Nearly 40% of new Canadians are considering moving due to housing costs

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Nearly 40 per cent of recent immigrants to Canada are considering moving to another province or leaving the country altogether due to a lack of housing affordability, a recent poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute suggests.

“If you are a young person who has arrived in Canada in the last 10 years, who is renting in one of Canada’s biggest cities, you know, life is not very happy at the moment,” said Shachi Kurl, president of Angus Reid.

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Thirty-nine per cent of immigrants who have arrived in Canada within the past 10 years are thinking of relocating, with 25 per cent citing the cost of housing as the culprit. Of the remaining respondents, finding a better quality of life was the biggest factor, along with others such as cost of living, access to healthcare and being closer to family.

According to the poll, 28 per cent of Canadians overall are considering leaving the province that they reside in due to soaring housing costs. Most live in either Ontario (39 per cent) or British Columbia (36 per cent), where high housing costs have persisted for longer compared to other regions.

Across Canada, 42 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they are considering moving from their current province. According to the poll, renters are more likely to consider moving than those who own their dwellings with or without a mortgage.

Canada’s annual immigration target stands at approximately 500,000 people, making it one of the highest in the world relative to the population.

Among those who want to move but stay in Canada, the poll found the majority — 18 per cent — said they would like to relocate to Alberta.

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“We can speculate that people who are thinking of (moving to) Alberta either have a perception that housing is more affordable in Alberta, or is more available or abundant in Alberta or that the jobs available to them in the province will enable them to afford the cost of living,” Kurl said.

According to a recent BMO report, net interprovincial migration out of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver was collectively over 130,000 people between 2022 and 2023.

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The Angus Reid Institute surveyed a representative randomized sample of 4,204 Canadian adults between June 14 and June 20. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 1.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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