Conveniently situated between BC’s coastal mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is a beautiful city located on the west coast of Canada. Offering the perfect lifestyle for both city-lovers and outdoorsy-types, Vancouver boasts a mix of beaches, ocean, mountains, city, and diversity. Covering an area of 114.97 sq.km, Vancouver has a mix of green and urban areas and has easy access to Vancouver Island.
Its climate makes it a very desirable place to live especially compared to the rest of Canada, as its winters are mild and summers are sunny and pleasant. Vancouver does receive a fairly high amount of precipitation, but rain in the city only means snow in the mountains which creates perfect ski conditions in places like Whistler Blackcomb and the North Shore Mountains.
Vancouver is a very diverse city, with the Metro Vancouver area home to over 2.4 million people, and the city home to over 600,000. Vancouver is known as a melting pot for different nationalities and cultures, with the most prominent being Chinese, British, Irish, Scottish, and German. It’s also home to a very large gay community and hosts the largest annual pride parade in Canada. Industry-wise, the film and television industry is booming, as well as tourism, real estate, healthcare, retail, and construction. Popular attractions in Vancouver include the iconic Stanley Park and Granville Island, the endless number of hiking trails, as well as world-class ski resorts within close proximity of the city.
Popular areas in Vancouver include: Fairview, Kerrisdale, Killarney, Kitsilano, Marpole, Oakridge and Strathcona.
With its ranking as one of the most liveable cities in the world, it’s no wonder that Vancouver enjoys such a strong property market. Vancouver continues to be Canada’s leading real estate market, undoubtedly with the highest prices, mostly due to its desirability and attractive lifestyle, low mortgage rates, high employment levels and growing population.
Since a very large majority of Vancouver and the surrounding area’s detached homes are priced at over $1-million, more buyers are turning to condominiums, town houses, and multi-unit properties to get on the property ladder and find cheap housing. The city is experiencing a growing population, and many are choosing to venture further out of the city to areas such as Surrey, Burnaby, Coquitlam, and as far out as Abbotsford, especially those looking for larger properties to raise a family. Although the area surrounding Vancouver is immense, the amount of buildable land is limited so many home starts come in the form of multi-unit properties to match the growing population.
Vancouver’s market has been gradually increasing in the last few years, though it has stabilized in recent months due to the Foreign Buyer’s Tax which was implemented in 2016. However, Vancouver still has one of the world’s most desirable real estate markets, comparable to places like London, UK. Rental properties are very much in demand too due to the high cost of buying a property, along with the growing number of short-term lease properties which has decreased the number of long-term leases available to residents.
While Vancouver is a beautiful place to live, it is going through an affordability crisis and many first-time buyers are looking towards the more suburban areas to find cheap real estate. The city has implemented various measures to reduce and stabilize the market, such asthe Foreign Buyer’s Tax, cooperative housing, and more development to match the growing population.
Areas such as Coquitlam, Surrey, Delta and Langley are much more affordable than areas such as Richmond, West and North Vancouver, and Downtown, and are now better equipped with transit links such as the newly created Evergreen Skytrain line to Coquitlam.
For buyers seeking more affordable and family-friendly housing, the suburban areas are very desirable and offer more space and land than a condo in Downtown. The Fraser Valley is increasing in popularity and boasts much more affordable housing, as well as places north of Vancouver such as Squamish, which has been named the Outdoor Recreational Capital of Canada.