Finding the cheapest rent In BC is easy if you know where to look. Average 1-bedroom apartments cost an average of $800 to $1,500 per month in the 10 cities with the cheapest rents in British Columbia. These cities include Dawson Creek, Valemount, and Prince Rupert, all the way to Kamloops and Verlon. These cities not only have cheap rentals but also offer a lower overall cost of living compared to other urban hubs in the province and in the country. This post explores the top places to live in BC if what you're looking for is the cheapest rent.
Rental prices and real estate throughout British Columbia continue to rise, but there are still a few cities where you can find relatively cheap rent. If you're on a tight budget or simply looking for an affordable place to live in BC, we’ve got you covered. This blog post will take an in-depth look at 10 cities with the cheapest rents in BC. We will also discuss the features of each location.
10 Cheapest Cities In BC
If you're looking for a cheaper place to rent, you may want to consider one of the following ten locations:
|Cities||Average Monthly Rent|
|Dawson Creek||1-bedroom apartment: $800|
|Valemount||1-bedroom apartment: $1,000|
|Prince Rupert||1-bedroom apartment: $1,000|
|Cranbrook||1-bedroom apartment: $1,100|
|Williams Lake||1-bedroom apartment: $1,100|
|Prince George||1-bedroom apartment: $1,200|
|Castlegar||1-bedroom apartment: $1,300|
|Hope||1-bedroom apartment: $1,400|
|Kamloops||1-bedroom apartment: $1,400|
|Vernon||1-bedroom apartment: $1,500|
Breakdown Of Average Rental Prices in Each City
BC is a beautiful province with a lot to offer. However, the cost of living can be high, especially in big cities. The following is a rundown of the average monthly rental costs in each of the cities:
#1 Dawson Creek
Average Rent: $800 Per Month
Dawson Creek is a small city in northeastern British Columbia. It is located at the confluence of the Peace and Tais Rivers in the Peace River Regional District. The city is named after George Dawson, a geologist who explored the area in 1879.
Dawson Creek has various housing options, from apartments and condos to single-family homes. The average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $800 per month.
The estimated monthly cost of living for a single person in Dawson Creek is $1,300 including rent, feeding, and transportation expenses.
In addition, Dawson Creek is a picturesque city with various parks and green spaces. The Ming Duo Wildlife Sanctuary in Dawson Creek is a popular spot for birdwatching and offers miles of hiking and biking trails.
In the downtown area, visitors can enjoy shopping and dining or stroll along the scenic Peace River Promenade.
Average Rent: $1,000 Per Month
Valemount is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Like Castlegar, it is surrounded by mountains, forests, and lakes. The city has several features that make it an attractive place to live, including a low cost of living, moderate climate, and proximity to major cities.
Valemount's average rent price is $1,000 per month, which is significantly lower than the average rent price in major Canadian cities.
The estimated cost of living for a single person each month, including rent, basic utilities, food, and transportation, is $1,500.
The city's moderate climate allows residents to enjoy activities like hiking and camping year-round.
Valemount is also located within driving distance of Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton, making it a convenient place to live for those who need to commute to these larger cities for work or leisure.
Overall, Valemount is a great place to live for those looking for an affordable and convenient place to call home. The city's many features make it an attractive option for families and individuals.
#3 Prince Rupert
Average Rent: $1,000 Per Month
Nestled in the heart of British Columbia, Prince Rupert is a small city with a big personality, and it’s also an affordable place to live. For a single person, the cost of living is $1,600. The average rental price in Prince Rupert is $1,000 per month, which is significantly lower than the $2,000 per month average rental price in Vancouver.
In addition to being affordable, Prince Rupert has an extensive network of parks and green spaces, such as Sunken Gardens Park, Butze Rapids Park, and Pacific Mariners Memorial Park, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants that make it attractive to live in.
The city also boasts numerous recreational and cultural venues, such as the Prince Rupert Library, the Ice House Gallery, and the Harbour Theatre (Tom Rooney Playhouse).
Average Rent: $1,100 Per Month
Cranbrook is the largest city in the East Kootenay region of BC, with a population of over 20,000. Thanks to its proximity to both the US border and the world-famous ski resort of Kimberley, Cranbrook is a popular tourist destination.
Cranbrook is also home to Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks, which attract over two million visitors annually. The average rent price in Cranbrook is $1,100 per month, which is lower than average for a city of its size.
