- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Vancouver Guide (PDF)
Thanks to its clean air, laidback atmosphere and spectacular beauty, Vancouver is consistently voted one of the world’s most liveable cities. These are all factors that make the search for accommodation in this Canadian city a highly motivated endeavour for expats.
That said, Vancouver also happens to be one of the most expensive cities and claims the highest housing prices in Canada. Expats should note that it may take a few months of hard searching to find a good property at a decent price. The city's public transport system is excellent so distance should not be too much of a factor.
Types of housing in Vancouver
The sea and mountains limit the amount of new housing that can be constructed in Vancouver. This leads to numerous high-rise apartments, condominiums and an increase in high-density living.
Single, freestanding houses are rare in the city proper. But expats may find such accommodation in the outlying areas and suburbs such as Burnaby, Langley and Surrey. Note that rental options may be limited in these areas due to high owner-occupancy.
Both unfurnished and furnished housing exists, with most accommodation options listed as unfurnished. That said, even unfurnished accommodation often includes appliances, such as a refrigerator and stove, while newer rentals may even include a washer, dryer, microwave and dishwasher.
Finding accommodation in Vancouver
The best way to keep up to date with what's available in Vancouver is to peruse online property portals. Expats may also want to consider enlisting the services of a local real estate agent. These professionals are familiar with the market, as well as the process of leasing and buying property in Vancouver. Furthermore, many agents host accommodation listings on their websites.
Renting property in Vancouver
Renting is definitely more affordable than buying property in Vancouver. West Vancouver claims the most expensive rent, whereas areas like Surrey and North Delta will be cheaper.
Rental periods tend to be for a year, although six-month leases are sometimes negotiable. Security deposits of either one or two months' rent are required.
Utilities are generally excluded but it might be possible to negotiate these costs into the rental price.
►Decide on which neighbourhood is right for your needs by reading the Areas and Suburbs in Vancouver page
Are you an expat living in Vancouver?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Vancouver. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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