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A house for $1 million: Vancouver vs. 25 other cities

DH Vancouver Staff Jan 06, 2015 9:56 am

While Vancouver is continuously ranked one of the best places in the world to live, the affordability of our city seems to plummet every year. With the 2015 B.C. Assessment Roll issued earlier this month, the cost of living is confirmed to be higher this year than ever.

For instance, a single family home on Vancouver’s East side on a 33′ lot that was valued at $892,000 in 2014 was valued at $993,000 in 2015. That’s an increase of just over 10 per cent.

Overall, “the benchmark price for detached properties increased 8.1 per cent from December 2013 to $1,002,200,” says the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

This begs me to ask the question, what does a $1 million CAD house in Vancouver look like? And how does it compare with some of the other most populous cities in North America?

So here was my query: What can you get for $1 million CAD in Vancouver and 25 other cities across Canada and the U.S.? My criteria for this search was based on the traditional aspects of a house big enough for a small family:

  • a detached home
  • minimum three bedrooms
  • a yard
  • close to the city
  • in a decent neighbourhood

North America’s top housing markets were last announced in March 2014 by the Financial Post, with Vancouver at #1. They reported an average home in the city came in around $864,000 CAD, followed by San Francisco at just over $800,000. By a considerable gap, San Diego, Toronto and Los Angeles closed out the top five around the $500,000 mark.

The above averages presumably include all types of housing, not just detached homes, so it’s hard to say exactly how far $1 million takes you in cities where the majority of housing is made up of condos and apartments. New York City, for example, is listed as having an average home price of $455,000 CAD, considerably lower than Vancouver due to the abundance of achingly-small apartments.

So let’s say you had $1 million to spend on a house…

Upon selecting these homes, I tried my best to choose homes the average person would live in. When there was lots of selection, neighbourhood and quality of home took precedent. When there wasn’t much choice, proximity to the city was number one.


Vancouver, British Columbia

Neighbourhood/Region: Hastings-Sunrise, Vancouver
Distance from city centre: 6 km
Square footage: 1700 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $998,000

Vancouver exterior

Vancouver interior


Victoria, British Columbia

Neighbourhood/Region: Rockland, Victoria
Distance from city centre: 2.5 km
Square footage: 3020 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $1,045,000

Victoria Exterior

Victoria interior


Seattle, Washington

Neighbourhood/Region: Mt. Baker, Seattle
Distance from city centre: 5.5 km
Square footage: 3260 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $885,000 USD

Seattle exterior

Seattle interior

Images: Zillow

Portland, Oregon

Neighbourhood/Region: Multnomah, Portland
Distance from city centre: 8.4 km
Square footage: 3086 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $869,000 USD

Portland, oregan exterior

Portland oregan interior

Images: Sotheby’s Realty


Los Angeles, California

Neighbourhood/Region: Mt. Washington, Los Angeles
Distance from city centre: 7.9 km
Square footage: 1796 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 3
Asking price: $825,000 USD

Los Angeles exterior

Los Angeles interior

Images: Zillow

San Diego, California

Neighbourhood/Region: Point Loma Heights, San Diego
Distance from city centre: 10.1 km
Square footage: 1886 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $885,000 USD

San Diego exterior

San Diego interior

Images: Zillow


Calgary, Alberta

Neighbourhood/Region:  Bankview, Calgary
Distance from city centre:  3.5 km
Square footage:  2323 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms:  3
Asking price: $1,099,000

Calgary exterior

Calgary interior



Edmonton, Alberta

Neighbourhood/Region:  Glenora, Edmonton
Distance from city centre:  4.4 km
Square footage:  198.2 sq. m.
Number of bedrooms:  4
Asking price: $1,099,000

Edmonton exterior

Edmonton interior



Phoenix, Arizona

Neighbourhood/Region: North Mountain, Pheonix
Distance from city centre: 13.9 km
Square footage: 4645 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $899,000 USD

