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Top Affordable Cities for New Residents in British Columbia

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada. It is home to over five million people, with big cities like Vancouver, Victoria, Langley and Vernon as the top places to live. If you love the outdoor, the province is the perfect place to settle with its snowy mountains, clear lakes and coastal rainforest. The climate varies from mild weather to sub-arctic winters further north.

For many immigrants, British Columbia is the perfect destination to relocate, work and study. Industries range from agriculture and forestry to manufacturing and construction, providing plenty of work opportunities. Workers earn competitive wages, complete with extended benefit plans like medical and dental coverage. The health care system is comprehensive and reliable. With low crime rates, the province is also one of the safest places to live in Canada.

The cost of living in British Columbia varies depending on whether you choose to live in rural or urban areas. Major metropolises tend to have the highest living expenses, but they draw in new residents due to their excellent schools and business establishments. Meanwhile, small cities with below-average home prices are ideal for those looking to live well on a budget. The following are some of the most affordable places to live in British Columbia.

Salmon Arm

Located in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Salmon Arm is best known as a vacation town and a prime tourist destination during summer. As part of the Thompson-Okanagan economic region, the city’s labor market has seen remarkable growth in recent years. Industries in the city are mainly concentrated on manufacturing, agriculture and construction. The high-tech industry is also growing.

Aside from its strong job market, Salmon Arm draws in new residents with its affordable housing prices. The average primary residence in the city is around $429,000. In the past five years, the population in the area has grown at 8.7%. Current number of inhabitants is now at 19,000, composed mainly of young families. It is also an ideal transportation corridor location due to its proximity to major cities like Vancouver and Vernon.

Prince George

British Columbia’s largest city in the north, Prince George is widely acknowledged as a prime residential location for many. The area is home to some of the cheapest real estate in all of Canada. The average home price in the city is around $407,000, roughly half of the housing cost paid by residents in other big communities. Vancouver, for example, has an average of $1 million for home prices. The cost of living is also cheaper at $1,367 dollars a month for one person.

Prince George is located at the intersection of Highways 97 and 16 and is considered the gateway to northern British Columbia. It has its international airport, passenger train service and intercity bus service. The economy is dominated by the service industries. There over 40 elementary and secondary schools in the city, with many options for early childhood care. If you are looking for help in financing (or refinancing) a home in the area, just click here.


This city nestled in the junction between North Thompson River and South Thompson River is one of the best places to live for families. With a monthly income of $1,266, you can live comfortably in your chosen locale. Just like Prince George, Kamloops offers some of the bargain properties in British Columbia. The average home price is about $400,000. Currently, the city is home to over 90,000 residents.

Kamloops is known as the Tournament Capital of Canada. Every year, it hosts hundreds of sporting events, both national and international. The city boasts of its world class facilities, from field houses and ball diamonds to rinks. There are plentiful opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking, biking and skiing. Aside from affordable housing, residents also enjoy shopping and lifestyle amenities, excellent health care and an education system.

Campbell River

A popular tourist destination, Campbell River is known as the Salmon Capital of the World. It is connected to Vancouver by an island highway and a gateway to Discovery Island. Industries like construction, technology and clean energy have been seeing big growth in recent years. A thriving coastal community, it is home to over 35,000 residents who enjoy a balanced lifestyle, surrounded by nature.

Campbell River is another one of the cheapest places to live in British Columbia. The average home price is around $548,000. If you have a monthly income of $1,230, you can subsist with ease. The city has preserved its friendly small-town character amidst progress and is considered one of the safest places to live. From eco-adventures and stunning scenery to fine dining and boutique shopping, Campbell River has a lot to offer to new residents.


Home to Canada’s thousands of immigrants, Abbotsford should be top of the new residents’ list of the most affordable places to live in British Columbia. It is an hour’s travel from Vancouver and borders other cities like Langley and Chilliwack. Abbotsford’s economy depends largely on agriculture and food processing. It also generates numerous job opportunities in sectors such as manufacturing, aerospace and transportation.

Abbotsford’s cost of living is significantly lower than that of Vancouver and other big cities. Families can enjoy a better lifestyle even with lower incomes. The average price is $301,000 for apartment/condos and $450,000 for townhomes. For amenities, residents can enjoy visiting galleries and museums, parks and nature trails. Every August, the city is host to an international air show that draws in thousands of visitors.

Maple Ridge

One of British Columbia’s communities with a stunning natural setting, Maple Ridge is a fantastic residential location for new residents in the province. It is located northeast of the Greater Vancouver area, between Golden Ears and Fraser River, and is highly accessible to commuters thanks to the availability of West Coast Express. Maple Ridge’s economy is mostly centered on forestry and agriculture.

Housing prices in the city is about 50% less than Vancouver’s benchmark. Meanwhile, rent prices per month range from $950 to $2000 for a one-bedroom apartment. Some of the amenities available to residents are 24/7 access to health care facilities, excellent public schools and affordable child care. There are lots of fantastic restaurants and shops. For outdoor activities, Maple Ridge offers a wide range of options, including hiking and fishing.

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