Vancouver third most expensive city in the world to build a house
Credit: Franco Fang

New findings from Capital on Tap say Vancouver is right behind New York and San Francisco when it comes to the cost of building a home

Every once in a while, it would be nice to get a press release announcing that some third-party researcher has crowned Vancouver The Best City in the World for Corgis or The Cheapest Place to Get a Gin and Tonic. Alas, that’s never the case—for those trying to get into the real estate market, there's nothing to brag about.

Just in the past week, we’ve had stories on how Metro Vancouver home sales hit a record high in 2021 and how baby boomers are opting to stay in their houses till they die rather than downsize (which means less available housing—and pricier listings—for millennials).

But hey, if there’s barely any homes and those homes are hella expensive, maybe you can build your own?

Not in Vancouver! Unless you’re a millionaire or willing to go deep into serious debt, of course.

Capital on Tap, a U.S. business credit card provider, recently announced that Vancouver is the third most expensive city in the world to build a house. Company researchers estimated the cost at US$2,483 ($3,106) per metre square, which puts Vancouver at No. 9 without factoring in size—but once you multiply that by the average size of a home, the total is US$398,596, or nearly $500,000.

Of the 50 cities the study followed, No 1. is New York (US$489,959), while San Francisco (US$439,942) takes second place.

Capital on TapCapital on Tap

In a press release, Capital on Tap said that demand for materials, availability of space and availability of labour all factor into the total cost of an average home—“so it’s not surprising that the most expensive places to build are also large cities where construction work is seemingly never-ending.”

The company also noted that materials costs have risen during the pandemic, with the price of rebar, timber, and copper pipe soaring 40 percent in some places.

READ MORE: Sorry, millennials—baby boomers arent downsizing