Cost of Living

Castlegar has a Low Cost of Living

Although Castlegar has a 9.25% lower median household income ($49,348) than the BC average ($54,379), Castlegar is very affordable compared to BC as a whole.

  • Castlegar has an average house price ($274,954) that is 39% lower than the BC average ($448,835)
  • Castlegar homeowners pay an average of $866 per month on shelter, 15.3% lower than the BC average of $1,023
  • Castlegar renters pay an average of $632 per month on shelter, 30% lower than the BC average of $903

Castlegar's affordability compared to BC averages more than makes up for its lower income.

Src: Statistics Canada National Household Survey, 2011

Furthermore, British Columbia ranks highly among Canadian provinces in average disposable income of residents. In 2012, British Columbians had an average disposable income of $30,474, the third-highest provincial average in Canada.


House Prices are a Fraction of the Price of B.C. and Calgary Housing

Median Value of Dwellings (2011):

  • Castlegar - $274,954
  • Kootenay Region - $289,441
  • BC - $448,835
  • Metro Vancouver (Vancouver CMA) - $598,085
  • Calgary - $400,697

Src: Statistics Canada National Household Survey, 2011

Based on median value of dwellings in 2011, housing prices in Castlegar are:

  • 39% lower than the B.C. average
  • 54% lower than the metro Vancouver average
  • 31% lower than Calgary average

Housing Affordability: Price to Income Ratio

The price to income ratio is the basic affordability measure for housing in a given area. It is generally the ratio of median house prices (Castlegar - $274,954 - 2011) to median household income ($49,348 - 2011). This ratio is a basic component of mortgage lending decisions. The lower the number, the more relatively affordable housing is.

  • Castlegar – 5.6
  • Calgary – 5.7
  • Kelowna – 8.0
  • Victoria – 10.0
  • Vancouver – 10.6
Src: Statistics Canada National Household Survey, 2011

Using a mortgage affordability calculator and assuming average tax, car, and utility expenses, an average resale house price in Castlegar (2010) is within purchasing reach of approximately 40% of households. This is generally better than B.C. and Alberta averages.

Renting is Affordable

Corporate and personal taxes are competitive with jurisdictions throughout North America and the G7. B.C. individuals earning up to $119,000 pay the lowest provincial income tax in Canada. For the majority of taxpayers, provincial personal income taxes have been reduced by at least 37 per cent since 2001.

For more information

Castlegar Has Competitive Utility and Property Tax Rates

Approximate annual household operation costs (2015) for an average single family home in Castlegar ($274,954) are as follows:

Property taxes1$2194
Municipal water$411
Municipal sewer $334
Garbage $122
Gas (heating)2$728
Electricity3 $1,120
Total $5,909

1Castlegar residential tax rate (2015) - $7.98 per $1000 taxable assessment

2Based on April 1, 2016 Fortis gas rates (Src: Fortis Gas Rates multiplied by average annual consumption of 96 GJ

3Based on Fortis electricity rates (Src: Fortis Electricity Rates) and average monthly B.C. consumption of 900 Kwh (Src: BC Hydro)

Other Cost of Living Resources

  • The Consumer Price Index shows latest monthly and historical consumer price movements for Canada and BC. BC's consumer price index, which is six points lower than the national average, is the lowest in Canada.
  • The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) has developed a report called the CPABC Regional Check-Up that can help you to calculate the cost of living in B.C. and Castlegar and provides other relevant information. The Kootenay Development Region 2016 Regional Checkup can be accessed here.