Investing, Real Estate

Cheapest Place to Live in BC in 2023

British Columbia BC has spectacular mountains, beautiful lakes and many eye-catching rivers that can keep you happy all day.

The scenic views in BC make it one of the most attractive places to live a fulfilling life in Canada. 

However, living in British Columbia can be very expensive due to the high rent price in most cities within the province. 

This article will reveal all the vital information that can help you pick the cheapest place to live in BC. 

Hopefully, by the time you are done reading it, you will find one or two affordable places where you can live in BC.

Photo credit: James Wheeler

So continue reading to find out the details!

Cheapest Places to Live in British Columbia

The list you are about to see below comprises towns, cities and communities with a cost of living that is lower than the general average in BC. 

This also means that the places listed below have cheaper rent prices and more affordable new houses than in the big cities of BC. 

1. Coquitlam

  • Estimated Population: 150,000
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,875
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $629,000

Coquitlam is a beautiful urban city that is located just a few miles away from downtown Vancouver. 

It has an astonishing layout that leaves plenty of space for nature to flourish alongside the modern structures in the city. 

Coquitlam is an ideal choice if you are looking to live in a place that is quite peaceful but not too far from the economic activities going on in Vancouver. 

Coquitlam is not the cheapest place to live in BC, but it is among the cheapest locations that are closer to Vancouver. 

2. Cranbrook

  • Estimated Population: 20,499
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,133
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $475,000

With a population of over 20,000, Cranbrook is one of the fast-growing cities at the base of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Cranbrook has a lot of affordable apartments and the overall cost of living in the city is not so high.

There are also decent job opportunities in the city as the local economy keeps booming due to many companies getting attracted by the low corporate taxes.

Another good thing about living in Cranbrook is the access to an international airport and the city itself is not landlocked.

Also, within just a 20-minute drive from town, you can access multiple award-winning golf courses in Cranbrook and many other outdoor adventures. 

3. New Westminster (New West)

  • Estimated Population: 78,916
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,750
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $619,000

New West as it’s more often called, is a beautiful city in the Lower Mainland region of BC along the Fraser River. 

The city is close to the downtown area of Vancouver and it’s one of the most affordable places to live in the suburbs of Vancouver. 

New Westminster has affordable housing and a friendly environment that will make you feel very comfortable. 

One good thing about New West is that its urban structures are laid out in a way that does obstruct the scenic view of its landscape.

Also, there are art galleries you can visit if that’s your thing. And lastly, the food in New West is nice.

4. Prince George

  • Estimated Population: 89,490
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,300
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $400,000

Prince George is a warm city that gets an average of about 299 days of sunshine every year. It’s such an amazing place to live and enjoy good weather.

Aside from its year-round warm weather, Prince George has more than 100 parks and other fun locations for biking and hiking as well. 

Houses on sale in Prince George are reasonably priced and the rent for a one-bedroom apartment is way cheaper than what you pay in the bigger cities.

5. Port Moody

  • Estimated Population: 33,535
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $2,050
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $474,900

Port Moody is also close to Vancouver just as Coquitlam is. However, Port Moody is a quieter place because its population is less than half that of Coquitlam. 

If you wish to save on fuel, the SkyTrain in Port Moody helps you connect with downtown Vancouver within half an hour. Plus you also get to enjoy the panoramic views of the metro area.

Rent in Port Moody is cheaper than in downtown Vancouver and most of the houses on sale are affordable. 

Also, you can always enjoy good food at the small restaurants in the city and the local bars are not too bad for relaxation.

6. Williams Lake

  • Estimated Population: 11,906
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,000
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $290,000

The city of Williams Lake is often referred to as the “Shangri La of mountain biking”. 

If you love outdoor activities like mountain biking and hiking, Williams Lake is the perfect small town you will be happy to live in.

The locals are super friendly and the town has affordable houses you can buy or rent at cheaper prices than in the big cities.

Also, the downtown area of Williams Lake is lively with many retail shops, cafes and local events that keep you close to the locals. 

7. Vernon

  • Estimated Population: 44,519
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,299
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $692,705

Vernon is a small city where you can enjoy a good balance of urban living with a moderate touch of nature.

The growing population and low cost of living in Vernon is one reason why it is a great place to live in BC. 

There are different restaurants, shops, late-night clubs, bars and other places where you can have fun in Vernon. 

Outside Vernon city, there are plenty of opportunities for activities like mountain biking, fishing and many other ways to have fun outdoors.

On weekends you can also join other Vernon residents to have fun in the nearby city of Kelowna. 

8. Castlegar

  • Estimated Population: 8,992 
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,725
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $427,450

With a population of fewer than 9,000 people, Castlegar offers you the opportunity to live in a small town with a close-knit community.

Castlegar is also not too far from Kelowna which is the 3rd largest metropolitan area in British Columbia and the 22nd largest city in Canada.

The cost of living in Castlegar is relatively lower than in the big cities. However, you might find that the town has limited job opportunities that can be explored.

Meanwhile, the small town of Castlegar has an overall beautiful scenery and peaceful environs.

9. Hope

  • Estimated Population: 6,686
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,500
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $590,000

Hope is a small community located at the confluence of the Coquihalla and Fraser rivers. 

It is a beautiful district municipality with affordable housing and an overall low cost of living. 

Hope is a relatively small town with lots of nature trails and beautiful views that will easily captivate nature lovers. 

However, it is not an ideal place for anyone who enjoys city life and can’t stand the continuous quietness in most parts of town.

Aside from the low cost of living, the only other reason you should consider Hope is if you desire freedom and a lot of breathing space away from the bubbling cities of BC.

10. Valemount 

  • Estimated Population: 1,018
  • Average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,100
  • Cost of buying a house (Average price): $534,000

Valemount is a beautiful village municipality that is located in east central BC just in between the Cariboo, Monashee, and Rocky Mountains. 

It’s a small village where you can always enjoy the view of refreshing lakes, lush valleys, snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear blue skies. 

Valemount has cheaper rent prices and more affordable housing options than many other towns in BC.

If you enjoy sledding, skiing and other winter sports, Valemount will appeal to you with its beautiful thick snowfall. 


Final Thoughts on the Cheapest Place to Live in BC

Finding the cheapest place to live in British Columbia can be a challenge as the cost of living varies greatly throughout the province. 

However, as you can see, some of the most affordable cities in BC include Williams Lake, Cranbrook, and Valemount. 

These cities offer lower housing prices and a relatively low cost of living, making them attractive options for those looking to save money.

Nevertheless, finding the cheapest place to live in British Columbia depends on individual needs and preferences. 

However, the places mentioned in this article are all worth considering for those looking for a more affordable lifestyle in this beautiful province.

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About John Adebisi

John Adebisi is a CPA, FCCA and MBA holder with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting & Finance. He has over a decade of experience in writing personal and business finance content for audiences across North America, Europe, the UK and Africa. In addition to his writing experience, he also has a strong background in financial research and analysis, giving him a unique perspective of the financial markets. John derives pleasure in helping people make smart financial decisions, and he believes that knowledge and experience can be valuable resources for anyone who wants to learn how to manage their money.

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