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11 Most Affordable Places to Live in British Columbia 2024

Home to stunning mountains, lakes, and rivers, British Columbia is undeniably one of Canada’s most attractive places. However, the beauty comes with a hefty price tag, especially in metropolitan areas like Vancouver.

In this comprehensive guide, we unveil the top 11 most affordable places to live in BC, offering a 30% or more reduction in the cost of living compared to the provincial average.

11 Cheapest Places to Live in BC 2024

Here, is the list of most affordable places to live in BC 2024.

1. Castlegar: A Hub for Growth in the Selkirk Mountains

most affordable places to live in bc

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,500 for 2 bedrooms
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $393,000
  • Cost of Living: 30% lower than the BC average
  • Population: 9,000

Located in the Selkirk Mountains, Castlegar stands out as the second-largest community in the West Kootenay region. Boasting a thriving economy driven by forestry, mining, and tourism, Castlegar offers promising growth opportunities.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise with multiple recreational options within a 30-minute radius, including ice rinks, parks, ski hills, campgrounds, and golf courses.

2. Cranbrook: Family-Friendly Living Amidst Natural Splendor

most affordable places to live in bc

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,225 for 1 bedroom
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $510,000
  • Cost of Living: 30% lower than the BC average
  • Population: 21,000

Situated in southeast British Columbia, Cranbrook charms residents with its family-friendly atmosphere.

Nestled in a valley surrounded by the Purcell Mountains and Kootenay National Park, Cranbrook offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational activities.

The city is the base camp of the Kootenay Rockies and is home to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel.

3. Dawson Creek: The Capital of the Peace with Rich Heritage

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,000 for 1 bedroom
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $305,512
  • Cost of Living: 30% lower than the BC average
  • Population: 13,000

Embracing its prairie surroundings in the Peace River County, Dawson Creek is an affordable gem in the Northeastern region.

Initially a small farming community, it gained prominence with the expansion of the Northern Alberta Railways in 1932.

The city offers attractions like a heritage interpretation village, an art gallery, and the N.A.R. Station Museum, along with an annual fall fair and rodeo.

4. Hope: Tranquil Living Amidst Fraser and Coquihalla Rivers

most affordable places to live in bc

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,400 for 1 bedroom
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $663,000
  • Cost of Living: 29% lower than the BC average
  • Population: 6,700

Perched at the confluence of the Fraser and Coquihalla rivers, Hope is a serene town with abundant lakes and rivers.

Despite recent increases in real estate prices, Hope remains an affordable haven with a low cost of living. Visitors can explore attractions like the Othello Quintette Tunnels and numerous sculptures via a self-guided tour.

5. Port Alberni: The Salmon Capital of Vancouver Island

most affordable places to live in bc

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,477 for 2 bedrooms
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $566,000
  • Cost of Living: 30% lower than the BC average
  • Population: 19,000

Nestled in the Alberni Valley at the head of the Alberni Inlet, Port Alberni is known for its fishing prowess, earning the title of the salmon capital of Vancouver Island.

Sproat Lake, a superior freshwater lake, offers a range of water activities. Visitors can explore the Alberni Valley Museum, the Maritime Discovery Centre, and the scenic Harbour Quay.

6. Prince George: Nature’s Playground in Northern BC

most affordable places to live in bc

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,687 for 2 bedrooms
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $520,000
  • Cost of Living: $1,286 per month for a single person, without rent
  • Population: 76,000

Situated on the traditional lands of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Prince George is the largest city in Northern BC.

Boasting over 100 parks and green spaces, the city offers extensive outdoor recreational activities. With access to the Fraser and Nechako rivers and five ski hills within a two-hour drive, Prince George is an affordable haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

7. Prince Rupert: Port City with Affordable Living

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,200 for 1 bedroom
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $350,000
  • Cost of Living: 30% lower than the BC average
  • Population: 13,500

Perched on Kaien Island, Prince Rupert is a port city and transportation hub for BC’s north coast.

Surrounded by mountains and deep river valleys, the city offers ocean-centric activities like whale watching and fishing. Residents and visitors can engage in kayaking tours or rent boats to explore the pristine waters.

8. Smithers: Adventure Hub in Northwest BC

most affordable places to live in bc

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,450 for 2 bedrooms
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $475,000
  • Cost of Living: 30% lower than the BC average
  • Population: 5,400

Located halfway between Prince Rupert and Prince George, Smithers stands out as an adventure hub in Northwest BC. Known for world-class fishing and skiing, the town offers a spectrum of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, hiking, snowmobiling, and quadding.

Smithers boasts rivers and lakes, perfect for canoeing and kayaking, along with cultural attractions like the Smithers Art Gallery.

9. Vernon: Affordable Living in the Okanagan Region

most affordable places to live in bc

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,250 for 1 bedroom
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $686,476
  • Cost of Living: $1,271 per month for a single person, without rent
  • Population: 44,519

Situated in the Southern Interior of BC, Vernon is one of the Okanagan region’s most affordable places to live.

Offering diverse activities such as swimming, and water sports in Kalamalka Lake, visiting the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, and taking guided tours of the Vernon Heritage Mural, Vernon provides an enriching living experience.

The city hosts the Vernon Winter Carnival, North America’s second-largest winter carnival.

10. Williams Lake: Rodeo Capital in the Central Interior

most affordable places to live in bc

Overview:

  • Average Rent Cost: $1,000 for 1 bedroom
  • Average Cost of Buying a House: $213,143
  • Cost of Living: 31% lower than the BC average
  • Population: 11,916

Located in the Central Interior of BC, Williams Lake earns its fame as the second-largest city in the Cariboo region and the host of the Williams Lake Stampede, the second-largest rodeo in Canada.

Scout Island, a nature sanctuary connected to the mainland, offers nature trails and wildlife habitats. Williams Lake stands out as an affordable haven with the cost of living significantly below the BC average.

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For those seeking an idyllic life in British Columbia without the exorbitant costs of major cities, the aforementioned places offer a perfect solution.

These small cities and towns boast rich cultural history, breathtaking views, and abundant opportunities for outdoor activities, making them ideal choices for both residents and newcomers.