More than half of British Columbians plan on moving in next 5 years: study

Dec 17 2016, 2:57 pm

If you’re seriously considering moving in the next five years, you’re not alone.

In fact, more than half of British Columbians are planning on moving to another home by 2021, according to a new study.

Conducted by Resonance Consultancy, the study found that more than four in 10 homeowners and seven-in-10 renters are planning to buy or rent a different home by 2021.

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But it’s not all an exodus out of Vancouver like some might think.

In fact, among the 51% of BC residents likely to make a move, “three-quarters are likely to stay in the same city or region,” Chris Fair, Resonance Consultancy president and CEO, told Daily Hive.

For those planning to move to a different region, “one-quarter are most likely to move to Metro Vancouver, while another quarter are likely to move outside of BC,” he added.

At the same time however, “a staggering 34% of Metro Vancouver homeowners are planning to sell their homes and move to more affordable markets in the next five years, according to our survey—the highest percentage compared to other regions,” Fair noted.

What was surprising, he said, was who exactly is planning on making that move.

The demographic most likely to leave Vancouver isn’t millennials or boomers, but the Gen-X homeowners.

“47% of Gen-X homeowners in Metro Vancouver are considering selling their home and moving to a more affordable market in the next five years,” Fair said.

And losing up to “half of the management age population in the city could have serious implications for the future of Vancouver’s economy,” he warned.

Desire behind the drive

The top 3 reasons people want to move vary by location and demographic, the study found. Overall, across BC, the top 3 are:

  • Want to live in a different location
  • Size of current home is insufficient
  • Would like to own vs. rent

Millennial movers

While 70% of millennials who responded to the survey anticipate a move in the the next five years, “they are not planning to flee their communities in a mass exodus,” Fair clarified. In fact, “most of them (76%) are likely to stay in the same area when they move.”

The 24% of millennials planning to leave the region where they currently live will do so because:

  • They’d like to live in a different location (42%)
  • The size of their current home is insufficient (40%)
  • They’d like to own instead of rent (40%)

In terms of where BC’s millennials would live, their choices would be:

  • Metro Vancouver (68%)
  • Victoria & Vancouver Island South (18%)

But if Metro Vancouver is not a viable option, then moving outside of BC seems to be the next best thing.

Notably, Fair said, moving out of province “was a very close fourth-place choice along with moving to Kelowna and the Thompson Okanagan. This means, “that if millennials could afford it, they would leave the province almost as likely as move elsewhere within it.”

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