Is Buying Real Estate in Vancouver Worth It

Vancouver has one of the most premium real estate markets in the world. The coastal seaport city’s stunning land, sea, and mountainous scenery makes it an ideal location for those looking for urban life with outdoor activities. 

All of the city’s unmatched qualities regularly place it at the top of worldwide Best City studies.

The buzz around the city has brought in overseas buyers as well as British Columbia locals, rocketing the value of Vancouver real estate skyward. 

In 2019, Vancouver was ranked the 4th most expensive housing market in the world in CBRE’s Global Living report. But is buying real estate in Vancouver worth it? 

Vancouver livability

Vancouver is one of the most livable cities in the world, according to numerous studies. There are plenty of factors that contribute to the city regularly topping the charts. 

Perhaps the city’s great attraction is its beautiful Pacific Northwest location. The downtown core is enclosed by ocean and mountains, making for spectacular views from any of the city’s vantage points. These outdoor space surrounding the urban center mean hiking, kayaking, parasailing, and skiing activities are all within easy reach. 

For young families, the city is home to some of the top schools in the province and there are strong employment opportunities in the city year-round.  Public transport and bike paths are also strong.

A popular draw, particularly for those from Canada’s east coast, is the fact that Vancouver winters are the warmest and mildest in the country.

Vancouver real estate market

Vancouver’s popularity continues in spite of Canada having one of the most expensive housing markets. A typical detached house in the City of Vancouver values north of $1.7 million – a price that makes a family home a pipe dream for many. 

Despite prices being high, it is believed that they are dropping. Data from the Real Estate Board of Vancouver shows that real estate sales dropped to a 24-year low in April 2019. The slowdown in market activity has forced the average price for a detached home to their lowest value for three years. In East Vancouver, the average detached house is down 12.1% while the west is down 13.4%. 

Greater Vancouver areas

Although prices in the City of Vancouver are reaching new heights and forcing many real estate buyers out of the market, it is still possible to find relatively affordable housing if you know where to look in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). 

Four areas part of the Metro Vancouver that have more affordable housing and strong transport links to central Vancouver include Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, and Surrey. Coquitlam real estate, in particular, is far more affordable with the average cost of a home is $520,400. 

Is Vancouver real estate worth it?

The ultimate answer to the question of whether buying real estate in Vancouver is worth it depends on what you define as ‘worth it’. 

If in your real estate purchase you want a property that will provide you and your family with a good way of life, Vancouver shines in terms of livability. That is, however, only a possibility for families in a position to deal with the high real estate costs.

In terms of being an investment opportunity, that ship seems to have already sailed, certainly within the City of Vancouver itself. 2016 was the year that Vancouver’s real estate market peaked and has since settled and began a slow decline. The Greater Vancouver Regional District is now where value and likelihood of growth lies.

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