Who has it worse? The cost of renting versus owning a home in BC

Jan 18 2023, 6:51 pm

A new report highlights the variances between owning and renting a home across Canada and reveals a lot about the cost of shelter in BC.

Some quick stats before the breakdown include that across Canada, the number of owners (9,955,975) is nearly double the number of renters (4,953,840) in Canada, according to the most recent Census.

However, the homeownership rate is declining as many Canadians are putting their dreams of owning a home on the shelf.

It hardly needs to be said, but BC, alongside Ontario, is the most expensive province in Canada regarding shelter costs.

Point2Homes broke down the costs of renting vs owning, and surprisingly, the numbers are pretty close in certain parts of the province.

Richmond and Burnaby have the smallest disparities between renting and owning in Metro Vancouver.

Point2Homes says average renter shelter costs are $1,672 in Richmond versus $1,794 for owner shelter costs. That’s a net difference of $122. In Burnaby, shelter costs for renters are $1,536 versus $1,744 for owners, a difference of $208.

In Kelowna, Point2Homes says average renter shelter costs come to about $1,536, and owner shelter costs are about $1,614. This marks a net difference of $78 or 5.08%.

Of course, there are lots of different factors involved when it comes to renting and owning a home, including down payments and other costs or fees or type of dwelling. For example, if you own a mansion in Shaughnessy, the costs will be far greater than renting.

Regarding different regions of BC, renters tend to come out on top to a greater degree.

In Surrey, for example, Point2Homes suggests renter costs are around $1,434 versus $2,018 for owners, a sizeable difference of $584. In Vancouver, it lists renter costs of $1,660 versus $2,084 for owners, a difference of $424.

The difference is magnified when owners have mortgage costs. For example, in Vancouver, it goes from $1,624 for renters to $2,832 for an owner with mortgage costs.

homeowner renter bc


To see the full report and the methodology Point2Homes used, click here.

If you’ve been on both sides of the spectrum, what has your experience been like between renting and owning in BC? Let us know in the comments.

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