When it comes to upscale living, there are few cities on the continent that can rival Vancouver. The city continuously ranks amongst the top metropolises not just in Canada, but in the world, in various indexes that measure the overall quality of life in the city.
A few of Vancouver’s credentials which tend to recommend it to a more affluent crowd:
- The economy: As the largest city west of Toronto, Vancouver of course is the hub of economic activity for the main industries in the province. However, it also controls all major shipping from Canada to Asia, the second most important financial district in the country, and includes two of the best recognized universities in Western North America. Moreover, as "Hollywood North" there is a bustling film industry to keep things busy.
- Quality of life: Vancouver was rated as the city with the fourth highest quality of living in the world, and the highest amongst North American cities (Mercer Human Resource Consulting, 2008). It has also been rated among the top ten in terms of cleanest cities in the world.
- The surrounding area: One of the biggest factors in both Vancouver’s success both in terms of economy and in terms of real estate is its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and access to outdoor activities. Many of the most affluent neighbourhoods in the city are located close to the ocean shore, and include incredible views of the beautiful Pacific.
Altogether, the above factors combine to make Vancouver one of the most sought after locations in Canada as far as those looking for luxury real estate. In fact, the city has some of the most expensive homes to be found anywhere. Another important area where Vancouver is consistently rated above other cities is in the prices of its real estate; it has been ranked 6th in the world, and 2nd in North America after Los Angeles (Forbes 2007)!
While luxury real estate can be found throughout the city and the outlying metropolitan areas, there are certain neighbourhoods which have a high concentration of luxury homes in Vancouver. As you might expect, these communities tend to border the ocean, so that the finest homes also include an ocean view. Here are a few of them:
- Coal Harbour: Once an industrial zone, Coal Harbour has undergone a major facelift in the last fifteen years. The markings of heavy industry are now just a memory, with high rise, high end luxury condos towering against the skyline. These residences offer owners an unrivalled view of English Bay and Stanley Park, the city’s largest pocket of green space.
- Kitsilano: One of the older neighbourhoods of the city, Kitsilano appeals to a decidedly younger demographic. The neighbourhood borders the University of British Columbia and includes a couple of major Vancouver beaches.
- West Point Grey: West Point Grey is where Vancouver’s truly wealthy reside. A neighbourhood that has always been affluent, the area has several of Vancouver’s most notable pieces of luxury real estate.
- West Vancouver: This community truly takes the prize when it comes to luxury living in Vancouver. The western most suburb of the city, homes valued at over four million dollars are common sights.
- UBC Endowment Lands: The Endowment Lands are not actually a part of Vancouver, and residents have fought many battles to keep it that way. Luxury homes can be found nestled in the rain forest, on small islands in the Bay, and atop high cliffs commanding an incredible view of the ocean.
With a robust economy and unmatched ecology, there are few places in the world that appeal to the upper classes in the way that Vancouver does. As the Olympic Games approach, it’s likely that the luxury real estate opportunities in Vancouver will only grow!