SilverBeam Homes Blog

Living in British Columbia – The Good and The Bad 

by Bevony on 7 November 2022 Comments Off on Living in British Columbia – The Good and The Bad 

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is one of the largest and most prominent cities in the Province. British Columbia is well known and sought after for its low crime rate, cultural diversity and employment benefits. As such, British Columbia is seen as one of the best places to live, not only in Canada but in the world. 

As we talk about places to live we of course have to talk about the cost of living. First on the cost of living is an actual place to live, a place to call home. 

How Much Does A House Cost In British Columbia?

Information from the British Columbia Housing Market with data as of September 2022 indicates an average home price of $927,119. Over the past six months leading up to September 2022 the average home price has seen a decrease. In September, though, the home price increased to the above mentioned amount. If this price seems outside of your affordability range you may be wondering if there are any affordable housing options in British Columbia. 

Is There Affordable Housing In Bc?

There are housing support programs available to those who qualify. Those with low to moderate income could qualify for these support programs. There is also subsidized housing that is available for senior renters as well. So the answer is yes, there are some affordable housing options in British Columbia available to those who qualify. 

September 2022 Census – B.C. The Most Unaffordable Province for Housing

British Columbia is showing to be one of the most expensive provinces when it comes to housing, and also is the province with the highest number of renter households. The current housing costs are affecting people from all societal groups. Young professionals can’t afford the down payments, students and low income renters can’t afford the rental rates, and there are people living in tents because they have no other options. 

According to the census data, the province is leading the country with the highest rate of unaffordable homes. This rank is due to the amount of people paying high rent in the downtown Vancouver area. British Columbia was followed very closely by Ontario having the second highest unaffordability rate. 

The 2019 National Housing Strategy Act declared that “the right to adequate housing is a fundamental human right affirmed in international law.”

Fewer Canadians are Owning Homes 

The recent census data indicates that the homeownership rate fell to 66.5% in 2021. Its peak was 69% in 2011. 

British Columbia had the 3rd largest home ownership decline falling from 70% in 2011 to 66.8 in 2021. B.C also leads Canada, having the highest number of renter households. There was more than a 54% increase in renters in Kelowna. 

Landlords are adamant the 2% rent increase cap is not enough, and renters are saying it is too much. Nobody is thrilled about the housing conditions in British Columbia. We see more first time buyers choosing condos as their first foray into homeownership. 23.6% of B.C in 2021 were calling a condo a home. This includes 32.5% of Vancouver households. 

The statistics also indicate that+

 more than 77% of the condos in B.C are owned by individual Canadian investors. The data also showed that improvements in household incomes were reducing the core needs for housing. 

Outside of British Colubmia though almost 1.5 million Canadians are living in conditions defined as unaffordable, inadequate and unsuitable. So the problem is not simply a British Columbia one. 

BevonyLiving in British Columbia – The Good and The Bad