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How Much Does It Cost to Live In Canada Compared to the UK?

As The Royal Couple Ditch Windsor for Vancouver, We Price Up Doing a Megxit of Our Own

With the recent shock decision of royal couple Meghan and Harry to up-sticks and move to Canada, we wondered what the country has to offer in terms of rental properties in comparison to the UK’s and found some interesting research.

Although our very own Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state in Canada, there are a fair few hoops to jump through before the average Brit can take up residence in the second-largest country in the world known for its stunning landscapes, icy winters, maple syrup, ice hockey and salmon-fishing grizzly bears. For example, depending on whether the application is for temporary or permanent residency, a holiday visa or work permit may be required. Your age, language ability, work experience, your expected income or net worth may also be taken into account before a visa or residency is granted. Check whether you may be eligible to apply here.

With Harry and Meghan’s not so royal Megxit to the Great White North so fresh in everyone’s minds, lettings management platform Howsy decided to look at the Canadian rental market – more specifically Vancouver in British Columbia, where Meghan and Harry have relocated to, to see how it compares to London in terms of affordability.

With the current average UK rent standing at £684 a month, the lettings platform found it is 18 per cent more expensive to rent here in the UK than it is in Canada, where the average rent is £564 a month. However, major cities such as London (UK) and Vancouver (Canada) both command considerably higher rents than their respective county’s national average, with the average rent in Vancouver – a busy seaport on the west coast of British Columbia where Meghan and baby Archie have been staying – costing tenants some £728 per month, while London is 57 per cent higher at £1,697!

In fact, this percentage increase seems to be pretty much the same regardless of the property size according to Howsy’s research, with both a studio flat or a two-bedroom let costing 54 per cent more in London than Vancouver; a three-bed rental property will set you back 56 per cent more than in Vancouver while a four-bedroom place costs an eye-watering £3,104 a month in the capital, 64 per cent more than Vancouver where you will only have to fork out £1,129 a month for a four-bedroom pad.

However, as we know, London is a big place and the rental market varies massively from one borough to the next, as is the case in Vancouver.

The pinnacle of the London rental market where rental prices are concerned is undoubtedly Kensington and Chelsea, with tenant spaying a mammoth £3,053 a month on average! In Canada, West Vancouver commands the highest rental price of around £1,118 a month, making Kensington and Chelsea 173 per cent more expensive to live! Even pricier… Westminster actually commands rents some 229 per cent higher than in North Vancouver while Camden rents cost 224 per cent more than Vancouver’s third-highest, most expensive rental market, Richmond.

Even where the cheapest rental locations are concerned, Vancouver comes out on top for affordability. For example, according to the research, Bexley is the cheapest area in London to rent costing an average of £1,106 per month yet this is still 96 per cent more expensive than Langley, Vancouver’s most reasonable district to rent in.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented: “Harry and Meghan have fled the country and who can blame them, with Vancouver offering a more relaxed pace of life, less pollution and much better rental market affordability.  

Of course, they probably aren’t renting and affordability would be the last thing on their minds if they were, but with constant talk of London’s rental affordability, it’s always interesting to see just how much the capital matches up to other cities around the world both where property size and location are concerned.   

Long story short, if you’re struggling to get by in London, head to Vancouver. You’re unlikely to make the same sort of stir upon arrival, but you’ll have more money in your pocket at the end of the month.”

Data on domestic rental market sourced via Office for National Statistics 

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Alex Wright, Editor