Strata Fees in Metro Vancouver
If you were to buy an apartment in the Vancouver area today, how much of your monthly payments would go to the Strata Council? The chart below shows estimates of what percentage of your monthly housing costs (including strata, mortgage payments, and property taxes) would be accounted for by strata fees.
This article presents estimates of how much strata fees will cost you as a proportion of your monthly payments. We break up monthly strata fees by area and by whether or not the unit is new or a resale.
- Strata fees range from $0.28/Sq.Ft. in the Tri-City area (Coquitlam, Port-Moody, Port Coquitlam) to $0.40/Sq. Ft. in Downtown Vancouver for new high rise apartments in the Greater Vancouver Area;
- That equates to around $220-$320 a month for an 800 sq. ft. condominium apartment;
- There are, of course, significant outliers, especially in downtown Vancouver;
- Strata fees typically constitute 12%-18% of your monthly payments, depending on the age of the structure and the area of town;
- Strata fees generally make up a larger proportion of your monthly payments for resale apartments, though this is not necessarily the case; and
- Strata fees vary by area (with Downtown Vancouver predictably having the highest strata fees) and by age of the building. Make sure you look at strata fees for comparable buildings to make sure that you are not over paying.
Strata fees can represent a significant proportion of your monthly carrying costs for an apartment in the Greater Vancouver Area. Whether you are considering purchasing an apartment as an investment, or as your first home, take a close look at monthly strata fees and available strata documents. While they are admittedly dull, they can contain very important information.
Strata Fees - Things to Note
A casual review of the graphs above show some important information for prospective buyers: - While price per sq. ft. is lower outside of the downtown core, strata don't vary as much. As such, strata fees in North Surrey, Langley, and Pitt Meadows will make up a higher proportion of your total monthly housing costs compared to Vancouver and Burnaby; and - Strata fees tend to make up a larger proportion of monthly housing costs for resale apartments when compared to new apartments currently being marketed.
We want you to have some comfort in the analysis presented here. To that end, this section describes how the data in the above graph was calculated:
- Price per square foot data was obtained from Urban Analytics by both area and by new home vs. resale. Data represent homes purchased in the first quarter of 2015;
- It is assumed that a 20% down payment is made. Lowering this would effectively raise the monthly mortgage payment and lower the percentage of monthly payments that are accounted for by strata fees;
- A 5-year fixed-term mortgage rate of 2.76% with a 25 year amortization is assumed;
- This creates a monthly mortgage payment for a recent purchase of an apartment by area in Metro Vancouver;
- Strata fees per square foot by area and by new home vs. resale were obtained from vancouvercondoreport.ca;
- For resale strata fees for a given area, the average of strata fees for resale apartments constructed in the last 10 years was used. This was done to match the age of resale apartments used in the pricing analysis;
- Property tax rates were obtained from individual municipalities;
- Insurance and maintenance costs are not accounted for in this analysis.
Strata fees obviously vary according to the level of amenities provided. They also vary according to area and the age of the apartment. That being said, you should still be aware of what typical strata fees are and ensure that you are not overpaying. People have a habit of focusing on the sticker price of homes, but they should really be focusing on the monthly costs, which would be a better gauge of affordability.