Phoenix exterior

Phoenix interior

Images: Zillow

Denver, Colorado

Neighbourhood/Region: University Park, Denver
Distance from city centre: 9.2 km
Square footage: 4494 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $899,900 USD

Denver exterior

Denver interior

Images: Sotheby’s Realty


San Antonio, Texas

Neighbourhood/Region: Olmos Park, San Antonio
Distance from city centre: 7.1 km
Square footage: 2900 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 3
Asking price: $849,000 USD

San Antonio exterior

San Antonio interior

Images: Zillow


Winnipeg, Manitoba

Neighbourhood/Region: Waverley West, Winnipeg
Distance from city centre: 12.7 km
Square footage: 3124 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 6
Asking price: $990,000

Winnipeg exterior

winnipeg interior


Dallas, Texas

Neighbourhood/Region: White Rock Lake, Dallas
Distance from city centre: 8.8 km
Square footage: 4171 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 5
Asking price: $819,900 USD

Dallas exterior

Dallas interior

Images: Zillow


Houston, Texas

Neighbourhood/Region: Greater Heights, Houston
Distance from city centre: 4.6 km
Square footage: 3116 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 3
Asking price: $889,000 USD

Houston exterior

Houston interior

Images: Sotheby’s Realty

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Neighbourhood/Region: Southwest Minneapolis
Distance from city centre: 8.7 km
Square footage: 4021 sq. ft. lot
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $859,900 USD

Minneapolis exterior

Minneapolis interior

Images: Sotheby’s Realty


Chicago, Illinois

Neighbourhood/Region: Logan Square, Chicago
Distance from city centre: 9.8 km
Square footage: 3219 sq. ft. lot
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $874,900 USD

Chicago exterior

Chicago interior

Images: Zillow

Jacksonville, Florida

Neighbourhood/Region: Mill Cove, Jacksonville
Distance from city centre: 13.2 km
Square footage: 4331 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 5
Asking price: $815,000 USD

Jacksonville Exterior

Jacksonville interior

Images: Zillow

Toronto, Ontario

Neighbourhood/Region: Dufferin Grove, Toronto
Distance from city centre: 4.8 km
Square footage: 2000 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 3
Asking price: $1,099,000

Toronto exterior

Toronto interior

Images: Sotheby’s Canada

 Ottawa, Ontario

Neighbourhood/Region: Glebe, Ottawa
Distance from city centre: 2.4 km
Square footage: unknown
Number of bedrooms: 6
Asking price: $985,00

Ottawa exterior Ottawa interior



Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Neighbourhood/Region: Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia
Distance from city centre: 18 km
Square footage: 4438 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 7
Asking price: $925,000 USD

Philadelphia exterior

Philadelphia interior

Images: Zillow


New York City, New York

Neighbourhood/Region: Brooklyn, New York
Distance from city centre: 10.6 km
Square footage: 1520 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 3
Asking price: $890,000 USD

New York exterior

Image: Zillow

(no interior photo available)


Montreal, Quebec

Neighbourhood/Region: Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal
Distance from city centre:  7.4 km
Square footage: unknown
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $949,000

Montreal exterior

Montreal interior

Photos: Profusion Realty

Portland, Maine

Neighbourhood/Region: Peaks Island, Portland
Distance from city centre: 6.1 km
Square footage: 3201 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $800,000 USD

Portland exterior

Portland interior



Halifax, Nova Scotia

Neighbourhood/Region: Southend, Halifax
Distance from city centre: 2.9 km
Square footage: 4485 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 5
Asking price: $995,000

Halifax exterior

Halifax interior

Waimea, Hawaii

Neighbourhood/Region: Waimea, Island of Kauai
Square footage: 3809 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Asking price: $899,000 USD

Hawaii exterior

Hawaii interior

Images: Sotheby’s Realty


Anchorage, Alaska

Neighbourhood/Region: Sand Lake, Anchorage
Distance from city centre: 11.5 km
Square footage: 2153 sq. ft.
Number of bedrooms: 3
Asking price: $850,000 USD

Anchorage exterior

Anchorage interior

Images: Zillow



DH Vancouver Staff
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