The top 5 most rentable neighbourhoods in Vancouver

The top 5 most rentable neighbourhoods in Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver is remarkable for many reasons, especially its geography. Bordered on three sides by water and park land, the downtown core is one of the highest density neighbourhoods in the world. In terms of real estate, this area represents a compelling opportunity for home-owners and investors alike. The range of housing stock varies, from single family homes built in the last century, to towering glass condos that are home to the professionals that work in the city.

There are many smaller neighbourhoods in the downtown area that are all unique and, together, contribute to the special cultural feel that draws so many people to live there. There are five basic areas to consider when appraising rental opportunities in the city. These are False Creek, the Downtown Eastside, the West End village, Stanley Park, and English Bay.

False Creek is the area around the Burrard Inlet, a small body of water south of the downtown core that separates it from Vancouver proper. It has condos and townhouses that front the marina properties. The Downtown Eastside is an area undergoing re-gentrification and the location of many notable buildings from the early years in Vancouver’s history. The West End is the city’s gay village and is very densely populated with almost 45,000 people living in an area of about two square kilometres. Stanley Park is a very desirable neighbourhood with buildings overlooking the park lands. And finally, English Bay is the neighbourhood that surrounds the English Bay beach and shopping district. The ocean views and sunsets from towers in this area are second to none. There are smaller niches like Chinatown, Yaletown, and Stadium but for investors these are the five most rentable neighbourhoods. All are very rentable as the local vacancy rate was only .7% in 2016, which translates to only seven rentals advertised for rent for every 1000 units available.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a Government of Canada agency that monitors the housing market to provide information to individuals and businesses. In 2016, CMHC observed the following trends in three major neighbourhoods of downtown Vancouver: the West End/Stanley Park, Downtown, and English Bay. Three factors that affect a decision to buy or invest, among others, are rent ratios, vacancy rates, and rent increases. Looking at all three areas by type of rental, two bedroom units and bachelor suites had the highest rent per square foot in all three neighbourhoods except the West End/Stanley Park, which had a slightly lower price/sqft compared to other types. Vacancy rates for bachelor and two bedroom units were lowest in the Downtown area, lowest for one bedroom units in the West End/Stanley park, and zero vacancy rates were noted for three bedroom apartments and townhouses. Rent increases were highest in Downtown for bachelor and one bedroom units and downtown for two bedroom units. Three bedroom units had uniform price increases throughout the downtown area.

The CMHC study might give an investor reason to conclude that the five most rentable neighbourhoods in downtown Vancouver are all fairly uniform, probably owing to the fact that it is a small urban area with a homogenous demographic. The more relevant factor seems to be the type of unit with three bedrooms returning the highest rent and having the lowest vacancy (zero).