It appeals to those trying to avoid the cold weather found in other regions of Canada, thanks to its very mild winters. It often is ranked high when it comes to city studies, offering stunning views of the mountains of British Columbia as well as the Pacific Ocean. Real estate is booming although Vancouver has the most expensive housing market in Canada.
Vancouver is in a highly desirable location geographically as it is just 45 minutes to the U.S. border and sits on the majestic shores of the North Pacific. As mentioned, it's mild winters attract many to the city who are trying to escape the harsh cold and snow many Canadian areas experience. The mild temperatures of the Pacific Ocean in hand with cold air being blocked by the colder air in the north create an idyllic climate if you don't mind the rain.
It is known as one of the cleanest cities in the world, which is a major attraction for eco-conscious Canadians. Despite a rapidly growing population while vehicle usage is on the rise, a successful environmental policy has kept peak levels of major pollutants trending downwards.
Vancouver is also ethnically diverse, offering the opportunity to experience cultures from around the world. As a port city, it is key to exporting Canadian goods and receiving imports from Asia and the U.S. west coast. When compared to Toronto, Vancouver is more laid back much due to its location.
Many would say Vancouver has more of a white-collar feel than other Canadian cities. This is because it has more commercial space than it does industrial. The art scene in Vancouver is growing and there are more high-end restaurants popping up as well.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is the foundation for the city's art scene. There is also a growing interest in the performing arts, although it is not as prominent as cities such as New York or Toronto. However, there are more theatre companies opening up and Vancouver is also host to their own International Film Festival as well as the Fringe Festival. The city attracts musicians of all genres and is also home to major music festivals.
Vancouver is home to the famous Stanley Park as well as over 3,200 acres of parkland. This makes the city a draw for those interested in the outdoors. In close proximity to the ocean and the mountains, it offers an impressive selection of beaches, lakes, rivers and parkland for a wide range of activities from biking to skiing and kayaking to sailing. Thanks to these natural features, Vancouver is also a hotspot for tourists looking for an authentic Canadian outdoors experience.
Sports fans will never go hungry with six professional sports teams, including two hockey teams, a baseball team, a CFL football team and a soccer team.
There is no shortage of amenities in Vancouver from health care to professional services and shopping to dining.
The diverse economy is partly due to the fact the city has the largest port in Canada with $200 million of cargo managed each day. The port is number one in North America generating $7 billion in wages.
One challenge for Vancouver, however, is that it tends to have a lower unemployment rate than the rest of Canada.
There has been a slowdown in residential construction in Vancouver that could have a negative impact on the province's economy. Despite this, it will probably see economic growth of about 2% over the next few years. There is also a boom in commercial space, which will help offset the reduction in residential construction.
Of course, there are multiple neighbourhoods to explore, with the price being the main determinant for buyers.
The schools in the Vancouver area tend to be of high quality both for government-funded public schools and private schools. It is the home of the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University with UBC ranking third for the best universities in Canada. There is also no shortage of other post-secondary options including the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Vancouver Film School.
Metro Vancouver has a very respectable public transit system including buses, ferries and the Sky Train. Service is frequent and the rail system loops around the city making it very convenient. There is also the West Coast Express commuter rail system linking downtown Vancouver to various cities which makes it easier to commute. Because of its smaller size Highway 1 is the only major freeway, which extends through the northeast area of Vancouver.
City dwellers love the bicycle lanes since the climate allows for year-round usage with biking and walking being the most common way to get to work in Vancouver.
Home sales in Vancouver totalled 2,498 units in November 2019, a 55.3 percent rise year over year. Demand for homes is increasing; homes for sale are declining, due to increased absorption and a reduction in newly listed homes. The average house price for a detached home was $1,415,400 and condo apartments reached $651,500.
If you would like more information about buying or selling a home in Vancouver, or the B.C. real estate market contact our team.