Cost of Living

Castlegar has a Low Cost of Living

Using average `household income (2005) and average house price in Castlegar (2010) compared to B.C. averages, Castlegar:

  • Has 5.8% lower median household income ($49,626) than the B.C. average ($52,709), BUT
  • Has an average house price that is 46% lower than the B.C. average
In 2009, British Columbians had an average disposable income of $25,374, the fourth-highest provincial average in Canada.

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

Average Residential Home Resale Price (end 2010):

Castlegar - $268,462
Kootenay Region - $256,013
B.C. - $500,000
Metro Vancouver - $763,000
Calgary metro single family - $461,000

Src: Kootenay Real Estate Board, B.C. Real Estate Association, Calgary Real Estate Board

Based on house resale prices in 2010, housing prices in Castlegar are:

  • 46% lower than the B.C. average
  • 65% lower than the metro Vancouver average
  • 42% lower than metro 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 - $258,462 - 2010) to median household income ($49,626 - 2006), expressed as a percentage or as years of income. This ratio is a basic component of mortgage lending decisions. The lower the number, the more relatively affordable housing is.

Castlegar – 5.4
Calgary – 4.6
Kelowna – 5.9
Victoria – 7.9
Vancouver – 9.3

Non-Castlegar information source:

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.

Castlegar Housing Affordability Trend is Long-Term

Average value owned dwelling

Src: Statistics Canada, 2006 Federal Census

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 (2010) for an average single family home in Castlegar ($268,000) are as follows:

Property taxes1$1914
Municipal water$357
Municipal sewer $300
Garbage $119
Gas (heating)2$953
Electricity3 $1082
Phone (optional) $500
Internet (optional) $500
Total $5725

Municipal property taxes for a single family home are roughly 40% lower than the City of Vancouver average of roughly $3200 and 13% lower than a Calgary Region average of roughly $2200.

The average Canadian homeowner pays $9.08 per $1,000 of residential assessment4. In Castlegar the rate is $7.14.

1Castlegar residential tax rate (2011) - $7.1439 per $1000 taxable assessment.

2Based on October 1, 2011 Fortis gas rates (Src: Forstis Gas Rates multiplied by average annual consumption of 95 GJ (Src: Renewable Natural Gas Program

3Based on Fortis electricity rates (Src: Fortis Electricity Rates) multiplied by average annual B.C. consumption of 10,000 Kwh (Src:


Other Cost of Living Resources

  • The Consumer Price Index shows latest monthly and historical consumer price movements for Canada and B.C. B.C.’s Index is three points lower than the Canadian average.
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC (ICABC) has developed a report called B.C. Check-Up that can help you to calculate the cost of living in B.C. and Castlegar. Note: Castlegar is in the Kootenay development region.