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The province’s youngest owners and renters want to live in the Lower Mainland more than anywhere else. These and other sentiments are captured in Resonance Consultancy’s new Future of B.C. Housing study, just as British Columbians have identified housing as the top provincial election issue this spring.

Vancouver, BC – According to a new study conducted by Insights West for Resonance Consultancy, a global advisor on real estate, tourism and economic development, the province’s youngest owners and renters say they want to live in the Lower Mainland more than anywhere else. Failing residency in Greater Vancouver, their next step is to leave the province entirely.

Among all B.C. Millennials asked “If money were no object, where would you move to?” Greater Vancouver ranked first, with 68% listing it as their top choice. Clearly, the buyers of the future prefer to live in B.C.’s most populous region. This was followed by Victoria, Vancouver Island South, & Gulf Islands (18%), Kelowna and Thompson Okanagan (15%) and somewhere outside B.C. (14%).


Furthermore, 70% of B.C. Millennial respondents said they are likely to move in the next five years, and while 76% are planning to remain in their current regions, the 19% migrating will end up either in Greater Vancouver (45%) or “Outside of B.C.” (38%).

“There is a tremendous challenge ahead for policy-makers and politicians to make Greater Vancouver affordable and welcoming for Millennials who clearly want to live and work in the region,” says Resonance president, Chris Fair.

At a time when B.C. cities need to keep their youngest talent to replenish rapidly aging Boomers and an uncommitted Gen-X management class, Millennials need to be prioritized.

“Failure to do so, as their sentiment indicates, likely means losing many of them for good,” adds Fair. “This is just not an option for the economic future of British Columbia. Boomers are downsizing and exiting the workforce, and 40% of Gen-X homeowners in Vancouver are considering cashing out and moving to a more affordable region.”

Among all Greater Vancouver Millennials asked “If money were no object, where would you move to?” Greater Vancouver ranked first, with 87% listing it as their top choice. Clearly, Millennials are attracted by the region’s urban lifestyle. The second most popular destination is outside of B.C. (14%), suggesting that for local Millennials it’s Greater Vancouver or nowhere. This was followed by Kelowna and Thompson Okanagan (11%).

According to our survey, 73% of Greater Vancouver future homebuyers are planning to buy in the Vancouver area. This is largely composed of Millennials, who are least likely to leave the big city. Among the other 22% who intend to leave the city, Gen-X make up the largest cohort at 39%, followed by Boomers (31%). At 30%, Millennials are less likely to be looking to buy a home outside of Vancouver.

“The next generation of city builders and business leaders is telling us they want to stay in Greater Vancouver,” says Fair. “It’s on us to make it happen.”

About Resonance Consultancy:

Resonance Consultancy specializes in research, development strategy, place branding and place marketing that shapes the future of countries, cities, and communities. Based in Vancouver and New York, the 18 employees at Resonance have completed more than 100 research reports, development strategies, business plans and branding projects for real estate developers, tourism organizations and governments in more than 75 countries.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 13 to October 31, 2016, among 1,714 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 2.4 percentage points.

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For further information, please contact:

Tom Gierasimczuk
Vice President & Chief Content Officer
Resonance Consultancy

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs
Insights West


Photograph: Emilie