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10 Worst Cities to Live in Canada: Part 2, Vancouver

28 December 2012

Ragging on Vancouver, it seems, has become a national pastime, but believe us when we tell you that’s not our intent. It can’t be denied however, that Vancouver has by far the most expensive real estate in all of Canada, and that the incomes are also fairly stagnant, and that it’s difficult to find a job. It’s for these reasons that Vancouver makes our list as one of the ten worst cities to live in Canada.

It’s no secret that Vancouver is the most expensive city in the country to get a mortgage, even though it’s currently seeing the sharpest declines. In 2012 home prices in Vancouver went up to nearly $1 million; especially if you’re seeking single family detached homes. Compare that with the average pre-tax income of $63,800, and you can easily see how Vancouver is one of Canada’s worst places to live.

Vancouver is also not a great place for investors, despite the flood of foreign investors the city saw throughout last year and the beginning of this year. Those investors though, are starting to realize that with such high prices, there’s little room for any kind of return on investment. The fact that the vacancy rate in the city currently sits at 0.5 per cent is good news for investors, as their property could be one of the few on the rental market.

But that certainly also makes it one of the very worst places in Canada to be a renter looking for a home. And those that do find a place to rent are going to pay through the nose for it. Not only is Vancouver’s real estate the most expensive in Canada, but so are their rental rates. With the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment being $1,554, finding an apartment here is definitely going to cost you.

The cost of living in Vancouver is also extremely high. The city sits at 110.25 on the Consumer Price Index, meaning it costs 10 times more to live in Vancouver than in New York City; and their grocery index sits at 118.09, meaning that groceries are 18 times more expensive than in NYC.

The two things that Vancouver has going for it is the weather, and the fact that crime is quite low in Vancouver. While Vancouver is known to have its “rainy seasons,” that’s about the most extreme weather they get. With the exceptions of some big gusts coming off the ocean, Vancouver doesn’t often see very heavy snowfall like the rest of Canada. Throughout the winter months temperatures are fairly mild, and it’s temperate, not too hot, in the summertime.

Do you live in Vancouver? If not, would you ever consider moving there? What draws you, or is going to keep you away, from this city out west?

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