Victoria is rumoured to be an expensive place to live, but, as with most rumours, that is only partially true. Compared to many other Canadian cities, and certainly in relation to rural Canada, Victoria is expensive. But if you make global comparisons to cities with comparable climate and amenities, living in Victoria is not expensive relative to it’s desirability.
The 6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey (2010) ranks Victoria highly on the table of severely unaffordable housing markets at 8th from the top. Interestingly, Vancouver sits at the top of this list! This international survey compares only Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, The UK, and The US, so it’s not particularly comprehensive.
“Most people from the UK and Europe find the cost of living in Canada is significantly lower than their home country.” according to the website Living in Canada. Power and fuel are cheaper, basic costs for goods are lower, and of course our health services are largely covered.
If you balance the higher house prices in Victoria against the lower home heating costs (compared with the rest of the country), opportunities for education and employment, and overall quality of life, you will begin to understand why our property values are high, and expected to continue to be stable for the forseeable future.
Another measure of the cost of living; the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Victoria in 2009 was significantly lower than the national average. Check the Statistics Canada site for more info.
The cost of living in Victoria (housing aside) compares favourably with the rest of Canada, and if you take a global view Victoria is a highly desirable place to live, with a very reasonable cost of living.