Located in Clark County, Vancouver, WA is home to 171,363 people. With the median age at 36.6, there are many families in the area who want to live in what’s known as the “bedroom community” of Portland. With less crime than Portland, and better schools, people move here for lower housing costs and overall affordability.
Before deciding on a Vancouver, WA relocation, you may be wondering what the cost of living there is. So, just how much money do you need to make to afford Vancouver, WA? Though Vancouver isn’t known for being cheap, it makes up for that with its close proximity to big cities, a flourishing food truck community, and green spaces.
Vancouver, WA Cost of Living Index
How much do you need to earn to live in Vancouver, WA? The average income in Vancouver is $62,000, but the cost of living in Vancouver depends on a few things. Do you have a family or are you single? Are you going to rent or buy a home or apartment? Because there are so many different factors, it’s difficult to give you an exact answer.
The best estimate is to go over the Vancouver cost of living index. Inside this index is data that compares the living expenses in Vancouver to the rest of the nation. Is Vancouver affordable? Well, no, not completely. Vancouver WA is 34% more expensive than the rest of the nation. However, there are a few things that are a bit more affordable. For example, your Vancouver utilities are 12.8% cheaper than the rest of the nation, which is good. But, for the most part, everything is going to be a bit more pricey than the rest of the nation.
The Vancouver living costs also seem to be going up. The Vancouver, WA consumer price index shows that the cost of living in Vancouver is going up by 3.9% when compared to last year’s prices. Those in Vancouver also spend about 30% of their income on their housing, which is fairly high.
Cost of Groceries, Food, Gas & Household Items in Vancouver
When you relocate to a new city, the best way to get an idea of how much you’re going to spend is to look at common expenses, like utility bills and household items. Looking at the average cost of groceries is something that can help you since that’s a big expense. And, how about the price of gas in Vancouver? With commuting to work, you can plan on a lot of driving.
The average water bill in Vancouver is $88.07, with a utility tax rate of 28.7%. Compared to surrounding cities, this is fairly expensive. It can also be helpful to look at average internet bill in Vancouver since this is something you’ll surely have. Each month, residents in Vancouver, WA pay an average of $60-$70 on internet. But, those aren’t your only expenses.
Here are some of the average prices people pay in Vancouver:
- Steak (Ribeye, 1lb.) $13.55
- Milk (regular 1/2 gallon) $1.95
- Eggs (1 Dozen) $1.98
- Potatoes (5 lb bag) $1.98
- Bread (1 loaf) $4.29
- Beer (Heineken’s 6 pack) $10.92
- Average Cell Phone Bill $165.47
- Average Cost of Gasoline (per gallon) $3.30
- Average Cost of Utilities (per month) $140.72
- McDonald’s Burger (1/4 Pounder) $5.17
- Large Pizza $12.56
- Movie Ticket (1st run) $11.72
Vancouver vs Seattle Cost of Living
Seattle is another big city that’s near Vancouver, so a lot of people wonder which one is cheaper. Thankfully, Vancouver is 7% cheaper than Seattle. Seattle has more of an urban feel, and Vancouver has a ton of green space and parks. It’s much more kid-friendly versus the city-feel of Seattle. Though there are similarities between the two cities, you’d need to make $54,169 to live the same lifestyle in Seattle as $50,000 in Vancouver.
Vancouver Real Estate Market
Vancouver is a beautiful city, so it’s no wonder why people would want to live there. The homeownership rate is 50.3%, and the cost of housing in Vancouver is something to consider since it’s such a large expense. Currently, the Vancouver, WA real estate market is slightly competitive.
Usually, homes receive just one offer. However, they are offered at about 1% less than listing price, so there isn’t a ton of wiggle room. When you find a home you like, it’s best to act on it fast! The average price of a home in Vancouver is $370,000, which amounts to about $209 per square foot. Though this may seem high, the housing costs in Vancouver are much more affordable than Portland and Seattle. In fact, that’s why so many people live here and commute to the other cities.
The average amount of cash that people put down on their homes is 17.4%, which is fairly higher than other cities. The homes are also only on the market for about 30 days before they go to pending.
Vancouver Rental Market – Average Rent Price
There are also 50% of people that are renting, so there is plenty of data when it comes to rental living expenses. The good news is that Vancouver rent is decreasing in price. The data shows that when compared to last year, the average rent in Vancouver has gone down over 11%. Right now, the average cost of rent in Vancouver is $1,453.
If you’re worried about the rent trends in Vancouver, it seems as though the rental market is pretty stable in Vancouver. In the last 30 days, there was just an increase of 0.62%. The rent price also varies depending on the neighborhood you rent in. There are a few neighborhoods in Vancouver with rental prices bordering just $1,000. However, other neighborhoods could cost you $2,000+. So, it depends on the Vancouver quality of life that you’re looking for.
Average Salary & Household Income in Vancouver
How much do you need to make to live in Vancouver? The Vancouver average hourly income amounts to about $18.24 per hour. Some of the most popular salary jobs in Vancouver include operations manager, project manager, office manager, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and software developer. Some of the most common hourly jobs are CNAs, administrative assistant, and registered nurse.
The top employers in Vancouver include Peace Health, The Vancouver Clinic, SEH America, Inc., Safeway Inc., and Legacy Health Systems.
Income, Sales, & Property Taxes in Vancouver, WA
The last thing on your mind when you’re relocating is probably taxes. But, because you continue to pay taxes each and every year, it adds up over time. And if you’re in a city where the taxes are high, you’ll need to know this so you can decide if you can afford the living expenses.
Unlike most states, Washington doesn’t have income tax! The income tax rate in Vancouver is 0%. However, don’t get too excited. The state has to make money somehow. Most of this is made up for in the sales tax that they collect.
The total Vancouver sales tax rate is 8.4%. This is because Washington has a sales tax rate of 6.5%, and the Vancouver sales tax rate is 1.9%. Sales tax will apply to everything that you buy, so it can add up depending on how much you purchase.
When it comes to the average Vancouver property tax, the rate is about 1.28%. This is a bit higher than other states and counties, but again, you don’t have state income tax, which is nice. It will ultimately depend on the appraised value of your property.
Vancouver is an expensive city to live in. However, if you can afford the living expenses in Vancouver, this is one city that you don’t want to miss out on. With lush green hills and tons of families, there’s a reason so many people flock to this area.
If you’re in the process of relocating, you need a professional Vancouver moving company to help make your transition easier. Give PDX Movers a call today for a free quote! We employ strong, trustworthy individuals who always get the job done quickly.