World Tour: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, in the corner of, is the gateway to the Pacific Rim and gateway to Northwest beauty.

The city of more than two million routinely tops the rankings of most livable cities in the world owing, in large part, to its stable economy, infrastructure, climate and educational opportunities.

Diversity is another operative word: diversity in its economy (which is strong in software development, banking, bio technology and aerospace), its population and its natural landscape. This expanse of Canada is simply stunning, and Vancouverites don’t take it for granted. They are committed to the environment and sustainability.

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In downtown Vancouver near gorgeous Stanley Park, luxury condominium developments line the waterfronts of West End and Coal Harbour, two of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the city. It’s hard to beat a high rise penthouse with views of the North Shore Mountains, which is why unit prices can soar. An influx of foreign real estate investment, especially cash-rich entrepreneurs from Mainland China seeking trophy properties as safe financial havens, has kept the market stable in recent years.

On the desirable west side of Greater Vancouver are wealthy enclaves of genteel single-family residences. In affluent Shaughnessy, more than half the homes were built prior to World War II. Estates here fetch high prices in the millions. Nearby Arbutus Ridge is an established neighborhood with restored heritage homes and views of the mountains. The walker-friendly area of West Point Grey is home to two popular beaches, reflected in its strong square-footage prices.

While the city’s overheated market has cooled recently, Vancouver remains one of Canada’s highest-priced metropolitan real estate markets. And a resilient one. Investors continue to be buoyed by the city’s strong fundamentals–a metropolitan area with limited land for development and an expanding population.

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