Zolo: Most Affordable Cities to Buy a Home in BC

Vancouver, Canada, June 24, 2021 --(PR.com)-- While sales activity in real estate markets across Canada started to slow in April and May, the affordability of housing is still an issue with the Canadian Real Estate Association recording a 41.9% year-over-year price increase from April 2020 to April 2021. As of April 2021, the MLS HPI benchmark for properties in BC was $943,845 — a 28.7% year-over-year increase that left many prospective buyers wondering whether or not they could afford to buy a home in BC.

To help, Zolo examined each of the 29 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) or census agglomerations (CAs) identified by Statistics Canada, to find the most affordable cities in BC to buy a home. (For clarity, we refer to each CMA and CA as a city.) Each city is then ranked based on the following criteria:

● Housing Affordability — For housing to be affordable, city residents must earn enough to pay the bills. To determine this we compare average home sale prices to average annual income. The result is the Household-price-to-income ratio — a calculation that identifies exactly how long it would take to save up to pay off the property price (assuming no other expenditures or bills).
● Economic Strength — Buying a home in a city that does not have good economic growth can result in a higher risk for unemployment or potentially lower annual earnings. To assess the economic strength of a city, we examined current unemployment rates.
● Potential Growth — We assume that when a city is growing, it’s because the city can support a larger residential population because there are employment opportunities. The larger the population growth, the stronger a city’s potential for a growing residential population and a robust housing market.

For this analysis, small cities are those with a population under 30,000, medium cities have a population between 30,000 and 100,000, and large cities have a population of over 100,000.

According to the data, these are the most affordable cities in BC by size:

Top 5 Most Affordable Large Cities in BC


Top 5 Most Affordable Medium Cities in BC

Prince George
Campbell River

Top 5 Most Affordable Small Cities in BC

Williams Lake
Dawson Creek
Powell River
Cranbrook (for single-income earners) / Nelson (for family households)

Please read more at the Zolo Homebase blog (and learn more about the methodology).

About Zolo
Zolo is one of Canada's most popular and trusted national real estate marketplaces. Each month, over 10 million home shoppers use Zolo to level up the way they buy, sell, rent, finance and learn about real estate.
Romana King