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Canadians are eyeing moves to these cities for more affordable housing



Faced with high housing prices, many Canadians in the country’s largest cities are considering relocating to more affordable areas. According to a recent Royal LePage survey, half of the residents in the greater regions of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are open to moving if they can find a job or work remotely.


The survey revealed that 60% of renters are willing to relocate, while 45% of homeowners are considering the move. Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, highlighted the issue, saying, “(Housing) affordability has become one of the major social issues of our time.” He noted that the pandemic has changed mobility trends, making mid-sized cities more attractive.


However, Soper cautioned that considering a move doesn’t always lead to action. He compared it to the 2016 U.S. election, where many Americans said they would move to Canada, but few actually did.


Despite this, a significant number of Canadians are exploring their options. The survey found that 51% of people in the Greater Toronto Area, 54% in Greater Montreal, and 45% in Greater Vancouver are thinking about relocating. For Montreal residents, Quebec City is a top choice, while those in Toronto and Vancouver find Edmonton appealing.


The survey identified several affordable cities in Canada based on the percentage of household income needed for a monthly mortgage. Thunder Bay, Ontario, tops the list, requiring only 22.2% of household income. Other affordable cities include Saint John, New Brunswick, Red Deer, Alberta, and Trois-Rivières, Quebec.


Soper mentioned that while this trend benefits smaller communities, it poses challenges for urban planners. “We have housing shortage issues not just in Toronto and Vancouver but in these smaller cities,” he explained. These cities start with better affordability but still face housing shortages.


The Royal LePage survey included 900 residents from the greater regions of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, conducted between May 13 and May 16. The survey highlights a growing trend of Canadians seeking more affordable housing solutions.


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