Vancouverites Continue to Struggle to Afford a Home

Families consider downsizing to Townhomes

By: Amber Sandhu

Vancouver is consider a top city to visit within Canada, however it is not the top city to live in. Canadas housing market is seeing a significant amount of change within value which is becoming difficult for adults to afford the cost of living and seeking help elsewhere.

Vancouver’s Value

It is also known to be one of the most expensive cities to live in, according to the Vancouver Housing Market Report the average home price is $1.29 million. Civilians are finding it hard to call Vancouver home due to the increase in interest rates and the inability to afford a house.

There are 21 municipalities that make up The Greater Metropolitan Vancouver Area. Each municipality brings in numerous ranges of value towards homes, apartment buildings, and condos. Most of the cities are expanding the living space by building more duplexes, condos, and townhomes to help increase the percentage of homeowners, in hopes of decreasing the value within the market. With the hopes of adding in more buildings the housing market will see more folks wanting to sell their homes for a high value and therefore being able to afford a newer home.

  • There are different cities within The Metropolitan area, as stated by Statistics Canada, the city of Surrey welcomes in 39,905 immigrants in 2021 being the second highest with the city of Vancouver welcoming 41,350. As the city continues to welcome more foreign students the value within the market increases.

  • The graph represents the number of homes sold within Metro Vancouver in the last four years. There was a slight increase of 13 percent between 2022-2023. However, it is still 26 percent lower than the ten-year seasonal average.

As of October, there were only 124 sales within Surrey, which is 67 percent less than last year’s sales, which was sitting at 380. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 3,643 homes were sold compared to 2021 where sales were sitting at 3,149, which is a 13.6 percent decrease seen within a year.

  • This graph represents the value of homes in Surrey from 6 months ago to today. Within the last 6 months there has been a decrease of 2.46 percent each month, representing the lost in value that the housing market have seen from April.


North Delta residents Bill and Bal Bains are looking at selling their home and wanting to move outside of the province as they notice a much more affordable living. They purchased their home with the value of $220,000 23 years ago and their home now lists for $1.9 million. They state "We did expect the market to go up but we did not think it would go up as much as it has today." They say because of the interest rate increase its become difficult for them and their neighbours to afford or be interested in wanting to sell their homes.

Interest rates in BC are sitting at 7.2 percent which is a 2.45 percent increase from March of last year. Banks have set terms towards mortgage payment for their clients, TD Bank for example 3 year fixed closed is set on a special rate of 6.3%.

According to Stats Canada in 2020 the median-after tax income in Vancouver was $79,500, meaning an average household with a high level of income would be expected to pay $8,000 in monthly mortgage payments at the current interest rates.

Vancouvers apartments and condo buildings are also seeing high pricing with the value of $1,098,400 for townhouse and $768,500 for condos according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. A 3 year old 2 bedroom 3 bathroom apartment in North Delta is currently listed at $819,800. From September 2021 to September 2023 there has been 129 townhome sales, seeing a 55 percent decrease within the last three years.

Toronto Vs. Vancouver Housing Market 

A cooler housing market means there were a decrease in value and an increase in sales which Vancouverites noticed in April of last year. Vancouver Real Estate expert Nav Gill says that seeing a jump of listings is what helps cool the market and is easier on buyers. He also states "There isn't much of a difference between Vancouver and Toronto's housing market, it's expensive in both cities so folks will see similar value in both cities."

Taking a look at our friends here on the east side, Toronto is Canadas a second most expensive city to live in. Although the Vancouver housing market is bringing in the heat with high value, Toronto is coming in just as hot with an average listing sitting at $1.3 million according to Nesto Mortgage Experts.


  • This graph represents the difference in pricing from homes, townhomes, and condos within both Vancouver and Toronto.

Rent Increase 

The rent value in Vancouver is higher than actual ownership of homes due to the high interest rate. Vancouver keeps its titled of being the most expensive city in Canada especially for renters. According to The Vancouver Sun an average one-bedroom is listed at $2,872 and a two-bedroom is sitting at $3,777. That is a 6.7 percent and 5.5 percent increase from September's pricing.

  • Torontos apartment rental prices have seen a decrease of 0.8 percent for an average cost of $2,908. This being the first decrease in rent since August of 2021. A one-bedroom apartment in Toronto averages out to $2500 which is a 9 percent increase since last year.

Taking a look at next year we are expected to see a 2.5 percent increase in rent for Ontario whereas BC is looking to see a rent increase of 3.5 percent. This is BC first time seeing the maximum allowable rent increase since 2018 where the percentage sat at 4. The percentage has been lower than the interest rate for the last four years.

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