The median monthly expenses for a single individual in Cranbrook (including rent, food, basic utilities, and transportation) is $1,400 for those living downtown and $1,650 for those living in the city center.
There are plenty of things to do in Cranbrook, from hiking and biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter. With two hospitals, a university, and an international airport, Cranbrook has all the essentials covered.
#5 Williams Lake
Average Rent: $1,100 Per Month
Williams Lake is a charming city located in the central interior of British Columbia in a region known as Cariboo. The average rental price in Williams Lake is $1,100 per month.
The average monthly expenditures of a single individual, including housing, transportation, food, and utilities are $1,600.
With a population of just over 11,000 people, Williams Lake is the perfect place to enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle.
The city offers a variety of amenities for fun activities, such as the Cariboo Memorial Recreational Complex, Paradise Cinemas, Belle Acres Recreation, and the Station House Gallery, amongst others.
There are also numerous trails and parks perfect for hiking, biking, and bird watching. Some of the trails and parks that have beautiful scenery are Scout Island Nature Centre, Williams Lake River Valley Trail, and Boitano Park.
#6 Prince George
Average Rent: $1,200 Per Month
With a metro population of over 70,000, Prince George is the most populous city in northern British Columbia, Canada. It is located near the Fraser and Nechako rivers' confluence and at the intersection of Highways 16 and 97.
The average rental rate in Prince George is $1,200 per month, which is significantly lower than the provincial average of $2,000 per month. The average cost of living for a single individual per month is $1,850, including rent, food, basic utilities, and transportation expenses.
In addition to low rental rates, Prince George offers a wide range of housing options, including apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind if you're considering renting in Prince George.
First, the city has a relatively low vacancy rate, so you may have difficulty finding a suitable unit. Second, Prince George is located in a remote area, so you'll need to factor in the cost of transportation when budgeting for your rent.
But if you're looking for a bargain, Prince George is definitely worth considering.
Average Rent: $1,300 Per Month
Castlegar is a beautiful city located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Castlegar is $1,300 per month.
This city is perfect for nature lovers as mountains, forests, and lakes surround it. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and camping.
Castlegar has a thriving arts and culture scene, with several galleries and performance venues. There are also many shops and restaurants to explore downtown for those who enjoy indoor activities.
#8 Hope (Average Rent: $1,400 Per Month)
The average rent price in Hope, BC, is about $1,400. If you're looking for a place to call home that combines the best of small-town living with all the amenities of a big city, Hope, BC, is the perfect place for you.
For a single person, the monthly cost of living is estimated to be $1,800 including rent, food, and transportation.
This thriving community offers a variety of features that are sure to appeal to everyone, from its abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities to its vibrant arts and culture scene.
Surrounded by mountains and forests, Hope is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The city is also home to some historical sites, including the Fraser River Heritage Park and the Hope Museum.
Average Rent: $1,400 Per Month
Kamloops has a population of over 90,000 people. The rental market in Kamloops is relatively affordable, with the average two-bedroom apartment renting costing about $1,400 per month.
The average monthly cost of living for a single individual is $2,000 including rent, food, and transportation.
The city is also home to several great schools, parks, and recreation facilities, making it an ideal place to raise a family.
Kamloops is also a short drive from some of the most breathtaking scenery in Canada, such as the Okanagan Valley and Shuswap Lake.
Average Rent: $1,500 Per Month
Towards the north of Kelowna, you'll find the city of Vernon, a welcoming place for families and a hub of various promising industries. The average rent in Vernon is $1,500.
A single person's estimated monthly cost of living including rent, basic utilities, food, and transportation is $1,650.
Vernon is also close to some of the island's best hiking and biking trails and the picturesque beaches of Kalamalka Provincial Park.
Reasons People Move To BC
BC is a popular destination for people moving within Canada. Every year, thousands of people relocate to BC in search of new opportunities and a better quality of life. Here are the top reasons why BC is such an attractive place to live:
- The scenery is some of the best in the world – from the towering mountains to the pristine beaches, BC has it all.
- The outdoor lifestyle is second to none – With so much natural beauty at your doorstep, it's no wonder many people choose to live an active, outdoor lifestyle in BC.
- The mild climate is perfect for those who want to enjoy all four seasons without extreme weather conditions.
- The food scene is booming – From arm-to-table restaurants to world-class wineries, BC is home to incredible food culture.
- There are countless educational opportunities available, from public schools to world-renowned universities. Legacy institutions such as The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and British Columbia Institute of Technology are situated in BC.
