As a millennial who has achieved Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE), but who has no interest in retiring early, I am always on the lookout for property to invest in. I say this while knowing that the Canadian government is doing everything it can to put downward pressure on the Canadian economy.
The Canadian government is currently trying to fix the mistakes made during the COVID pandemic. To be more specific, pumping endless amounts of money into the economy with unchecked handouts, while keeping interest rates at all-time lows for over a decade.
Now in a desperate attempt to cool off inflation and the economy, the Bank of Canada has increased interest rates to 4.25%, and the Auditor-General office is trying to claw back billions in COVID payments made to Canadians and companies during the pandemic.
I would be surprised if the Auditor-General’s office can collect 10% of these pandemic payments and loans.
But this being said, there are investment opportunities in every market. British Columbia is the best place to live on earth, and nothing will ever change that.
So I grabbed my coffee(s) and looked for the best and worst places to buy real estate in BC, according to data, research, and graphs. Some areas stood out as offering the greatest value and growth potential. And some areas looked like they were doomed. Below are the conclusions.
I found that the best places to buy property in British Columbia are:
- North Vancouver
- Fraser Valley
The worst places to buy real estate are:
Photo: Victoria BC
Victoria is known for two things, being the retirement capital of Canada and for its beauty. The benchmark property price in 2021 was $902,700. This mixes together condos (cheaper), townhomes (middle), and houses (more expensive.)
The Victoria benchmark price was +$174,817 above the national average, which makes it semi-affordable to the average Canadian, at least compared to places like Vancouver and Toronto.
Over the past five years, the Victoria real estate market returned a 62% rate of return (ROI), which is amazing for a stable investment like real estate investing.
What you are looking for will determine if Victoria is a good place for you to live. If you are looking to start a family or retire, a beautiful relaxed place like Victoria might be for you.
If you want to attend large events or run a massive company or work your way up the corporate ladder, avoid Victoria. Most things shut down at 4 pm since everyone goes home to their families. Want to go out for drinks with your co-workers after work? Forget it.
Even if you don’t want to live there, investing in real estate in Victoria BC has generated massive returns over the past five years, so it’s something to consider.
Photo: View of The North Shore (Alistair Vigier)
North Vancouver is considered by many to be one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Of course, with this desire comes high house prices and the most expensive rental market in Canada.
Many people think North Vancouver is unaffordable, but the 2021 Benchmark price is $1,948,636, which is far lower than the Benchmark value of Arbutus Ridge for example, which was $3,702,532.
North Vancouver has had an ROI of 29% over the past five years, which is much lower than Victoria. But it’s hard to put a price on living between downtown Vancouver and ski resorts.
The best performing areas in North Van were Seymour Heights, which had an ROI of 52%, with Lower Lonsdale coming in second at 40%.
West Vancouver realized negative returns. The Cypress Park area declined 15% in property values over five years.
Photo: Fraser Valley BC (Vancouver Is Awesome)
There seem to be some differing opinions on the size of Fraser Valley, so I went by the Fraser Valley Regional Library locations: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Delta, Langley, White Rock, and Port Coquitlam.
Since COVID started, there has been a cultural change with people being able to work from home, allowing people to purchase property farther from downtown Vancouver than they would have considered before the pandemic. For example, during the pandemic real estate in Chilliwack was flying off the shelves.
This led to real estate prices in Chilliwack going up an incredible 95% over the past five years. A house around the lake now costs around $1.5 million.
Best Buy BC Real Estate Conclusion
One of my friends in Vancouver sold their downtown condo to buy a house in Cultus Lake. He now works as a real estate lawyer while overlooking the lake.
But there are still “cheap properties” in Chilliwack city, where properties are only $74,917 above the national average.
Real estate investing has made a lot of people into millionaires. This was my research, but do your own and let me know in the comments where you think the best place to invest is.
Stay tuned for my second article on the worst areas to purchase British Columbia real estate.
Let me know in the comments where you think the best place to buy BC real estate is.