Residents in British Columbia are facing the highest average property prices in Canada and according to a report by Zoocasa, the minimum down payment for a detached house and condo has increased in every municipality since the beginning of the pandemic.

A report released Thursday calculated the minimum down payment needed based on five per cent for a home valued at $500,000 and under, 10 per cent for homes $500,001 to $999,999, and 20 per cent for homes priced at $1 million and over.

Out of the 18 B.C. municipalities Zoocasa tracked, the down payment needed to buy an average detached home increased by over $100,000 in 10 markets.

It found that the largest down payment increase since February 2020 was in Surrey, B.C., where benchmark home prices increased 39 per cent to $1,390,300 from 2020. Homebuyers now need to put down an average of $278,060 to buy a property in Surrey, versus $74,790 pre-pandemic.

The lowest down payment change from before the pandemic was Vancouver West, with an average increase of $37,820. But if homebuyers want to live in this area they’ll still have to fork out $620,620 for a minimum down, in comparison to $582,800 in February 2020.


It’s the same story for condos in British Columbia, with the average down payment increasing in every market, albeit less extreme in comparison to detached homes.

Only two condo markets out of the 17 tracked saw down payments increase by more than $25,000 since the start of the pandemic.

West Vancouver had the largest down payment increase to $245,780 from $202,780 pre-pandemic, with an average property price of $1,228,900; while Vancouver West’s condo market increased the least with a minimum down now $2,830 more at $57,440, from $54,610 in February 2020.

This comes at a time when a “record-high number of non-owners believe they will never be able to buy a family home”, according to a survey by the Mortgage Professionals Canada.

It also found that while some housing markets have dropped over the past 12 months, Canada’s least affordable markets like Vancouver and Toronto are “not expected to return to affordable levels in the foreseeable future.”

“Urban centres in Ontario and British Columbia, where average house prices are 23.5 and 23.3-times average disposable income, remain by far the least affordable. This ratio is much lower in Quebec (13.3 times),” it said.


Benchmark home prices were sourced from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. As per Government of Canada regulations, the minimum down payment amount is based on the purchase price and is calculated as follows:

– Purchase price of $500,000 or less: 5% of the purchase price

– Purchase price of $500,000 to $999,999: 5% of the first $500,000 of the purchase price, 10% for the portion of the purchase price above $500,000

– Purchase price of $1 million or more: 20% of the purchase price