- The economy is strong– Thanks to a diverse economy, there are plenty of job opportunities in BC. Also, BC is home to big multinationals like Finning International, Telus International, Teck Resources, Polygon Family of Companies, Lululemon Athletica, and HSBC Bank, amongst others.
- The vibrant cities of Vancouver and Victoria are packed with world-class restaurants, shops, and attractions.
- The people are friendly– From Vancouver to Prince Rupert, you'll find that British Columbians are some of the nicest people in the country.
- The cost of living in BC is relatively affordable compared to some other parts of Canada. An average single individual in some parts of British Columbia may get by on $1,500 per month, which includes rent, utilities, transportation, and food. Vancouver and Victoria have a high cost of living, with an average single individual spending up to $1,900 per month.
Reasons Why Rent Is Expensive In BC
There are many factors that contribute to the high cost of rent in BC. Some of them are
- There is a limited supply of rental units relative to demand. This has caused prices to increase as landlords can be more choosy about tenants and can charge higher rents.
- The cost of living in BC is generally high, which puts pressure on renters as they strive to meet their other expenses.
- BC has a rapidly growing population. This is due to the number of people relocating to BC from other parts of Canada or abroad in order to take advantage of the province’s strong economy. This influx of people has driven up rents even further.
- The costs of construction and land development are relatively high in BC, and many properties are located in desirable areas such as near urban centers or on the waterfront.
Related: Regardless of the cost, if you find yourself short for money or unable to cover your housing expenses, you may qualify for income assistance.
Low-Cost Housing Options In BC
Several low-cost housing options are available in BC but are often difficult to find and may have long waitlists. Here are three low-cost housing options to consider.
#1 Social Housing
The BC Housing Registry is a government-run program that provides social housing to families, seniors, and people with disabilities who meet certain income eligibility requirements.
Applying for social housing through the BC Housing Registry is a simple process:
- First, you will need to gather the required documentation, which includes proof of income, residency, and citizenship.
- Once you have the required documents, you can submit an online application through the BC Housing Registry website.
- After your application has been reviewed and approved, you will be added to the waitlist for social housing.
The waitlist is managed on a first-come, first-served basis, so applying as soon as you are eligible is important.
#2 Co-operative Housing
Cooperative housing is a community-based housing option owned and operated by its residents. Co-ops typically have lower monthly fees than traditional rental units and may offer additional support, such as child care and community gardens.
Living in a co-op can be a great way to meet new people and get involved in your community. Co-ops are typically run democratically, so residents have a say in managing the complex.
#3 Manufactured Home Park
Manufactured home parks provide an affordable housing option for seniors, families, and people with disabilities. The homes are typically smaller than traditional houses or apartments but offer a more affordable option for those who need it.
The parks are typically well-maintained, with various amenities that residents can enjoy. Most manufactured home parks also provide community centers where residents can hold social gatherings or utilize the services. As a result of the proximity of the residences, residents frequently build personal relationships with their neighbors.
A manufactured home park may be the ideal alternative for people in need of economical and hospitable accommodation.
There are several manufactured home parks available in BC. Some of them are:
- Comer Hill Estates, Williams Lake
- Gallagher Lake Village Park, Oliver
- River-Walk Manufactured Home Park, Quesnel
- Le Roi Mobile Home Park, Qualicum Beach
- Ambassador Mobile Home Park, Houston
The city with the cheapest rent in British Columbia is Dawson Creek, where you’ll find one-bedroom appartments for as little as $800. However, prices vary wildly from one city to the next, ranging from the said $800 to $1,500 or more in places like Vernon. Even so, if you’re not keen on Dawson Creek, you don’t have to settle for the higher end of the spectrum, since there are several cities where you’ll find a nice place to live for around $1,000 per month.
Cheap Rent In BC FAQs
Which city is the cheapest to live in BC?
Dawson Creek, Prince George, and Valemount are among the major cities in British Columbia that have lower-than-average living costs.
Is rent expensive in BC?
Yes, rent can be very expensive in BC. British Columbia is home to all four of Canada's most expensive rental markets. However, you can still find affordable housing in cities like Cranbrook, Dawson Creek, Valemount, Prince George, and Castlegar.
How much is the monthly rent in BC?
The average monthly rent in BC depends on the city and the type of apartment you want. Generally, the average rental rate for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,000, while that of a two-bedroom apartment is $2,400.