rough neighbourhoods – and even, then a rental under $1,000 per month probably isn’t going to happen.
As for all-inclusive places? Doesn’t exist, friends. Once you accept that you’re going to be paying an arm and a leg though, you’ll have a good variety of apartments, condos, and houses to choose from. While amenities can raise prices even more, there are lots of places that are pet-friendly.
With a forest, ocean and mountains all just a stone’s throw away, Vancouver draws outdoorsy folks. Locals tend to be passionate about outdoor sports, as well as general health and fitness. Nutrition is highly prized, with plant-based diets being common. Vancouver is a highly diverse city, with over half the population speaking multiple languages. The community is welcoming to both immigrants and refugees. This should come as no surprise as Vancouverites tend to be progressive and active regarding socio-political issues. There is, however, a significant financial divide between the wealthiest locals – who earn well over $100,000 – and the poorest – who struggle with homelessness.
Progressive outdoor lovers.
Life & Style
Vancouver is all about work/life balance. Even those who love their work aren’t consumed by it, setting aside time for health, fitness, communing with nature, and connecting with loved ones. Taking time off to kick back and have fun is also seen as important. During the week, that kicking back could be as simple as taking a walk in Stanley Park or grabbing dinner with friends at a local hotspot. On weekends, though, things get more elaborate as locals often head off on adventures or pop into the mountains to hit the slopes. Basically, Vancouver is all about making your #lifegoals a reality IRL.
Vancouver is known for having Stanley Park in the middle of the city. There’s also the Pacific Ocean at the city’s edge – and the Coast Mountains just outside the area. Outdoor sports and activities are all around the city and surrounding area. In terms of food, there are plenty of restaurant options, but seafood is one of the local specialities. There are also a number of farmers’ markets if you’re looking for fresh produce or fish. Don’t forget to hit main neighbourhoods, like Gastown, to catch a shoot of one of your favourite TV shows or movies (read: Deadpool 2)! For a night out, head to Granville Street. You can also go to Granville Island if a relaxing afternoon is more your speed. There are a good variety of private and public schools in the area, as well as UBC, BCIT and Simon Fraser. Don’t forget to check out the art gallery, which is spectacular!
Vancouver City Hall
Brockton Point Totem Pole
Lions Gate Bridge
Gastown Steam Clock